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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World

 

Iranians Gathered at the Immortal Castle to Celebrate the Symbolic Birth of the Persian Warrior, Babak Khorramdin

 

10 July 2010

 

 

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  The Immortal Castle (Click to enlarge)

 

LONDON, (CAIS) -- Nearly one thousand five hundred Iranians celebrated the birth of Persian freedom fighter and leader of the Khorramdinan resistance movement Babak, who fought against the Arab invaders in 8th century CE.

 

The pilgrims gathered at the Immortal Castle also known as Babak Fort to mark Babak's symbolic birthday, life and heroic death, yesterday July 9th. The castle located in Kalidar area near Tabriz in northwest of Iran, which some believe was his command center.

 

His staunch followers, all Iranian nationalists came from far and wide, to the mountainous castle, reading poetry including Shahnameh (the Epic of Kings), Hafez and played local traditional Persian/Azari music.

 

His historical fort, known as the Immortal Castle, is located 16 km southwest of Kelidar in East Azarbaijan Province and is 2,300 to 2,600 meters above the sea level.

 

The fort, surrounded by gorges as deep as 400 to 600 meters, is believed was constructed during the early Parthian dynasty (278 BCE - 224 CE). To reach the castle, one has to trek a tortuous and narrow passageway and then cross a corridor-shaped temple, 200 meters in lengths.

 

Babak was born into a Persian family in the Balalabad (modern Qaradagh) region of Atropatekan (today East Azarbaijan province) near the city of Artavilla (modern Ardabil). After his father died, in his early teens he was given responsibility for his two brothers and mother during a traditional Zoroastrian ceremony at a fire temple. 

 

After the death of Javidan son of Shahrak the leader of Khorramdinan movement, Babak was appointed as leader of the Persian resistance movement called Khorram-dinân, an esoteric Islamic-Zoroastrian nationalist-religious sect that arose in protest for invasion of Iran by Arab Muslims, following the execution of Abu-Muslim Khorrasani, who had rebelled against the Abbasid caliphate . Denying that Abu Muslim was dead, the sect predicted that he would return to spread Iranian justice throughout the world. Babak led the revolt against the Arab invaders and during his two decades of rebellion (816-837 CE) his movement killed many of the foreign aggressors until he was killed in 837.

 

During Babak’s martyrdom, the caliph's henchmen first cut off his legs and hands in order to convey the most devastating message to Iranians. Legend has it that Babak bravely rinsed his face with the blood pouring out of his wounds, thus depriving the caliph and the rest of the Arab invaders the opportunity to see that his face had turned pale due to heavy bleeding.

 

A number of Iranian archaeologists from East Azarbaijan Province Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (EACHTO) attended the ceremony to familiarise the pilgrims with the history of the region, the castle and its historical structure. They explained the phases of renovation carried out on the castle over the past few years.

 

 

Related articles:

Babak Khorrami - The Persian Hero

Babak & Khorramdinan Movement

 

 

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