Tang-e Chogan (Kazerun, Fars, Iran)
Newspapers have come in multiple forms, including paper and digital. Yet another form that you might not be familiar with is the ROCK form. Yes, you heard it right! The Sassanid ancient Persian dynasty (224 to 651 AD), like their ancestors, carved their honors and victories on the face of a towering rock in Tang-e Chogan gorge, a UNESCO heritage site, located about 145 km west of Shiraz. Interested in the content of the newspaper? Join me for a Diary Tour.
- 1 Why visit Tang-e Chogan
- 2 What Is In the Name “Tang-e Chogan”?
- 3 Motives for the Motifs
- 4 Tang-e Chogan Unique Rock Reliefs
- 5 The relief I: Celebration of Shapur I’s Victory over the Roman Empire
- 6 Relief II: Victory of King Bahram II over Arabs
- 7 Relief III: Investiture of King Bahram I
- 8 Relief IV: Victory of King Shapur II Over the Rebels
- 9 Relief V: Shapur’s Victory Over the Roman Empire
- 10 Relief VI: Shapur I’s Investiture and Victory Over The Roman Empire
- 11 Boy’s Castle
- 12 Shapur Cave
- 13 More about Tange Chogan
- 14 Like to visit Tang-e Chogan?
- 15 Tang-e Chogan Tours
- 16 Tang-e Chowgan on Map
Why visit Tang-e Chogan
- Tang-e Chogan is a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Glamorous reliefs exhibit victory scenes of Sassanid kings.
- It features diaries of the ancient Sassanid Kings.
- The towering Tange Chogan gorge mountains are stunning.
- The panoramic view of the fertile Tange Chogan gorge is amazing.
- The emerald water of the Shapur river, running along the bottom of the gorge, is truly refreshing.
What Is In the Name “Tang-e Chogan”?
The picturesque landscape of Tang-e Chogan with its amazing view yielded a great spot for polo games, the popular ancient Iranian sport. Back then, the Sassanid kings enjoyed and played polo games on horseback on the green fields of the gorge. The word Chogan in Persian means polo. Additionally, the word Tange means gorge. Case solved! Tang-e Chogan refers to a gorge, where people played Chogan.
Motives for the Motifs
The Sassanid kings were proud of their achievements and wished to show off their splendor. They engraved their glorious victories over their Roman and Arab rivals. To prove their divine power, the Sassanid kings also carved their splendid investiture scenes on the face of the mountains in the gorge. Tang-e Chogan reliefs were inscribed in the list of Iran’s national heritage in 1931. Fortunately, they are shining internationally on the UNESCO heritage sites list. Thus, our Sassanid ancestors must be proud of their universal fame in the 21st century.
Tang-e Chogan Unique Rock Reliefs
The Sassanid kings put their grandeur on display in multiple places in Iran. Above all, the Tange Chogan reliefs were unique in that they were larger and more crowded compared to the other surviving Sassanid reliefs. In fact, out of six reliefs arranged orderly on both sides of the Shapur river, three measure over 30 square meters in size with over thirty people carved on them.
The relief I: Celebration of Shapur I’s Victory over the Roman Empire
The first relief you encounter on the left side of the Shapur river depicts the triumph celebration scene of King Shapur I, held for his victory over the Roman Empire. Actually, this carving is the largest and the most crowded relief carved in the Tange Chogan gorge. In this scene, Shapur I is sitting on horseback while Emperor Philip the Arab is kneeling before him, asking for mercy and Gordian III is dead at the feet of Shapur’s horse. Furthermore, a standing man, seized by the hand by Shapur, is the Roman Emperor Valerian, who was taken captive by Shapur in 260 AD. Moreover, The Persian army and veterans are standing behind the king in five rows. On the other hand, the Roman officials are standing in front of the king, carrying their offerings and gifts. You can see total of 115 figures on the relief, which is extraordinary.
Relief II: Victory of King Bahram II over Arabs
The second relief in Tang-e Chogan features the victory of King Bahram II over the Arabs. On the left of the relief you can see King Bahram II, sitting on horseback. The Arabs, on the other hand, are following a Persian officer to offer camels and horses to the Persian king.
Relief III: Investiture of King Bahram I
The third relief in Tang-e Chogan features the investiture scene of king Bahram I. In this well preserved relief, Ahuramazda, the great Zoroastrian God, is granting the Ring of Power to the Sassanid king. Thus, through the investiture ceremony, the god recognized the king’s authority.
Relief IV: Victory of King Shapur II Over the Rebels
Behold the king Shapur II as he is sitting gloriously on his throne in the center of the fourth motif in Tang-e Chogan… The Persian commanders and soldiers are standing on the right side. Moreover, the rebels are carved on the left side of the king.
Relief V: Shapur’s Victory Over the Roman Empire
The most intact relief, which is engraved on the opposite side of the river, depicts Shapur’s victory over the Roman empire.
Relief VI: Shapur I’s Investiture and Victory Over The Roman Empire
Contrary to its neighboring carving, this relief is not in good condition. This carving depicts the combination of two glorious scenes of Shapur I’s investiture and victory over the Roman empire.
The ruins of a Castle sit in dignity on the top of the northeastern hill. The castle must have been responsible for monitoring and protecting the city.
Craving for a hike? Although climbing up the mountain to the Shapur cave is not a very easy task, it is absolutely worth it. I really recommend it! As you reach the mountain after a one-hour hike, a colossal seven-meter-high statue of King Shapur I welcomes you with his glory. I believe this is going to be a memorable experience for you.
More about Tange Chogan
The Best Time to visit
All year round. However, I suggest early spring.
Attractions Near Tang-e Chogan
In addition to another historical attraction, that is, the Ancient City of Bishapur, you will have the option to enjoy the fascinating nature near Tang-e Chogan. Parishan Lake, Davan Village, Daffodil fields as well as Kalani Cypress are some examples.
Where to Eat Near Tang-e Chogan
Toranj Restaurant and Takeaway
Boof Restaurant and Takeaway
Soor Restaurant and Fastfood
Soorena Restaurant and Takeaway