Zourkhaneh (Ancient Persian Gym) Tour
Discovering the ancient athletic center where all you see and hear connects you to the spirit of Iranian patriotism, heroism, culture and religion will give so much depth to your understanding of Persian culture. The ancient Iranian sport club, Zourkhaneh (house of strength), and its heroic rituals, Pahlavani (intangible UNESCO heritage as the longest-running form of heroic training), beautifully represent how Iranians have been integrating Islamic elements of Shi’ism, mysticism and Sufism into their pre-Islamic roots of Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Gnosticism. Join us for a few hours to discover the enchanting way Iranians have been training noble athletes and warriors by exercising, wrestling and whirling to the rhythm of Persian drum and the chants of myth, epic, legend and spirituality.
Pickups from Hotel at 8 pm
English speaking guide on board
- Pick-up and drop –off from Hotel
- Mini-bus transportation
- IncludedZourkhaneh (Ancient Persian Gym) Tour
History and Culture
You’ll get to know not just a sport but a whole culture born out of the Zoroastrian belief that physical and mental strength are keys to spiritual strength. Since the sport also has its roots deep in Shia Islam, Sufism, heroism, patriotism, morality, courtesy and Persian literature, a Zourkhaneh will be a perfect place to get introduced to these aspects of Persian culture.
The captivating collection of exercises and rituals you’ll witness, like the athletes humility to the sacred place by bending their heads on arrival, kissing the ground and asking Rokhsat (permission) from the Murshed (master), is quite a spectacle. Yet the fun part is when the Murshed rings the bell and starts singing and playing the drum, and the athletes get into the Gowd (the pit used as the training ground) and have a performance of coordinated movements accompanied by ancient equipment. The fascinating performance will climax with a traditional Iranian wrestling combat and end with a collective prayer.
Despite its simplicity, the music the Murshed plays will enchant you with the sense of heroism and mysticism that it conveys. The beat of the Zarb (Persian drum) physically stimulates the athletes and creates a trance-like state that is in harmony with its accompanying mystic poetry and sometimes Sufi-like whirling.
Become a Pahlavan
Charmed by the energetic performance, step down into the Gowd yourself to follow in the footsteps of Pahlevans. Challenging yourself into copying the movements you’ve been watching and touching or trying the heavy equipment will give you the laughter and joy that makes the experience sweetly memorable. The photos of you posing as a tough pahlevan carrying the cool equipment can’t miss to make your friends laugh.
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