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    Chak Chak (Pir-e Sabz Shrine) , Yazd, Iran

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    Yazd - Chak Chak (Pir-e Sabz Shrine) , Yazd, Iran

    Overview:

    Chak Chak (Persianچك چك‎ – "Drip-Drip", also Romanized as Chek Chek; also known as Chāhak-e Ardakān and Pir-e Sabz (Persianپیر سبز‎) "The Green Pir") or Chak-Chaku is a village in Rabatat Rural DistrictKharanaq DistrictArdakan CountyYazd ProvinceIranIt is located amongst the mountains of Ardakan and Anjireh on the way to Tabas, about 46 kilometers from Yazd.

    At the 2006 census, its existence was noted, but its population was not reported.

     

     

    The village consists of a pir perched beneath a towering cliff face in the desert of central Iran. It is the most sacred of the mountain shrines of Zoroastrianism. Located near the city of Ardakan in Yazd Province, Chak Chak serves as a pilgrimage point for pious Zoroastrians. Each year from June 14–18 many thousands of Zoroastrians from IranIndia and other countries flock to the fire temple at Pir-e Sabz. Tradition has it that pilgrims are to stop riding the moment they catch sight of the temple and complete the last leg of their journey on foot. Non-Zoroastrians are not allowed to attend the ceremony on this special day.

     

     

    Once there they light candles in line with the Zoroastrian belief that fire symbolises God's light and under the credo of "good thoughts, good speech, good deeds". Large groups of pilgrims stay in residences built by the local Zoroastrians of the village of Sharif Abad.

    Mehregan Festival (Persian Festival of Autumn) is held in this shrine every year and many Zoroastrians gather in that place.

    Chak Chak temple is revered for its spiritual values in the hearts of the followers of the ancient Iranian religion. The fact that caves and cracks within the rocky slopes of the mountains had long been a refuge for spiritual people to sit in, in absolute isolation and meditate should come as no surprise.

     

     

    In Zoroastrian belief, Chak Chak is where Nikbanou, second daughter of the last pre-Islamic Persian ruler, Yazdegerd III of the Sassanid Empire, was cornered by the invading Arab army in 640 CE. Fearing capture Nikbanou prayed to Ahura Mazda to protect her from her enemies. In response to Nikbanou's pleadings, the mountain miraculously opened up and sheltered her from the invaders.

    Notable features of Chak Chak include the ever-dripping spring located at the mountain. Legend has it that these drops are tears of grief that the mountain sheds in remembrance of Nikbanou. Growing beside the holy spring is an immense and ancient tree said to be Nikbanou's cane. Legend also has it that a petrified colorful cloth from Nikbanou was also visible in the rocks, although pilgrims have since removed it. The princess's maid, who was called Gohar Banoo (The Pearl), is buried nearby in a place where is famous as Pir Harisht.

     

     

    The actual temple of Chak Chak is a man-made grotto sheltered by two large bronze doors. The entrance of the temple is reached through a two-planked doorway over which stands an embossed image of two Achamenian soldiers. The shrine enclosure is floored with marble and its walls are darkened by fires kept eternally burning in the sanctuary. In the cliffs below the shrine are several roofed pavilions constructed to accommodate pilgrims.

     

     

    The Temple cut into the cliff-side at the top has a wonderful brass door that is embossed with the likeness of Zoroaster. The temple has an altar in which there are three oil-burning lights with a container of oil right beside them. In front of the altar, there is a set of trays combined in such a way as to look like a lotus flower from above and serves as a place to receive donations from pilgrims. The holy incense is burnet in the special twelve-petal lotus-shaped dishes. Lotus is the symbol of peace, purity, and self-esteem.

     

     

    There are also some window-like open spaces or holes within the cave over which huge branches of the nearby tree extends inside the temple and a small water fall that keeps the stage of the alter wet (upon which no one is allowed to step).

    There is a well with the depth of more than 50 meters in one of the rooms.

    Pir-e Sabz Shrine has facilities such as electricity, drinking water and several rooms that are built for resting. These rooms are called “Kheileh”.

    What to Do:

    Mehregan Festival (Persian Festival of Autumn) is held in this shrine every year and many Zoroastrians gather in that place.

    Where to Stay:

    Pir-e Sabz Shrine has facilities such as electricity, drinking water and several rooms that are built for resting.

    Large groups of pilgrims stay in residences built by the local Zoroastrians of the village of Sharif Abad.

    What/Where to Eat:

    Notes & Recommendations:

     If you are about to visit this holy place in the deserts of Iran, you have to drive out of Ardakan city in Yazd Province, and take the main road heading east. Drive towards the mountain and there among the rocks you’ll find one of the most important shrines of Zoroastrians called Chak-Chak.

    Each year from June 14–18 many thousands of Zoroastrians from IranIndia and other countries flock to the fire temple at Pir-e Sabz. 

    Mehregan Festival (Persian Festival of Autumn) is held in this shrine every year and many Zoroastrians gather in that place.

    Tips About Visiting Chak Chak Zoroastrian Shrine in Yazd:

    - There is no supermarket, convenient store, or gas station for about forty kilometers from Ardakan City to Chak-Chak. It's hot there. We recommend you to take some bottles of water with you.

     - The path to Chak-Chak shrine has some steps and unfortunately there's no especial path or services (such as wheelchair) for the elderly or the babies. It's somehow impossible for these people to go up the steps.

     - There are no restaurants there. Take something to eat.

     - Suitable bathrooms can be found in Chak-Chak, but there's no common (western-style) toilet there. 

    - Wear comfortable shoes because you need to walk to the shrine from the base of the mountain. High-heel shoes are not suitable at all for walking to this place.

     - The path and steps to the shrine are on a steep slope and there is no railing. Make sure you take good care of your children.

     - It is possible to spend your night in Chak-Chak but there are basic accommodation provisions (a terrace with a ceiling.)

     - There is a two-way road to Chak-Chak from Ardakan but in the last few kilometers it’s quite dark (there are no lights). We recommend you not to drive to Chak-Chak during the night.

     - You are visiting a Zoroastrian shrine and you are a guest there. Please do not discuss or argue about religious issues with the Zoroastrians in that region.

     - Please take your shoes off before entering the shrine.

    Pir-e Sabz Shrine has facilities such as electricity, drinking water and several rooms that are built for resting. Large groups of pilgrims stay in residences built by the local Zoroastrians of the village of Sharif Abad. In the cliffs below the shrine are several roofed pavilions constructed to accommodate pilgrims.

     


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    Patrimonito

    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.