Historic Chehel Khane cave

Ancient cave Chehel Khaneh

Chehel Khaneh cave is located in the village of Zirāh and near the town of Sa'dabād. The cave is a set of numerous rooms (dakhme) with a trapezoidal shaped entrance. They have been excavated in the mountain range overlooking the Shāpur river.
The interior parts of the rooms differ in size and this difference depends on the resistance of the mountain stone type to the natural events of erosion such as flood. These inside rooms are connected to each other and in each of them niches and canals have been created.
Some, with the passage of time and due to natural factors, have disappeared. nell 'Iwan in front of the rooms a place has been created to pass, to sit down and perhaps a place to defend oneself. Also to reach the lower part and get to the river water, you can see remains of false stairs made of stone and mud.

Above the third row of small rooms above another room there are traces of a type of carving ax that was used in the decoration of the granite stone. The placement of a four-sided stone inscription that was engraved on the facade of the outer portal of the cave is also evident.

Even individual columns have been placed between the spaces of the larger rooms, obtained from the same rock and a block of it, as decoration or to vary the environment.

Due to the presence of many rooms this cave became known as "Chehel khaneh"(Lett: forty houses); however one can also interpret the meaning of chellekhaneh as a place where ascetics and devotees lived. Currently, the number of intact rooms in this cave is 23.

According to research this complex in the past was one of the centers of the Buddhist religion but due to the fact that non-national religions such as Buddhism in Iran have not been followed, the probability that this theory is right is scarce; most likely this place was used as one of the centers of official and national religions in the Sassanid era or a place to place the bodies of followers of the Zoroastrian creed or as a "fortress of oblivion" (sort of political prison), as sanatorium, or place where the accused were kept.

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