Strait of Chugān

Strait of Chugan

The historic Strait of Chugan is located near the city of Kazerun (Fārs region) and opposite the ancient city of Bishāpur and the Shāpur river runs through it. The strait, which was once the site of the traditional game of the pole of the Sasanian kings, preserves an incomparable treasure among the stone-carved works of the Sasanian period as six bas-reliefs relating to Shāpur I and Bahrām I and II and a large statue of Shāpur in the homonymous cave.

The first bas-relief that is the largest and most full of characters, portrays the celebration of the victory of Shāpur I on the Roman emperor. Here the king is depicted in the center of the relief and in the saddle of a horse. The corpse of Gordian lies under the hooves of the animal and Valerian's hands are in Shāpur's hand as a sign of defeat.

Philip is also kneeling in front of the horse of Shāpur and asks for peace. Persian officers and soldiers are arranged in five rows on horseback behind the Sassanid king and even the Roman guards and dignitaries are seen lined up in five rows in front of Shāpur in the act of bringing him gifts. In this bas-relief there are 115 sculptures and from this point of view it is the most crowded among the Persian bas-reliefs.

The second bas-relief relates to the victory of Bahram II on the Arabs of the desert. Here Bahram on his horse is on the left and the Arabs are seen in front of him in the act of being led by Persian generals with the intention of offering horses and camels.

The third bas-relief which is considered the most complete and the most beautiful of the reliefs of the Sassanid period, portrays the ceremony of the reception of the royal ring by Ahuramazda to Bahrām I.
The fourth depicts the scene of the triumph of Bahrām II (Shāpur II-Zavālāketaf) on the rebels.

In this relief the king is portrayed in the center seated on the throne and in front while on his right the Persian soldiers and commanders are standing in a sign of respect and the prisoners and rebels on the left are led by the Sassanid guards in the presence of the king.

The fifth bas-relief, which is located on the right of the strait and is the best preserved among the six, is dedicated to the triumph of Shāpur on the Roman Empire. The sixth which unfortunately over the course of time has suffered the most serious damage and the upper parts have almost completely disappeared, depicts the reception ceremony of the royal diadem from Ahuramazda to Shāpur I and also his victory in the war against the Romans.

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