Yazd – Trip to Chak Chak

April 6, 2017

In my previous post I wrote about visiting the abandoned city of Kharanaq. As part of the same day trip, I also visited a Zoroastrianism mountain shrine known as Chak Chak.

Chak Chak

The road out to Chak Chak took me through some of the most delightful scenery I have seen so far in Iran. One road in particular stretched into the distance for what seemed like forever until it ran into the base of the mountains.

Chak Chak

As we moved down this road, the village of Chak Chak started to come into view out of our left window, halfway up the mountain side. The story goes that Nikbanou, second daughter of the last Persian ruler, Yazdegerd III of the Sassanid Empire, fled here under attack by an Arab army in 640 CE.

Chak Chak

It’s not hard to see why young Nikbanou might have chosen this spot. If setting up for a defence, Chak Chak would be a great location. From the village you have a fantastic view out over the only viable approach. You would also have a fantastic height advantage in which to defend from.

Chak Chak

The Sassanid Empire was the last imperial dynasty in Persia before the rise of Islam. Though religion was still very much a thing during this era of Persian history, however we are talking about Zoroastrianism rather than Islam. Zoroastrianism is a religion that was born in ancient Persia and was the state religion for Persian Empires from 600 BCE to 650 CE.

Chak Chak

Nikbanou, the young woman who fled to this area to escape an Arab army, prayed to Ahura Mazda, creator and only God in the Zoroastrian religion. Long story short, Chak Chak now serves as a pilgrimage point for pious Zoroastrians. Each year for 4 days in June, thousands of Zoroastrians from all over the world, flock to Chak Chak. 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.

Chak Chak

Chak Chak then, is not just a small village in the mountains, but a Zoroastrian fire temple and the most sacred of the mountain shrines of Zoroastrianism. Like the name suggests, at the centre of a the Chak Chak fire temple is a fire, or Atar.

Chak Chak

A picture of who I assume is supposed to be Ahura Mazda (edit: turns out it’s not, it’s actually Zoroaster!) hangs against an interior wall of the temple against the stunning backdrop of the mountains.

Chak Chak

Freshly armed with a bunch of new knowledge about Zoroastrianism, myself and my travel companion Ellen took a few more photos at that very straight and picturesque road we came in on. I don’t mind a good jumping photo!

Chak Chak

Chak Chak

And one more photo to finish up. I love the character of these mountains. So much intricate detail and texture. Next up will be my last post detailing my time in Yazd before I then write a few more stories about Kashan. A place I returned to on my way back to Tehran.


  1. Comment by Sina

    Sina Reply April 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I’m from Iran and I’ve never been in Yazd province. I hope once when I’m getting back Iran, I would have enough time to visit there. By the way, photos are very nice, specially last one. Have more fun in Iran and don’t forget about foods.

    • Comment by Hayden

      Hayden Reply April 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Sina. Which part of Iran are you from? Are you travelling outside of Iran now?

  2. Comment by Pat Albrey

    Pat Albrey Reply April 8, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    That looks like volcanic Rock. Great photos.

    • Comment by Hayden

      Hayden Reply April 8, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      I agree Nan they do. But as far as I am away they are not volcanic. I will do some research to find out though!

  3. Comment by Shadi Vasef

    Shadi Vasef Reply April 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    hi,I’m from Iran & live in Rasht, a city in north of Iran.We’ve been to Yaza,Meibod and ChakChak , it was 5 or 6 years ago…good memory.hope you enjoy traveling in Iran..You’ve chosen the best month for your journey..everywhere during this month in Iran is amazing…If you have a plan to come to north , let me know…Rasht has been chosen as a creative city in gastronomy…so, if you are foody , don’t miss it.

  4. Comment by Charles Hiort

    Charles Hiort Reply May 4, 2017 at 5:11 am

    I went to Chak Chak some 17 years ago but did not have a camera,so it’s good to see some of your photos to refresh my memory.

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