Water is believed to be holy and respectable in Persian culture. The name "Chak-Chak" or "Chak-Chaku" is derived from the sound of dropping water heard from a rocky mountain.
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. Just like Kaaba for the Muslims, Chak Chak Shrine in Yazd is the holiest shrine for Zoroastrians in the world. Chak-Chak (called also Pir Sabz by some people) is located forty kilometers away from Ardakan City inside a mountain and every year on June 14th hosts Zoroastrians who join to chant and worship together. Non-Zoroastrians are not allowed to attend the ceremony on this special day.
According to the Zoroastrians' beliefs, at the time of Muslims' attack to Persia that resulted in the fall of Sasanian Empire and its last king Yazdgerd III, Nik Banoo (daughter of Yazdgerd III and the princess of Persia) escaped from the Arab invaders and went to Ardakan, but the invaders chased and found her. Running from them she arrived at this mountain and she sighed to it: "Hug me like a kind mother and save me from my enemies." A gap in the mountain appeared and the princess disappeared there for good. The troops got surprised and stunned and moved away from the region. After a while, from the top of this arid dried mountain, droplets of water started to pour on the ground and since then this place has been recognized as the Zoroastrians' shrine. The princess's maid, who was called Gohar Banoo (The Pearl), is buried nearby in a place where is famous as Pir Harisht.
The inside atmosphere of this shrine is like a bright cave and looks very mysterious because of a bulky tree whose roots are deep in the rocks. There are special twelve-petal lotus-shaped dishes in Chak-Chak where the holy incense is burnet. Lotus is the symbol of peace, purity, and self-esteem. Chak-Chak is not a fire temple. It's a shrine.
- 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.
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