Tower of Silence Yazd: From Rituals to Remembrance

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ToIranTour-Towers of Silence -Yazd-John Knox Seagle

Zoroastrian Tower of Silence

The Towers of Silence in historic Yazd are special places for Zoroastrians, who are a religious group. These towers are located about 15 kilometers southeast of Yazd, a city in Iran. They’re on a mountain called Dakhme Mountain, not too close to the city center. These towers are linked to the idea of death in Zoroastrianism.

Zoroastrians used to have a ceremony for dealing with dead bodies, and these towers were part of it. The ceremony isn’t done anymore, but it’s still remembered. The towers are round buildings on hills where Zoroastrians would place dead bodies. They believed in keeping the earth, water, and fire pure, so instead of burying or burning the bodies, they let scavenger birds like vultures eat them. This way, they thought the body could return to nature without dirtying the elements.

Nowadays, because of changes in cities and rules about health, Zoroastrians don’t use the towers like they used to. They often choose different ways to handle dead bodies, like burying or burning them. But the Towers of Silence are still important symbols of Zoroastrian history and beliefs. They show how Zoroastrians used to honor their dead in harmony with their religion.

Tower of Silence Yazd History

Towers of Silence in Yazd, Iran, also known as Dakhmeh-ye Zartoshtian or Borj-e Khamoosh are very important to Zoroastrian history. Tower of Silence Yazd history is for a long ago when Zoroastrians built these towers to put their dead loved ones in. Unlike regular graves, these towers were made for a different purpose, so they’re often called “silent towers.”

The Towers of Silence are in Yazd, a place very special to Zoroastrians. They’ve been around for a long time and are now protected as part of Iran’s history. Zoroastrians used to put their deceased family members in these towers, where birds would help nature take its course. This was their way of showing respect for the earth and keeping it clean. Even though people don’t use the towers for burials anymore, they still hold a lot of mystery and history. Exploring these ancient towers gives us a glimpse into the past and the beliefs of the Zoroastrian faith.

Tower of Silence Yazd Facts

Zoroastrian Cremation

In Zoroastrian tradition, death isn’t seen as an end but as a part of nature’s cycle. Once someone passes away, their body is considered empty, just a shell. Zoroastrians believe in giving it back to nature, where it came from, as soon as possible.

Zoroastrian cremation happens outdoors, where the sun and sky can watch over. The body lies there, bathed in sunlight, as it turns into ash. This process symbolizes the soul’s freedom from the body, like it’s being set free to fly up into the sky. It’s a way of showing respect for nature and believing in the circle of life.

Tower of Silence Yazd: Dakhmeh Meaning

Let’s uncover what “Dakhmeh” really means. Originating from Persian, it’s an old word that once referred to dirty places but now brings to mind spooky places. Some experts think it comes from an ancient Persian word meaning “to burn.” Scholars have different ideas about it, suggesting it could be an underground place for the dead, a crypt, or even burial grounds for Zoroastrians.

“Dakhmeh” is like a treasure chest of meanings, reflecting the changes in society over time. From being associated with dirt to representing the mysteries of the afterlife, it holds clues to our past. As we peel back its layers, “Dakhmeh” reveals the beliefs and traditions of earlier times. Understanding this word is key to unlocking the stories behind the Tower of Silence in Yazd.

Tower of Silence Yazd Architecture

Tower of Silence, or Dakhmeh structures, whether made by people or shaped by nature, serve a unique purpose: they’re open-air resting places for the departed. Unlike regular cemeteries, these towers aren’t found in busy cities but instead stand quietly in remote areas. They don’t even have roofs! Instead, they’re shaped like stone cylinders and placed strategically on hills or in desert spots, blending seamlessly with their surroundings.

These towers have a special role in Zoroastrian tradition. They’re designed to let nature take its course, with no roofs to keep scavengers away. Instead, they invite creatures of the wild to help in the natural process of decomposition. Among the many Tower of Silence sites, two are particularly famous: the Mankeji Hutria Dakhmeh, linked to Indian Zoroastrianism, and the Golestan Dakhmeh from the Qajar Dynasty. Each of these sites tells a story of faith and culture, standing as testaments to ancient traditions.

How to Get to the Tower of Silence Yazd

By Car

To reach the Tower of Silence, start by finding Isar Square in the southeast part of Yazd. From there, just follow the road that connects Isar Square to Emam Hadi Boulevard. Along the way, you’ll come across Zoroastrian’s Dakhmeh, a significant landmark that signals you’re on the right path.

By Bus

If you prefer taking the bus, head to Sarv bus station, which is the closest one to Zoroastrian’s Dakhmeh. From there, it’s best to hop into a taxi to complete the journey.

For a memorable visit to the Tower of Silence in Yazd, Iran, aim for the spring or autumn months. These periods, typically spanning from March to April and September to November, offer the most agreeable weather conditions. Spring unveils blooming landscapes, while autumn provides relief from the summer heat, ensuring optimal exploration of this cultural marvel.

Working Hours of Tower of Silence Yazd

The Tower of Silence in Yazd operates daily from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM. This timeframe allows visitors to explore the site’s historical significance and architectural beauty, experiencing the spiritual ambiance from dawn till dusk.

Where to Eat Near Tower of Silence Yazd

Retro Restaurant

If you’re hungry after exploring the Tower of Silence in Yazd, head over to Retro Restaurant for a delicious meal. Here, you’ll find a cozy spot with flavorful dishes to satisfy every craving.

Caesar Restaurant

For a taste sensation that combines Persian flavors with international flair, look no further than one of the other top Yazd restaurants, Caesar Restaurant. Treat yourself to expertly crafted dishes, from Iranian stews to gourmet pizzas, that promise to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Ariana Restaurant

Ariana Restaurant is the other place with a variety of hearty kebabs and other dishes near Tower of Silence. With every bite, experience a culinary adventure unlike any other ones.

Where to Stay Near Tower of Silence Yazd

Safaiyeh Hotel

Located near the Tower of Silence in Yazd, the Safaiyeh Hotel offers top-notch luxury. With its five-star rating, this hotel provides a lavish retreat in the heart of the city. It is one the best hotels in Yazd.

Yazd Arg-E-Jadid Hotel

Looking for a snug spot near the Tower of Silence? Check out the Yazd Arg-E-Jadid Hotel. This charming hotel offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Other Attractions Near Tower of Silence Yazd

ToIranTour - Amir Chakhmaq Complex
Photo by Tu Manling on Wikimedia

Amir Chakhmaq Complex

The Amir Chakhmaq Complex is a grand symbol of the city’s architectural prowess and history among other highlights of Yazd. Its impressive appearance, with its tall towers and decorative alcoves, catches the eye from afar. Wander through the bustling square nearby, where the spirit of Yazd is alive with activity. Whether you’re browsing through lively markets or listening to the prayers in ancient mosques, the Amir Chakhmaq Complex is full of things to see and experience.

Dowlat Abad Garden

Beyond the mysterious Tower of Silence lies a range of captivating sites in Yazd. Dowlat Abad Garden, a lush oasis in the midst of the dry desert, invites visitors with its greenery and beautiful Persian architecture. Walking along its peaceful paths, adorned with colorful flowers and bubbling water features, feels like stepping back in time to a place of royal luxury and calm.

Museum of Mirrors and Lighting

Explore Yazd’s history further at the Museum of Mirrors and Lighting, where you can see a fascinating collection of mirrors and lights. Admire the intricate designs of chandeliers and mirrors, each telling a story of skill and creativity. The museum’s exhibits give a peek into Yazd’s culture, offering a chance to learn and be amazed.

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

For those seeking spiritual insight, the Zoroastrian Fire Temple offers a peaceful escape in the heart of the city. Here, among the flickering flames and quiet prayers, visitors can learn about the ancient beliefs and rituals of Zoroastrianism. The eternal flame symbolizes centuries of tradition, inviting visitors to reflect and discover amidst Yazd’s timeless charm.

FAQs about Tower of Silence Yazd

Q1: What is the Tower of Silence in Iran?

A1: A “dakhma” (also called a Tower of Silence) is a round, elevated building made by Zoroastrians. They use it to let human bodies decompose naturally without burying them, to keep the soil and environment clean.

Q2: What is the Zoroastrian Tower of Silence in Yazd?

A2: The Tower of Silence was made with circular platforms raised up high. It was meant for a special job in the Zoroastrian belief about life after death. They thought it was important to keep the elements pure, and they saw dead bodies as impure because they had been in contact with death.

Q3: Do Parsis still use Tower of Silence?

A3: Because cities are growing quickly and people are worried about the environment, towers of silence are hardly used anymore. Only the Parsi community in western India still uses them.

Q4: Do towers of silence still exist?

A4: The towers are still important to the Parsi community and they treat them as sacred places. However, people who aren’t part of the community aren’t allowed to go inside.

Q5: What happened to Zoroastrians in Iran?

A5: During the Abbasid persecution and the Umayyad era, many Zoroastrians were forced to leave urban areas, leading to the near disappearance of Zoroastrianism from cities. Although a few followers stayed in places like Kerman and Yazd, most of the religion’s practice shifted to rural areas, where it was harder for the government to control.

Last Words: Discover Tower of Silence Yazd with a Customized Tour

The Towers of Silence are special places for Zoroastrians, a religious group. They’re near Yazd, a city in Iran. These towers are on Dakme Mountain, not too close to the city. They’re connected to death in Zoroastrianism. Even though the ceremony doesn’t happen anymore, people still remember it.

When planning your journey to Iran to explore the wonders of the Tower of Silence in Yazd, opting for a customized tour can greatly enhance your experience. At To Iran Tour, we understand that every traveler is unique, which is why we tailor our Iran Tours to suit your needs. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, experiencing local cuisine, or simply soaking in the rich culture of Iran, we’re here to help make it happen.

With our expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction, we’re committed to ensuring that you have an unforgettable experience exploring the Tower of Silence and all that Iran has to offer.

Explore the Rich History and Culture of Yazd

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