Anahita Temple



Kangavar is a small town of great antiquity lying halfway between Hamedan and Kermanshah. In about 200 B.C., during the Seleucid Greek occupation of Kangavar, a major sanctuary was erected to the mother goddess Anahita who was worshipped in ancient Persia along with Ahoora Mazda and Mithras. This vast temple was built of enormous blocks of dressed stone with an imposing entrance of opposed staircases which may have been inspired by the Apadana at Persepolis

Anahita Temple in Kangavar City (Kermanshah Province) is one of the greatest stone buildings, from architectural perspective.

Anahita is the name of the goddess of the planet Venus, who seems to have been worshipped by the Medes and Persians before they adopted Zoroastrianism.

One of the early references to such temple is by Isidore of Charax who reports that in Parthian territory, Ecbatana, the greatest metropolis of Media, retained a temple of Anahita where sacrifices were regularly offered. At Concobar (Kangavar) in lower Media, a temple of "Artemis" built about 200 B.C., was standing when Isidore of Charax wrote, and some vestiges of this Greek-style edifice survive today.

Among very few carvings of Anahita, one can refer to a rock carving at Naqsh-e Rostam where the king Naresh (A.D. 290-303) is shown receiving investiture from the hands of Anahita, who wears a serrated crown and a sleeveless cloak.


The site is known as the Temple of Anahita, built by Achaemenian Emperor Ardeshir II

Kangavar was mentioned by the Greek geographer Isidore of Charax in the first century AD

This temple is built in honor of "Ardevisur Anahita," the female guardian angel of waters.

Architecture of this temple coincides with palaces and temples built during the Achaemenian period, 550 BC to 330 BC, in western Iran.

The Robber Castle is a very remarkable monument, and there is a platform some twenty cubits above the ground and on it there are vast portals, palaces, and pavilions, remarkable for their solidity and their beauty.

Shapes and carvings of the columns in temple are similar to those found in Persepolis and palace of Darius in Susa.

Ker Porter in 1818 found them to form the foundations of a single huge platform - a rectangular terrace three hundred yards square, crowned with a colonnade.

Professor Jackson in 1906 found one very well-preserved retaining wall at the NW corner of the enclosure, probably part of the foundation of a single building.

According to classic historians, the temple of Anahita at Ecbatana was a vast palace, four-fifths of a mile in circumference, built of cedar or cypress.

It was first plundered by Alexander in 335 BC, then further stripped during the reigns of Antigonus (BC 325-301) and Seleucus Nicator (BC 312-280).

But when Antiochus the Great arrived at the city in 210 BC, he found columns covered with gold and silver tiles piled up in the temple, along with gold and silver bricks.

& some other pictures from Anahita temple :