Chak Chak Shrine

Chak Chak Shrine located on the side of a mountain near the city of Ardakan in Yazd Province, Central Iran. Local legend said that the ghost of a beautiful woman often seen at this site. The word 'Chak Chak' which means 'drop-drop' in Persian. The shrine has weathered the ravages of time because of the protection offered by the towering cliffs that shelter it from the sweltering heat of the dry, Iranian desert. The woman in life was Nikbanou, a Persian princess, who lived in the seventh century. During her life, the Arabians invaded her land on horseback to establish Islam in her homeland. Fearing for her safety, she fled to the mountain and was forced to stay there as the religion spread quickly. Here she lived until her death, where her corpse was left for the vultures.

The dead are not buried, for Zoroastrians believe the dead body will contaminate God’s pure earth, so the deceased are taken to two outcrops that are called the Towers of Silence. The dead are left here for the vultures to devour and for the bones to be bleached in the sun.

Chak Chak Shrine
At this site there is a holy spring and growing beside the source of the spring is an immense and ancient tree which legends says used to be Nikbanou's cane, and the waters of the spring are believed to be tears of grief shed by the mountain for Lady Nikbanou.

Goshtasb Belivani (a priest in Iran’s pre-Islamic religion) told the story of the young man, having left the body of his dead father and feeling ill, and, being completely overcome with grief and exhaustion from the trip, lay down and fell asleep. He woke up with a jolt and, regaining his awareness, saw a beautiful woman with long, dark hair and wearing a green gown standing just to his side. Her gaze brought him such calm that he found himself in tears and feeling totally at a peace, a place where, in his emotional body, he had never been before. She offered him a cool drink, and as he took the drink from her hand, she disappeared. After finishing the drink, he then fell into a deep sleep and didn’t awake until mid-morning. When he awoke, he was filled with joy and had an energy that he had not experienced since he was a child.

Over the rest of his lifetime, the man returned to the cliff where he saw the apparition to honor the lady who had given him new life and in hope of seeing her once again.

Word spread fast, and many people sick with disease or crippled went to find what quickly became a shrine to the “lady in green” and her curative powers. Tales of the many miraculous cures bestowed by the apparition brought the sick and the diseased from all over the world.

Encyclopedia of Haunted Places compiled and edited by Jeff Belanger;,_Iran;

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