Tens of Babak Khorramdin fans, an Iranian national hero resisting Arab Caliphs, gathered in his awesome fort in Kelidar area, near Tabriz, on Friday to mark his symbolic birthday, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported on Monday.
His staunch followers, mostly Iranian nationalists, had camped in the mountainous castle since last Thursday, reading poetry including Shahnameh (Iran's most famous epic poetry book) and playing traditional music. They also lit up bonfires to follow traditional rituals of ancient Persia.
His historical fort, known as the Immortal or Republic Castle, is located 16 km southwest of Kelidar in East Azerbaijan Province and is 2,300 to 2,600 meters above the sea level. Khorramdin was one of the first Iranian to take arms against Arab rulers during their reign over Iran. The fort, surrounded by gorges as deep as 400 to 600 meters, is believed to belong to the Sassanid or Parthian eras. To reach the castle, one has to trek a tortuous and narrow passageway and then cross a corridor-shaped temple, 200 meters in lengths.
Khorramdin originally was known as Abdullah Babak. He and his followers promoted a purely Persian religion as an alternative to Islam. During a 20-year rebellion (816-837 AD) they killed many of the Abbasid Caliphate's (750-1258 AD) troops.
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