Lost in Sands of Time

Lost in Sands of TimeLost in Sands of Time

Located in Jazan village in Rigan County, southeastern Kerman Province, the tomb of Shah Khorshid is crumbling. Once a proud reminder of impeccable Iranian architecture, this 2,500-year-old nationally-recognized heritage site is about to be lost thanks to unremitting sandstorms and torrential rain, Mehr News Agency reported.

The tomb of Shah Khorshid is said to be the resting place of an unnamed daughter of Kai Bahman, son of Esfandyar, a Kayanaian king.

The extent of the damage to Shah Khorshid’s tomb is so bad that restorative efforts have only managed to stop further degradation. In other words, the structure has not been restored.

Along with Arg-e Bam – once the largest adobe building in the world – Shah Khorshid is of significant historical importance.


In 2013, Majid Etemadi, the erstwhile governor of Rigan, said that the government had allocated 200 million rials ($6000) to restore the structure in two phases. According to local officials, the second phase of the project is currently underway.

One has to wonder, however, if a 2,500-year-old structure can be restored with a meager $6,000 budget.

  Historical Significance

“The history of Rigan traces its roots back to the time when the Silk Road was commonly used,” Mohammad Iranmanesh, a historian, told Mehr News Agency. “Weary travelers used to make a stop at Rigan, making it an important trade hub in the olden days.”

Iranmanesh criticized the small restoration budget and asserted that with that kind of money it is impossible to conduct even damage assessment on the structure.

“It is wrong to call the project a restoration effort; it’s a preventative measure, aimed at curbing further damage to the structure.”

Shah Khorshid’s tomb has been a registered national heritage site for nearly 13 years, so it is a pity for such a structure to be gradually falling into disrepair.

  Relying on Tourism

Amin Bagheri, the governor of Rigan, believes the county’s myriad natural and historical attractions must be promoted to draw tourists.

“Rigan is home to some of the world’s tallest sand dunes, is replete with towering yardangs and qanats,” he said. “Shah Khorshid is the oldest of the province’s structures.”

The official continued: “Restoring the ancient building can help boost tourism in Kerman and, by extension, the economy.”

The perennial problem of drought in Kerman has put the province’s villagers under extreme pressure, and officials fear that people might be forced to leave their homes. For this reason, local officials are trying to capitalize on Kerman’s plethora of attractions to attract tourists and create jobs for the soon-to-be-displaced residents of the province.