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Kurdish: Laliş
Conical roofs characteristic of Yazidi sites mark the tomb of Şêx Adî in Lalish
Conical roofs characteristic of Yazidi sites mark the tomb of Şêx Adî in Lalish
Coordinates: 36°46′17.03″N 43°18′12.04″E / 36.7713972°N 43.3033444°E / 36.7713972; 43.3033444Coordinates: 36°46′17.03″N 43°18′12.04″E / 36.7713972°N 43.3033444°E / 36.7713972; 43.3033444
Country Iraq
Governorate Nineveh
District Shekhan
Founded circa 2000 BCE

Lalish (Kurdish: Laliş‎, also called Lalişa Nûranî), is a small mountain valley village situated in the Shekhan District of Nineveh Province in northern Iraq. It is the only and main temple of Kurdish Yezidis in the world. The temple belongs to ancient times where many archaeologists and historians agree upon the fact that the temple used to be related to Summerian and other ancient Mesopotamian civilisations. Later it became the location where Sheikh Adi bin Musafir's tomb, who is one the major figures of the Yazidi faith.[1] The village is above the town of Shekhan, the town with the second largest population of Yazidi Kurds prior to the persecution of Yazidis by ISIL.[2] The village is about thirty-six miles north-east of Mosul.[3]

At least once in their lifetime, Yazidis are expected to make a six-day pilgrimage to Lalish to visit the tomb of Şêx Adî and other sacred places.[1] These other sacred places are shrines dedicated to other holy beings. There are two sacred springs called Zamzam, which is in a cave below Skeikh Adi's sanctuary, and Kāniyā. Lalish is also the location of pirrā selāt (Ṣerāṭ Bridge) and a mountain called Mt. ʿArafāt sites significant in other faiths. Yazidis living in the region are also expected to make a yearly pilgrimage to attend the autumn seven day Feast of the Assembly,[3] which is celebrated from 23 Aylūl to 1 Tašrīn I.


Lalish village dates back about 4000 years.[4]

In the early 12th century, Adi ibn Mosāfer moved to Lalish. Adi died in 1162 and was buried. During a major battle against the Muslims in 1414, the tomb of Adi was razed.[3]

Beginning on August 10, 2014, Yazidi refugees have been fleeing to the village from Sinjar after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant placed that city under siege.[1][4] Many fleeing Sinjar traveled through Syria to reach Lalish and Shekhan.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Soguel, Dominique (August 12, 2014). "World Middle East A sanctuary for Iraqi Kurdish Yazidis – and a plea for Obama's intervention". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Iraq crisis: the last stand of the Yazidis against Islamic State". The Telegraph. August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Allison, Christine (July 20, 2004). "YAZIDIS i. GENERAL". Encyclopædia Iranica (online ed.). New York. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Spencer, Richard (August 13, 2014). "Iraq dispatch: terrified Yazidi people seek refuge inside holy temple". The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group Limited). Retrieved August 13, 2014.