Shapur cave

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Coordinates: 29°48′12″N 51°36′41″E / 29.80333°N 51.61139°E / 29.80333; 51.61139

Statue of Shapur I in the cave

Shapur cave/ Shapour cave (Persian: غار شاپور‎‎) is located in the Zagros Mountains, in southern Iran, about 6 km from the ancient city of Bishapur. This cave is near Kazerun in Chogan valley, which was the site of polo (Persian čōgān چُوگان), in the Sasanian period.

In the cave, on the fourth of five terraces, stands the colossal statue of Shapur I, the second ruler of the Sasanid Empire. The statue was carved from one stalagmite. The height of statue is 7 m. and its shoulders are 2 m. wide, and its hands are 3 m. long.

About 1400 years ago, after the invasion of Iran by Arabs and collapse of the Sasanid dynasty, this grand statue was pulled down and a part of one of its legs was broken. About 70 years ago, again, parts of his arms were also broken. The statue had been lying on the ground for about 14 centuries until 1957 when upon orders of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi a group of his military men to raise it again on its feet and fix his foot with iron and cement. The project of raising the statue, building the roads from Bishapur to the area and paths in the mountain, stairs and iron fences on the route to the cave took six months in 1957.

The length of cave entrance is about 16 m., with a height of less than 8 m.Behind the statue, in the depth of the cave, are three ancient water-basins. At both sides of the statue, the rock-walls of the cave were prepared for reliefs by leveling, but the reliefs were never made. It is said that in addition to this giant statue of Shapur I, the tomb of this great man is also situated somewhere in this cave. Another legend— according to the local belief—indicates that Shapur, being defeated in a battle, ran into this cave and was lost ever since and his body/remains have never been recovered.

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