Naghsh-e Rajab, Neighboring Persepolis
Majestic historic figures of the kings carved on bas-reliefs by the name of Naghsh-e Rajab, in Shiraz, is just located on the road between Persepolis and Naghsh-e Rostam. The latter ones are much more famous, however, visiting Naqsh-e Rajab is really worth the few minutes you will spend. Naghsh-e Rajab means “The carvings of Rajab”, and had been also called “Naghsh-e Qahraman” meaning “Carvings of Heroes”.
It is just 3 kilometers to the north of ruins of Persepolis and Naghsh-e Rostam lies 2.5 km away. The rock carvings of Naghsh-e Rajab are somehow hidden from the road by the hills and can easily escape the attentions. However, just a few meters from the road and the gate, the bas-reliefs are visible.
The bas-reliefs of Naghsh-e Rajab were made by the two first Sasanian kings, Ardeshir I (224-241) and Shapur I (241-272), one of the several locations used by Sassanid kings to portray the glories of the empire. There are lots of other rock reliefs in Iran, just to mention a few, 7 of which in Naqsh-e Rostam portraying coronations, war scenes and honors of Sassanid kings and an empty rock-cut relief similar to another one in Bisotun (Kermanshah) called as Farhad Tarash. Taq-e Bostan in Kermanshah is also a noteworthy one on the ancient Silk Road. You can also find more about Tang-e Chogan Gorge in Bishapur on out blog, which is home to six bas reliefs of Sassanid Kings.
What will you see?
Naqsh-e Rajab has 3+1 rock reliefs depicting coronations and victorious moments. Two of the carvings are the investiture inscriptions of Sassanid Kings including Ardeshir I (ruled in 226-241 CE) and Ardeshir’s successor, Shapur I (241-272 CE). The one on the northern face portrays Shapur and his courtiers standing behind him.The last one is attributed to “Kartir”, a high respected priest you can find his famous inscription also in Naqsh-e Rostam. Here the bas-relief was added later to the corner of the coronation of Ardeshir I, introducing himself and praying to angels.
In order to get to Naqsh-e Rajab you can hire a private car or a taxi from the city of Shiraz or outside of the entrance gate of Persepolis. A knowledgeable professional local driver/tour guide of Marcopolo can be the best choice to fully understand what you are seeing. Naghsh-e Rajab along with Naghsh-e Rostam and Persepolis are usually included in guided tours from Shiraz which is the best choice. Visiting Naghsh-e Rajab won’t take you more than half an hour and it is recommended to visit Naghsh-e Rajab betwen Naghsh-e Rostam and Persepolis.
With all the facts mentioned, it is totally recommended to visit Naqsh-e Rajab on your excursion day to Perspolis from Shiraz, however, if you plan to visit Persepolis on the way to Isfahan, Shiraz or Yazd, you can skip it and visit magnificent Naqsh-eRostam. So, while in Shiraz, you can also visit Pasargadae, Karim Khan Citadel, Vakil Complex and so many other attractions. Just Contact Marcopolo Iran Tours via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on tours including Naghsh-e Rajab or other historical attractions in Shiraz.