Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gerdab Sangi

Gerdab Sangi (گرداب سنگی) is located in Takhti Square in Khorramabad, Lorestan and is made of stones and plaster. It dates back to the Sassanid era (224-651 CE) and is a circular whirlpool built for the purpose of accurate and optimal distribution of water. Encircling several springs, the edifice sits near the prehistoric Qomri Cave. The construction was once used for rationing and distributing potable and agricultural water among local population and farmers. Its surrounding cylindrical stone wall has a height of 10 meters and a diameter of 18 meters.  

There are a few different-sized outlets in the wall for controlling the flow of water into a canal on the west of the structure. While originally there were 7 of such outlets, however, today only one is functional. This outlet measures 160 x 90 centimeters and opens and closes like a drawer. The water flowing out of this outlet, after a path of approximately 12 kilometers, would eventually make its way to a valley called Baba Abbas. In the vicinity of this valley, and the location of the ancient city of Shapurkhast, the remnants of an old mill, which was run using water from the springs, can be observed.  

Since the 80’s, Gerdab Sangi, due to the lack of attention from the authorities, has been turned into a massive dump. The historical structure was littered with household wastes and construction debris by the locals. However, since 2006, after clearing the wastes from the site, and a basic facelift, it is now being turned into a sightseeing attraction. The adjacent lands also were purchased by ICHTO.  

Another problem Gerdab Sangi has faced in recent years has been the harsh and hot weather which has resulted in the occasional drying of the pool. Some may argue that part of the reason for the drying of Gerdab Sangi is the construction of 22 Bahman Square and the creation of artificial wells in its vicinity. Without proper examination of the impacts they would have on the area and Gerdab Sangi in particular. As a result, the underground texture formed over thousands of years and responsible for providing Gerdab Sangi with sufficient water was destroyed.  

Gerdab Sangi was registered on the National Heritage List in 1976. 


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