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Title: Kangavar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kermanshah Province, Temple of Anahita, Kangavar, Central District (Kangavar County), List of highways in Iran, Kermanshah
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Kangavar is located in Iran
Country  Iran
Province Kermanshah
County Kangavar
Bakhsh Central
Population (2012)
 • Total 72,510
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)

Kangavar (Persian: كنگاور‎‎; also Romanized as Kangāvar)[1] is a city in and the capital of Kangavar County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 48,901, in 12,220 families.[2]

Kangavar is located in the easternmost part of Kermanshah Province, on the modern road from Hamadan to Kermanshah, identical with a trace of the Silk Road, located at the distance of about 75 km from Hamadan and 96 km from Kermanshah.[3]

Its name may be derived from the Avestan Kanha-vara, 'enclosure of Kanha'.

Kangavar was mentioned by Isidore of Charax in the 1st century AD, by the name of "Konkobar" or "Concobar" (Greek: Κογκοβάρ) in the ancient province of Ecbatana (modern Hamedan).[4] In antiquity, the city was in Media, with a temple of Artemis (Isidor. Char. p. 7; Tab. Pent.; Geogr. Rav.)[5]

The district, which lies in the Kangavar river valley, is very fertile and contains 30 villages. Kangavar township is 47 miles from Hamadan on the high road to Kermanshah.

In the early 20th century, Kangāvar was held in fief by the family of a deceased court official, forming a separate government.

The columns of the remains of the "Anahita Temple".

Today, the town is best known for the archaeological remains of a mixed Sassanid and Achaemenid-style edifice.[6] During the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the ruins were misused as a source for building material for the expanding town.[7] Excavation first began in 1968, by which time the "large structure with its great columns set on a high stone platform"[8] had been associated with a comment by Isidore of Charax, that refers to a "temple of Artemis" (Parthian Stations 6) at "Concobar" in Lower Medea, on the overland trade route between the Levant and India. References to Artemis in Iran are generally interpreted to be references to Anahita, and thus Isidore's "temple of Artemis" came to be understood as a reference to a temple of Anahita.

Although a general plan of the complex has been compiled, it is still not sufficient to learn about the function and shape of the terrace and the buildings that stood there. Given the lack of archaeological evidence for a temple-like building, "it is questionable whether the [temple noted by Isodore] is identical with the ruins of Kangāvar. Isidorus described obviously another temple of the first century AD, somewhere in the region of Congobar (Kangāvar) or at the place of the later platform, which, according to the results of the excavation, seems to be built up in Sasanian times."[7]

Despite the archaeological findings, the association with the divinity of fertility, healing, and wisdom has made the site a popular tourist attraction.


  1. ^ Kangavar can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3069549" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  2. ^ "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)".  
  3. ^ Wolfram Kleiss, "Kangavar" in Encyclopaedia Iranica
  4. ^
  5. ^  
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Kleiss 2005.
  8. ^ Kawami 1987:326.
  • Kangavar Times Broadcast


  • Huff, D. (1987), "Architecture: Sasanian", Encyclopaedia Iranica 2, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 329–334 
  • Kawami, T. (1987), "Architecture: Seleucid", Encyclopaedia Iranica 2, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 326–327 
  • Keall, E. J. (1987), "Architecture: Parthian", Encyclopaedia Iranica 2, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 327–329 
  • Kleiss, Wolfram (2005), "Kangāvar", Encyclopaedia Iranica OT 7, Costa Mesa: Mazda 
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