Mountains & Civilization
Mountains with their unique charachteristics have always played an important role in formation of different cultures and civilizations. They are among the best examples of habitat effect on human's life style, traits and even beliefs.
Maybe that is the reason which makes them the cradle of many religions mostly the Abrahamic ones.
Mountains in Iran
One of the places in the world that you can easily find the role of muntains in history is sure Iran. This land with its thousands of mountain communities, villages, tribes, cemeteries, castles etc beside the natural attractions is not only a heaven for climbers, mountaineers and hikers but also for people who look for something different in the nature. A combination of history, myth, and even art with mother nature maybe!
Among many places to visit if you are looking for something more than hiking there is a place which to my opinion is unique.
Khaled-e-Nabi (Khaled the messenger), is the name of a holy shrine on top of mount Gugjeh-Daagh. As the history(or story) says, it's the tomb of a prophet. Since this is not our subject I won't explain any more. The fact is there is something pretty amazing just about 20 minutes of hiking away from this tomb.
To get to the place called Khaled-e-Nabi cemetery by people, you should go to Golestan province and then to the small town of Kalaleh. from there there is 55 more kilometers to go. 25km of the way is dirt road but it is really worth getting through. When you get there it is possible to visit the two holy shrines very fast and then spend hours hiking in the area, not only with hundreds of special statues but also with a great landscape.
While going there you will pass villages of Tamran area and Gachisubel as the last village. Also you should be blind not to feel that you must stop the car and take pictures few times on the road!
What are these?
These stone structures have their own stories and mysteries! Some references say they are the tombstones of men and women in the islamic period. I am not sure if this is the true story. I think maybe this was made to prevent people from destroying it.
There are also legends that people of the area say about them. according to some of these legends these are the people who have done sins and god made them stones like this. Well if I could, I would really ask god what would be the reason to choose such shapes for the stones?! Such a rough punishment.
Another legend is that these were the enemies of Khaled the prophet so...
I am not in the position to say what is the real story but in my opinion the most logical story is the one by some references that says these structures belong to a long time ago (about 4000 years)to a period that people of the area experienced fetishism era. If you like to read more about fetishism there are sources found easily on the web. The term means a lot more then what it is used for today. Actually it has been revelated from the whole idea. When you give attention to something a lot more than normal.
There are very few places a little like this in Iran but their story seems to be totally different. They really are Islamic cemeteries that some people try to introduce them as identical to this place just because they have vertical tomb stones.
Also there are few places in India, China and Tibet that I am aware of with relation to fetishism. But I don't think any of them would be so great ike this one. an area deep in the mountains, with lots of natural attractions and hundreds of sculptures widely distributed in a very big area.
But unfortunately the area is left to be destroyed. Sheperds use it to feed their sheeps and many of the stones have been broken by people to be taken away and be sold.
Some of the stones represent men( probably you can guess) and some women. But the complication is in the tiny differences between them. not only the heights are different from 50cm to 4 meters but also you can find different details on them. To be short, when you are there, standing in the middle of these old pieces of art places deep in the mountains, you feel you are somewhere out of this planet. Somewhere in the land of illusion!