Anahita Temple of Kangavar is Iran’s biggest stone structure after Persepolis and is located in Kangavar city, Kermanshah province.
Ancient Persians believed that Anahita, the Goddess of Water, was the guardian angel of springs and water and a symbol of fertility, friendship, and love, so they built this temple to honour and respect her.
This structure was used as a fire temple but after the advent of Islam in Iran, it changed a lot so there are some obscurities about its function, history, and architecture. The temple’s building has been divided into three periods of Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid, although some believe that this monument was an unfinished palace of Khosrow Parviz, a king in the late Sassanid Empire.
The monument is located on a hill, about 32 meters higher than the ground adjacent to it, overlooking the beautiful Plains of Kangavar. With a foursquare plan, stone, plaster, and lime were used in its construction. Also, the walls’ façade and columns are decorated with carved designs. This monument has a two-sided stairway on its southern front and a one-sided stairway in its northeastern corner.
The stone columns of Anahita temple are thicker in comparison with columns found in other ancient monuments of Iran. Stone ditches adjusted the river water and magnificently, directed it to the pond in the center of the temple. This type of water stream in the temple is one of the engineering wonders of that time, displaying this sacred element as beautifully as possible.