Babak Fort – East Azerbaijan
Babak fort is located 6 kilometres southwest of “Kalibar” city in northwestern Iran in East Azerbaijan province. It is a beautifully located historical site in the forest of “Qara Daq”. Babak himself did not build the castle. Its emergence dates back to the Sassanid era (249-650 CE) and possibly even the Parthian period (227 BCE – 249 CE).
Who is Babak?
Babak fort has been accredited to “Babak Khorramdin”, the leader of “Khurranites” in Azerbaijan. This group were a nationalist force, rebelling against the Islamic caliphate of “Abbassids”.
Babak was born into a Persian family in Azerbaijan, near to the city of “Ardabil”. Due to the Zoroastrian custom, when his father passed away, Babak become the main person in charge of his family. Back then he settled in the city of “Tabriz” and was occupied with the raid of armies.
Babak’s Revolt and His Death
A wealthy individual with the name of Javidan Shahrak was once travelling to Zanjan and then was forced to stop due to the heavy snow storm. He knocked on the door of Babak and asked a warm shelter for the night. During his time there, he was so impressed by Babak that he decides to hire him. Javidan explained to Babak the principles of Khurramdin.
Around the year 816 CE, Babak started to round up followers inspired against the caliphate. The Babak movement was a cultural movement aiming to restore the Persian language and culture which were deteriorating during the Caliphate; however, this movement revolt from just a cultural movement into a paramilitary group. According to the historians, the Babak’s followers grew in size up to 30,000. His army mostly consisted of farmers who had been shy away from living and moulded into a force able to take on well-trained Arabs. Soon, the movement gained momentum and people from the west part of Iran, and the central cities including Isfahan joined Babak’s movement.
From 817 to 837, Babak’s force fought hard. Toward the end, Babak managed to escape and did not take the surrender offer. Babak went to Armenia, but the Armenian prince delivered him back in fear of punishment by the Abbasids.
The Abbasid Caliph brutally murdered him and the same fate awaited his allies.
The Pathway Climb to Babak Fort
The pathway leading toward the Babak fort includes a set of long, sometimes broken steps that take the climber to the top of the hill, that needs further climbing. Hence, this climb is not suitable for the elderly, frail, or even people with the height fear.
The easiest way to reach the Babak Fortis from the front side, by following the designated track road. Upon arriving at the peak of the hill, turn to the left side leading to the Babak Fort. The path on the left leads to a rocky mountainside prevailing the very first sign of ruins. However, the actual Fortis is still two peaks away!
At the first peak you will get a view of the Babak Fort, and as you move on to the second peak, you will notice the fort ruins on a ragged cliff. There are railing next to the fort steps to assist the dangerous climb. Once you arrived at the top of the cliff, you will start appreciating the magnitude of the fort. When reaching to the top of the hill at the Babak Fort, this is the time to realise the glory of this fort and Babak’s efforts to liberate his motherland.
If you are planning to travel to Tabriz, you can check out a list of available treatments in below.