غارخورشید ، غار اسپهبد خورشید،کرکیل دژ،لاپ کمر،طاق عایشه گرگیلی
Khorshid Cave is located on roadside of
Firoozkooh road, in Doab vicinity of
Mazandaran. Measuring 75 x 25 x 15 meters; its arched entrance is one of the largest natural ones in the world. On the left side of the cave, a four-story-high castle was built; made of stones and mortar, it is the masterpiece of architecture of its time.
On the right side of the cave, numerous trenches and defensive buildings were built, all of which remained firm and intact after centuries.
These two parts were connected through a road made of stones and mortar. 2 meters wide, this road was built 50 meters above ground level. Today only traces of it remain. The remains of a cistern, several silos and numerous defensive monuments are located outside the cave.
Dating back to the end of the
Sassanid period (224–651 AD), it was regarded as a fortified garrison and a fortress of
Tabarestan later on. According to chronicles, this cave was used as a shelter by
Khorshid (Sun), the last ruler of Tabarestan, then surrounded by
Arab invaders for several months and seized after poisoning its drinking water supply. This cave is considered the last stronghold against Arab invasion.
In 761 AD,
Mehdi, son of Mansour
Abbasi sent gifts to
Sepahbod Khorshid in peace asking him for a safe passage for his army through Tabarestan. Until then, the area was impenetrable. The
Abbasid army broke the rules and captured
Amol. A group of civilians including Sepahbod Khorshid's wife Banu Neykala stood against the invading army for 3 months. Finally, the Caliph forces poisoned the source of their drinking water and last standing Iranians were killed.
Access to the cave requires some rock-climbing.