Zurkhuneh is one of the oldest sports of the world that was acceded to other countries with Iranian names, sign, formalities, customs, language and characters. The traditional Iranian gym is named Zurkhaneh or the House of Strength which resembles to Roman Mithras temples in Roman Empire (4th-century B.C) in the past and gymnasium now where Varzeshe-Pahlavai or Persian wrestling is performed.
The building of Zurkhaneh has the circled pit or gawd in a centre to exercise championships with several sections. The ground of Zurkhaneh is covered by cement or wood panels. The main section is specialized to audience in addition to the small section is for changing championships clothes. The two other parts are Morshed’s seat, his Zarb and preparing hot drinks for exercising championships. Morshed is a leader of Zurkhaneh who rings the bell, plays drum and sing rhythmic poems of Molana, as well as, couples of poetries to appreciate the first Shia's Imam in particular, Imam Ali, his brevity in body and the soul. The instruments in Zurkhaneh are Kabadeh-bow, Mil and Seng-stony shield which are representing the battle field armaments.
Despite of the uniform of champions of Zurkhaneh in ancient time, their uniform consists of Sharvare Bastani or a knee-breeches pantaloons that is typical clothing for the Varzeshe Pahlavani. This clothing is made of either leader or of heavy embroidered cloth decorated with elaborate designs and scenes. Furthermore, Kamarband or belt is a large and heavy leader belt made especially for Shalvare Bastani. This belt provides a more dependable grip for wrestling specific to Varzeshe Pahlavani. It is customary that athletes kiss the pants both at the beginning when they are putting them on, and at the end of the event when they are to take them off.
Zurkhaneh’s Instruments and Activities
1-Sang and Sang Giri (Stone Lifting)
Sang is a symbol of shield in Zurkhaneh. It comprises two rectangular wooden pieces which is semi-circled at the middle hand holds is cut which are used in Sang Giri that is one of the most difficult activities in Zurkhaneh, Press Board and Hand Press.
2- Mill, Mill Varzi or Mill Bazi (Juggling)
Mill is an instrument shaped like mass with wooden and conical with a handle at the top. They usually weigh 10-30 Kilograms which are used in Mill Bazi or Juggling activities and Charkh or Turn and Twist. Heavier Mils in Zurkhaneh denote more powerful sportsmen which bring credit.
3- Kabbadeh or Kabbadeh Gereftan (Workout)
Kabbadeh is a bow made of iron with metal rings and coin-like pieces hanging on its body with different weights which are used in Kabbadeh workouts.
4- Takhteh Shena
Takhteh Shena is a plank which stands on two short lateral pedestals, each about 5cm. high and shoulder-width apart. The Takhteh Shena is used for the different types of push up the exercises of Varzeshe Pahlavani in particular.
Zurkhaneh is located in almost all cities of Iran. Derak Travel provides enjoyable itineraries for your trip which give you an opportunity to visit Zurkhaneh (The House of Strength) in Shiraz or Yazd. Saheb al-Zaman Zurkhaneh in Yazd is one of the most ancient and interesting Zurkhaneh in Iran which is located in an ancient water reservoir.