Ganjnameh is one of the tourist attractions of Hamadan, a recreational, historical and natural destination that you should definitely not miss when traveling to Hamadan.   The inscriptions of Ganjnameh are inscriptions from the time of Darius and Xerxes of the Achaemenid inscriptions on the heart of a cliff on Mount Alvand, five kilometers west of Hamedan, at the bottom of the Abbas Abad Valley. These inscriptions are each written in three columns which have twenty-line columns in ancient Persian, Elamite, and New Babylonian languages. On the left side of both tablets, the ancient Persian text is 115 cm wide, the middle of them is Elamite, and on the right, the New Babylonian text.

Naming process

These inscriptions have had different names since ancient times. Until the sixth century AH, these inscriptions have had various names, including stone inscriptions, gods’ treasures, Dadmahan or Dadbahan, Tanbabar, Yenababar, Babanieh, Alvand inscriptions, and Ganjnameh. The two names “Jang Nameh” and “Ganj Nameh” have become popular in recent centuries. Regarding the reason for naming these inscriptions, it can be said that the Ganjnameh in Persian means anecdotes of the treasure, and the general public thought that these inscriptions reveal the secret of the hidden treasure. The name of the warrior appears to have been either influenced by the war of the past kings on these inscriptions or has been replaced by the word treasure in the popular language.

Geographical location

Ganjnameh ancient inscriptions are located southwest of Hamedan, five kilometers from the city. These inscriptions are located at the bottom of Abbas Abad Valley and at the beginning of Hamedan Road to Tuyserkan on one of the Alvand cliffs. This road is the same as the caravan route that existed in the Achaemenid era, with Darius and Xerxes crossing with their troops and companions. Since this route was one of the main branches of the royal road that connected the summer capital of the Achaemenids with Babylon, it was a safe and secure way to travel. For this reason, the Achaemenid kings have found this place a perfect place for engraving these inscriptions and reminding of the greatness of their ancestors and the dissemination of their beliefs and ideas.

Characteristics of the inscriptions

The position of this rock is such that it is located to the east. The recesses are rectangular in lengths of 9 m and 9 m wide, with a depth of 30 cm. On these two tablets are texted in three ancient Persian languages, Babylonian and Elamite. The Elamite text is engraved on the right side of both tablets and its width is the least. A little higher left is the name of Darius the Great and the lower right belongs to Xerxes. Each of these triplets is written in twenty rows, and their content is the same on both tablets. These are written in cuneiform. Around these two inscriptions, there are regular holes in the rocks, indicating that in the past there were metal doors and coverings to protect them from wind, rain, and sun.

Inscriptions’ Translation

The text of Darius’s inscription:

The great God is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, that created the sky, that created the people, that created the happiness for the people, who made Darius king, king of many, rule of many. Like Darius, the Great King, the King of Kings, the King of Lands of different races, the King of Long and Long Land, the noble son of the Achaemenid

The Text of Xerxes inscription

There is the great God Ahuramazda, who is the greatest of the gods, who created this earth, created the sky, created the people, creating happiness for the people, made King Xerxes, the only one among the many kings, the only ruler among the rulers. Countless. I am Xerxes, king of kings, king of nations, king of this vast faraway land, son of Darius king of Achaemenid.

Decrypt the scrolling text

Eugene Flandan, a French painter and archaeologist, and Pascal Couste studied and painted these inscriptions in 1841. After these two, the British Discoverer Sir Henry Rawlinson was able to decipher the ancient Persian cuneiform. As such, these inscriptions were given a key by the explorers to decrypt Darius’s inscription at Bistoon as well.

Ganjnameh Waterfall

Ganjnameh Waterfall 12 meters high on the way to Alvand Mountains, 5 km west of Hamedan, is next to Ganjnameh inscriptions. This waterfall has permanent water and flows in winter. This waterfall is located on the route to the mountains of Alvand near the historic city of Hamedan. The presence of icy candles in the cold seasons captures the beauty of this waterfall and attracts a large number of glaciers. This Achaemenid-era valley was the beginning of the Hegmataneh-Pool Road, known as the “King’s Road”, which led Hegmataneh through the Dark Maze, Gaduk (Valley), Upper Wardow, Shahrastan, Ashtar to Tuyserkan, Nahavand, Kermanshah, Lorestan, Takht e Jamshid and Fars. It has also been one of the links to Hamedan to the west and south of the country (and Mesopotamia) or Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). Darius I of Achaemenid ordered the present Ganjnameh to be completed after the completion of the work on the Bistoon stoneworks, since Hegmataneh was the summer capital of the Achaemenids and on the Shahi Road. After this, his son Khashayar Shah has also left a scroll to his right and a little below his father’s unmarked stone.

Behind this beautiful waterfall, there is a beautiful and pristine plain spread over the slopes of Mount Alvand known as Mishan Square. This beautiful plain in the spring is a meeting place for mountain and nature enthusiasts, different mountaineering groups and interested students.