Adding to the endless rustic beauties of Meybod, Yazd, the Pigeon Tower (dovecote), kabutar khaneh in Persian, is a splendid functioning structure left over from the Qajar Dynasty, for all tourists and travelers to see.
These pigeon towers, or dovecotes, have been used in Iran for centuries. Although they provided a safe home and shelter for the pigeons, this wasn’t their only function.
In the past, pigeon towers were built all over Iran for the purpose of collecting the birds’ droppings! Why you might ask? The farmers of the past knew how pigeon droppings are a very rich and effective fertilizer for growing plants and crops.
Unfortunately, due to the modern-day global culture of industrial farming and agriculture, where quantity highly outshines quality, many of these methods have been forgotten. Come along with goingIRAN to check this interesting structure as one of Yazd’s top destinations!
The Tower of Pigeons Through Time
Despite being about 200 years old, this Qajari pigeon tower has been excellently preserved. Remaining unknown to many local and foreign travelers, it reveals an eye-opening tale into our recent past history.
In times not too long ago, before the production of chemical fertilizers used by many farmers today, pigeon dung (guano) was a highly valued commodity. Due its high levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, it makes for a very effective manure-fertilizer.
In the far past, occasionally, some of pigeon eggs and the birds themselves were consumed as food. Although, this didn’t happen all that often since these pigeon houses had to be a safe place in order for them to continue living there!
What’s Nesting at the Pigeon Tower
The building of the kabutar khaneh (translating to ‘pigeon house’) has a very calculated design. The architect has managed to cram-in a plethora of functionalities alongside beautiful aesthetics. The architecture of the dovecote is very artistic, as well as practical.
Standing 3 stories tall, the castle-turret shaped structure features uniquely beautiful brick and plasterwork all the while providing 4,000 spots for pigeons.
The main attraction and entryway for the bids is, of course, the roof. A giant bowl of water on the roof attracts birds to land and explore on the top of the structure. Carefully designed entry holes stopped bigger birds such as crows and hawks from forcing their way into the tower.
The foundation and base of the building is made from pure stone, preventing rats from burrowing in. The cylindrical walls all around, inside and out, are covered in smooth plaster making it impossible for snakes to climb and find a way in.
On top of all that, the architect knew that startled pigeons all fly away at once, and so even took the vibrations caused by their simultaneous flapping into consideration!
The floor established in the center of the tower, alongside the arches connecting the balconies act as a reinforcement for the tower structure. This way, the vibrations are dispersed evenly among the entire building.
Although there are over 3,000 pigeon towers in Isfahan, and many more in Iran, but the Pigeon Tower of Meybod is definitely the most exquisite of them all. Unique stucco designs of the interior host a phenomenal play of light on the interior of the tower, making it a super-hot spot for all the photography junkies!
How to and How Much to, Get There?
Meybod city is about an hour away from Yazd’s city center. Although there are many tour providers, ambitious travelers can use public transport to make their own way there. Just go to Imam Hossein square (not to be confused with Imam Hassan) and catch the minibus going to Meybod.
Once you find the minibus, located around the square, ask to get off at ‘Narin’ and that you want to go to Kabutar Khaneh.
The ride there should cost you a mere 20,000 IRR and the entry fee of the tower itself is also only 50,000 IRR. For returning back to Yazd, take a minibus from Modarres Boulevard, that’s usually located underneath a white bridge structure.
When travelling in Iran, never be shy to ask people where to find things, especially transportation stations! You really don’t want to get on a wrong bus or taxi and waste your day!
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