If you opt for an Iran travel package, you will have the good fortune to visit Bisotun while traveling in Iran. This place had an old Persian name of Baghestan which translates to "place of the Gods". You will enjoy seeing the inscriptions which have been made on the rock face quite close to the village of Bisotun.
The carvings are placed at a great height but are visible to the people who pass by. Since it was a significant trade route, most travelers stopped by to gaze at the awe-inspiring inscriptions. Moreover, there is a spring gushing out near the site which made the travelers stop to quench their thirst and also to refill their water stores to last them on their journey.
While traveling in Iran, you will see the famous Bisotun inscriptions placed about 100m above the ground and occupying a substantial area on the rocks. The reason for the carvings being made at such a large distance from the ground is to assure its safety and rule out any chances of tampering.
What catches your eye first is the huge relief of Darius I with ten captives in front of him, all of them being chained at the neck. Two more people are leading them away. Faravahar, the winged man symbol of Zoroastrians, is shown just above, showing his patronage of the king. This shows that Darius had great faith in Zoroastrianism.
Deciphering the Inscriptions
The inscriptions which you will see when you visit Bisotun are in three languages: Old Persian, New Babylonian and New Elamite. This also helped historians to be able to read the ancient Cuneiform script. The carvings relate the story of how Darius became king after vanquishing his greatest enemy and occupied the Achaemenid throne. The enemy was a priest and a son of Cyrus who was defeated by Darius, who then had the Bisotun inscriptions made on the rocks in 520 BC as a reminder of this event.
The Seleucids later added another statue of Hercules, the Greek hero, which you will see when you visit Bisotun. This statue is below the main carvings and defines the power of the hero. This statue was made in 148 BC. Later, the Arsakids also made other carvings. You will be able to enjoy all these while traveling in Iran.