Arash the Archer; the Persian Legend

Arash the Archer; the Persian Legend

Arash the Archer is a heroic archer of the Persian mythology. As a warrior of King Manuchehr (the legendary king of Ancient Persia, who reigned over a period of 120 years, and the descendant of Fereydun, the Hero King, who did battle against Zahhak, the incarnation of the evil dragon, who was referred to as the last king of the Age of Gods in West Asia, and as the strongest archer, he brought an end to the war between Persia and Turan that had spanned for 60 years. The brave warrior of salvation, who bestowed peace and tranquility to the people of both countries. He accomplished the great feat of saving thousands of people during the battle. And being celebrated by poets as Ferdowsi, the name Arash is one of the most popular in the Persian speaking world.


When the bloody and long-lasting war between Iran and Turan came to an end, the rulers of both countries decided to make peace and to fix the boundary between their kingdoms. The defeated Iran was ordered to shoot an arrow towards Turan. Where the arrow landed was to mark the border between the two countries.While they were dealing this agreement, Sepandarmaz, the earth’s angel, appeared and ordered to bring a bow and an arrow. Arash was the most powerful and professional Iranian man in shooting an arrow, and due to his unique power, he could fire the arrow furthest away. The earth’s angel told Arash to take the arrow and shoot it. Arash the Archer knew that the width of chaste pure land of Iran, would depend on the power of his arrow and he had to put all his power in that. He got ready, took off his shirt and showed his body to the king and the army and said: ” Look, I’m healthy and there’s no flaw in me, but I know that the moment I release the arrow, all my power will leave my body and it will go with the arrow.


An Iranian super hero, Arash the Archer, agreed to shoot the arrow from the peak of the Damavand (The highest mountain in Iran in Alborz string mountains). One morning of Tir (July), Arash climbed Mount Damavand and faced the direction of Turan lands, and with all his strength pulled his bow. Hormoz, the God, ordered to the angel of wind to take care of the arrow and preserve it from harm. The arrow flew the whole morning and fell at noon – 2250 kilometers on the bank of the Oxus River in what is now Central Asia. The river remained the boundary between Iran and Turan for centuries. When Arash let his bow go, he fell to the ground on Mount Damavand and passed away.

Arash’s body was not found. There are still stories from travelers who were lost on the mountain. They say that they heard Arash’s voice which helped them find their way and saved their lives.


Every year, Iranian people celebrated the memorial to that day. It is said that the “Tirgan” festival has been born since then.

Arash the Archer in recent literature:
*SIYAVASH KASRAEE, the Iranian poet has a poem by name, Arash the Archer
*TOURAN SHAHRIYARI, the Iranian poetess has a poem by name, ARASH and TIRGAN

Here some parts of Arash poem By Siavash Kasrai the Iranian Contemporary poet.

Arash e Kamangir (Arash the Archer)

Told or untold here are so many points
The open sky
The rosy sun
The gardens of flowers
The planes all wide and open
The rise of flower from under the snow
The soft dance of the fish in the crystal glass
The smell of rainy soil in the highland
The sleeping of the wheat farms in the moonlight
To come, to go, to run
To love
To feel sorrow
Or to dance when people are delighted
To work, to act
Yea, Yea, Life is beautiful
Life is an everlasting fire-temple


If you lighten it, you’ll see the flames dancing in every border
And if not, it will be quiet, and that will be our fault
The Iranian army was so worried
Tow by tow were mumbling
Children standing on the roofs
Girls sitting in the alleys
Mothers standing beside the doors sadly
People were like a wild sea
It was windy, angry
And a man like a pearl was born out of the sea
It’s me, Arash
He began like this to talk to the enemy
It’s me Arash, the free army man
I’m ready now
Don’t ask about my ancestor
I’m the child of working and trying
Running like a shooting-star from the sky
Like a morning ready to meet
The earth was quiet, the sky was quiet
As if all the world was listening to Arash
Little by little sun appeared from behind the mountains
Thousands of golden spears were thrown to the sky’s eyes


Arash took a look at the city, calmly
Children on the roofs
Girls sitting in the alleys
Mothers sad, sitting beside the doors
The men were in the way
A song with no words, with painful sorrow
What song can be composed? For the firm sold steps
For the steps which know their destination well
His enemies opened the road in a mocking silence
Children called him from above the roofs
Mothers prayed for him
Girls holding the necklaces in hands, pushing hard
Accompanied him with love and power
Arash, but he was still silent
He climbed up Alborz Mountain
And tear drops would follow him
At night
Those who were looking for Arash on the mountains
They were back
Without any sign of Arash’s body
With a bow and no arrow
Yea, yea…. Arash put his life and soul in the arrow
He did the job of thousands and thousands of arrows