(Persia Digest) – The age-old tower of silence in Yazd has now become a tourist attraction in this city. But, there was a time when keepers named “Nesa Salar” took the dead up to the tower according to Zoroastrian traditions to become the meal of vultures. The last of the Nesa Salars is now called “Agha Shahriar”, although his job was banned 51 years ago.
As reported by ISNA, he is the most cherished living heritage of this ancient tower and the last living Zoroastrian Nesa Salar. Followers of the faith entrusted their loved ones to him when they passed away, to carry them up the hill and into the tower on his back. Towers of silence are cylindrical structures built on high hills with high walls as Zoroastrian burial grounds. These have now become places visited by tourists in Yazd.
According to the people of “Safa’ieh”, 15kms to the southeast of Yazd, “Agha Shahriar” began this job at the age of 45 with his colleague; a colleague who was also carried up the hill by “Agha Shahriar” when he died.
Placing the dead in the tower of silence was banned 51 years ago. Even so, he is the first one to arrive at the tower and the last one to leave – just like a landlord.