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Last Updated: 18 January 2022

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Azhdaha, Azhdahak, Ezhdeha or are mythical creatures in Iranian mythology, roughly equivalent to Dragon. They are gigantic snake-like creatures living in air, in sea, or on earth. Sad dar-e nathr and sad dar-e Bondahesh, Shahnameh and Garshaspnameh are among ncipal that contain information about creature. In Persian literature, Azhdahas are depicted as snake or lizard with wings. According to tradition, they have huge body, fierce face, their mouths are wide with lots of teeth, and their eyes are bright. Azhdahas are actually normal snakes, according to Ajayeb ul-Makhlooghat, book by Mohammad b. b. Ahmad-e Tusi, when snake lives 100 years and its length become 30 Gazes, it is called Azhdaha. He also writes that because of their harassment of other creatures, God eventually will throw them into sea and there, their bodies will continue to grow, such that their length become more than 10 000 Gazes. Then in sea, they evolve to have two wings, like fish, and waves of sea are because of their movements. Eating heart of Azhdaha brings courage and bravery. Their skins are suitable for healing wound of love, and if someone buries Azhdaha's head in soil, conditions on that soil will become better. Another work which was considerably influenced by Ajayeb ul-Makhlooghaat, Nuzhat al-Quloob. Complete in 1339-40, author and historian, Hamd Allah Mustaufi Qazvini, describes azhada as being terrible in appearance, with flaming eyes, wide mouth, and body of enormous length. Like Ahmad-eTusi, he too maintains that Dragon was at first serpent, and it was only after he became more than thirty yards long that it came to be called azhada. He said that after azhada was cast into sea by God, to terrorize people on land, it developed fins and continued to grow in sea. Eventually it grew so much that it caused damage to sea, and after it was kill, its body was cast up on shore to provide food for inhabitants of Land of Gog and Magog. In Shahnameh, national epic of Greater Iran, Azhdahas appear in number of stories. Sam, Rostam, Esfandiar, Eskandar, Bahram V are among heroes that kill azhada.

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