Masoum Khani Reservoir; a solution for accessing fresh water

The people of Nayin call the water reservoir “ombar”. These structures are precious for the people of that area, because getting rid of the desert’s salty water and accessing fresh water in the summers of Nayin was possible only with reservoirs. In this city, you can find large and small reservoirs that look almost alike; reservoirs filled by aqueducts (qanats). One of the most well-known is “Masoum Khani reservoir”; a structure that we should know more about.

Masoum Khani reservoir was built in a place called Cheheldokhtaran, next to a gate by the same name. Information obtained tells that the construction of this structure was completed in 1322 (1943), but when was it founded?  Not known! In any case, it is a well-known reservoir for the Nayinis. Its founder is a philanthropist by the name of Mohammad Ali Khani Masoumi, therefore it was named Masoum Khani reservoir. This structure has a cylindrical tank that takes 64 steps from the ground level to reach it.

The depth of the tank is 12 m, and it is clear that the volume of water accumulated in it is enormous. It is right on the reservoir that a conical dome covers the sky. A dome covers the tank.  This dome is built with raw clay bricks. In 1367 (1988) the dome of this reservoir collapsed and the people of Nayin built a new dome for it. The dome on the tank is meant to prevent direct sunlight from heating up the accumulated water, and also keep the water clean and fresh. It is also worth mentioning that Masoum Khani Reservoir is a known historical work and was registered in the list of national works of Iran in 1384.

There is more to know about Nayin reservoirs. One of them is that 130 reservoirs have been built in the city’s old and new sections. This figure shows what an important role this structure has played in the lives of the people of Nayin. From the point of view of architecture, these reservoirs are divided into two types. The most important of them are reservoirs with circular tanks. The diameter and depth of these tanks are more and can store more water. It is noteworthy to say that many of the reservoirs in Nayin are filled by the city’s water and sewage department in the winter season. The Nayini people take care of their precious water storage structures!

We will list hereunder a few of Nayin’s important reservoirs:

– “Sokan reservoir” with an age of 300 years.  Due to the city’s expansion around it, the reservoir has been damaged and needs to be repaired, especially its staircase.

– “Tego Reservoir’ in the same neighborhood of Cheheldokhtaran, where Masoum Khani reservoir is throwing its shade thrower. In the ancient context of Nayin, there is no known water reservoir smaller than Tegu;

– Nogabad Reservoir” is also a small reservoir, but has two spectacular windbreaks.  Fortunately it has been revived.

– “Feyz reservoir” is located in a place called Panjaheh. It is also registered in Iran’s list of national works (in the 1384 solar year). One of the remarkable features of Faiz Reservoir is that its wind deflector is made crooked! Or it may be crooked due to the passage of time. Its degree of deviation is close to 30 degrees. This clay and brick structure was built in the last years of the Safavid kingdom;

– Mosala reservoir” in the historic Mosala garden of Nayin. It is the same garden where the graves of Pirnia family (a famous family of the Qajar period) can be seen. In the corner of the garden there is a reservoir with only two steps. This reservoir was built during the reign of Muzaffaredddin Shah. It also has two windbreaks. Nayin, an ancient city with a history of 3 thousand years, is a part of the history of Iran. This city is rich in many ancient works. Protecting and inheriting them will preserve the culture and history of Nain. The old reservoirs of this city are also a sign of the deep rooted history of the Nayinis, and need more attention.


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June 5, 2023