The story is related to 619 AD; One of the princes of Samanid empire was escaping along with her 39 companions. These 40 girls passed through lands to find a shelter. The enemy army was also following them but failed to arrest them in Samanian court until they are disappeared forever. Since then and according to this story, many towers or fortresses are named “Chehel Dokhtar” or “Chehel Dokhtaran” which means forty girls. Not only the story is popular in Iran, but also it is famous in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and even Turkey and we can find buildings under this name in these countries.
However, the history of Chehel Dokhtaran Tower of Damghan is considered to be related to a Zoroastrians’ fire temple that was built before Islam. Although some Semnan people believe this tower to be built, using materials like clay and adobe, by forty girls who abandoned the secular possessions in order to be a place for their worship and seclusion.
In addition, there is an interesting belief about this tower and it is the marriage of girls. the girls at the age of marriage throw a fist of stones from inside the building towards the outside. If the stones reached outside the girl got married in the same year and if they fall inside the building, they had to wait for their husband till the next year!
The building of Chehel Dokhtaran tower is octagonal with 10-12 meters height. What is seen in the façade of the tower can evoke Tughrul Tower and Radkan Tower, too.
The inscription is partly ruined and just a few words can be read. However, the Kufic script and some phrases of this sentence “امر به بناء هذا لقبة الامیر الجلیل ابوشجاع” (meaning the building was constructed by the order of Amir al-Jalil Abu-Shoja’ as his mausoleum) as well as the word ثلثمائه Salsamae in the end of the text indicating it was built in the fourth century AH are recognizable.
Let’s talk about the interior space of the tower in the center of which a simple grave is seen. This grave, buried under the soil, was revealed after the diggings. However, the name of owner is not specified.
The tower of Chehel Dokhtaran is the memorial of the early Islamic era in Damghan city that was inscribed in 1310 SH as one of the first Iran National Heritages with No. 83.