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City Guide : Mashad
In addition to being Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad is also known as the holiest one. The city sits on a mountainous terrain named Horasan in the country’s northeast corner. The city’s contemporary name was first used in the 9th century, as the place where Imam Reza (Ali ibn Musa al-Rida) was killed.
Compared to the rest of Iran, Mashhad is a very touristic city as it has many different hotels and accomodations. Aside from the harsh winters, in terms of weather, there is nothing that will create a problem for tourists. Autumn, following tolerably hot summer months, brings glamourous sights with it.
Tourist AttractionsShrine of Imam Reza is a major place to visit. All roads lead to this shrine in Mashhad. Imam Reza, the eighth of the Twelve Imams, had lived in this city and was killed by poisoning. Visitors in pair, circle the grave site -which is surrounded by golden rails- in the shrine with its shining golden dome and pray. In addition to the shrine, other holy buildings –historic and/or related to art- located around the shrine, are worth a trip. Thus, Mashhad becomes a holy place that attracts millions of visitors to both the shrine and the city itself. Shi’ah Muslims from not just Iran, but also Yemen, Iraq, India, and Pakistan are among the regular visitors of the shrine. Reportedly, every year 12 million visitors come to Mashhad, which is the most important hajj site for Shi’ah Muslims living in Iran or its neighbor countries.
A thorough security check is performed at the shrine’s entrance. The reason for this is that items such as cameras, cell phones, and any kind of bag are all forbidden in the shrine. You can leave your belongings such as cameras and cell phones in the lockers at the entrance.
Goharshad Mosque, surviving from the Timurid era, is located to the south of the shrine. The museum and library in the southeast part of the area, and the grave of Shaykh Bahai are among places to visit. Also, there are Parizad and Balasar Madrasas located to the west.
If you go a little bit outside Mashhad on the way to Tehran, you can see the grave of Khajeh Morad. You will see the grave of Khajeh Rabi and the writings of master calligrapher Reza Abbasi to the north.
You need to travel 24 kilometers towards Nishapur to see the grave of Ferdowsi, a revered poet of Iranian and world literature who wrote Shahnameh. Summer spots such as Torghabeh, Torogh, Akhlomot, Zoshk, and Shandiz are also located outside of Mashhad.
Culture & EntertainmentThree museums, which are located in the shrine, form a culturally interesting place for visitors. Muze-ye Markazi, with its three story building, is the largest museum. There is a double-sided door –one side encrusted with gold and the other encrusted with silver- on the ground floor, and also an 18th century prayer rug embroidered with thousands of small pearls next to the door. On the first floor, originals of some of the most important works of Mahmoud Farshchian – one of the greatest miniaturists of Iran- are displayed.
The next stop is the most popular piece of the Carpet Museum called “Seven Beloved Cities”. Reportedly, the carpet was completed with a total of 30 million knots by 10 thousand people in 14 years.
The third museum is the Koran Museum, in which there are more than a hundred hand written Qur’ans.
The tomb of Khajeh Rabi, the first Imam of the Shi’ah Muslims, is located 4 kilometers to the north of the city. Graves of thousands of martyrs from the Iran-Iraq war also also located in the same area. This octagonal tomb, which was built by the order of Shah Abbas, was destroyed and restored several times.
Kooh Sangi swimming pool located in the city and the Tomb and Museum of Nadir Shah with its spacious park are beautiful and relaxing spots for cultural visits.
Food & DrinkIranian Cuisine is regarded as one of the best cuisines in the world. Although, seasoning is not very common, dishes are quite delicious. The most frequently consumed special dish of the city is Chello and Bakhtiari kabobs. Various breads are baked, which hold an important place in the city’s cuisine. You must try Mashhad region’s unique black tea with its intense aroma and taste.
ShoppingMashhad’s three great bazaars remind visitors of the Silk Road. Crafts unique to Horasan, handcrafts, fur coats, jewellery, perfumes, saffron, and religious souvenirs are all available. Bazaar-e Reza, located downtown, is the primary shopping area. Shargh-Zist Trade Center, located in the Tabarsi Square to the north of the Shrine of Imam Reza, is the place where you can find almost everything for a bargain price. Sara-ye Bazaar-e Reza, on the other hand, is the area where only textile and fabric materials are sold.
The City Of Poetry And Faith: Mashhad
Lying between the Binalood and Hezar-masjed mountain ranges, Mashhad is one of the world’s leading centers of faith tourism thanks to its many religious shrines, which attract millions of tourists every year. Prone to a flood of visitors from home and abroad especially during the cool summer months, the city more than meets the expectations of those who come to see it. The tombs that are a place of pilgrimage for visitors at all hours of the day are at the same time living masterpieces of Iranian architecture. And the libraries attached to them, which house extremely rare and valuable manuscripts dating to various periods in the country’s history, most notably that of the 18th century Safavid dynasty, constitute an enormous cultural treasure.
TOMB OF IMAM RIZA
The concept of the tomb is of overwhelming importance in Mashhad and in Iran in general. With the libraries, observatories and areas of worship annexed to them, these venues make a grand and majestic appearance. And when the mind-boggling aesthetics of Iranian architecture are added to that greatness, monuments of spellbinding awe are created. The mosque commissioned opposite the 11th century tomb of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna, founder of the medieval Ghaznavid dynastry, continues to exhibit all the splendor of its age. Equally magnificent, the Imam Riza Shrine at Mashhad ranks first among this city’s must-see sights. You will want to spend hours looking at the stunning specimens of the traditional Islamic arts of calligraphy and illumination in the visitor’s section.
CITY OF FIRDAUSI
Firdausi is without a doubt Iran’s most prominent poet, and his mausoleum at Tus 25 kilometers outside Mashhad has significance far beyond the bounds of Iran, for all mankind. Firdausi left a profound mark on Iranian literature through his 60,000-couplet verse epic, The Shahnameh, carving a niche for himself in the hearts of all Iranians.
PARKS AND GARDENS
Mashhad offers one of the richest examples of Iran’s traditional landscape gardening that you will ever lay eyes on. The garden at the city center with the museum and tomb of Nadir Shah, often referred to as ‘Iran’s Napoleon’, and the Kuh Sangi Gardens are good places to rest and take photos.
Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Mashhad on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and from Mashhad to Istanbul on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The Tomb of Hâce Rabi at Nishabur, city of Omar Khayyam and Farid ud-Din Attar some 115 kilometers away, are also among the sights to see here.
Mashhad is known for its carpets and saffron. There are many shops in the city where you can find a Mashhad carpet to fit your budget.
Ticket Sales Offices : Mashad
|THY Sales Office - Mashad|
|Address||No:107 Between Pastor & Ghaem Ahmad Abad St. Mashhad - Iran|
+98 511 844 32 17-19
+98 511 843 34 46/48
|Fax||+98 511 844 32 20|
|THY Airport Office - Mashad|
|Address||Mashad Hashemi Nejad International Airport Turkish Airlines Mashad - Iran|
+98 511 340 04 50
Cargo:+98 915 125 51 49
|Fax||+98 511 340 04 80|
|Phone||+9821 55 67 83 10|
|Fax||+9821 55 67 83 11|
Mashad : Airport Information
Address : Mashad International Airport (Shahid Hashemi Nejad Airport) Phone : +98 511 3400000
Mashad : Airport Map Information
- Wed 25°C
- Thu 23°C
- Fri 24°C
|Monetary Unit||:||Iranian Rial|
|Phone Code||:||00 98 511|