Five Places to Visit in Iran

Iran is a house full of treasures, home to some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. With almost every turn, Iran is filled with proof of Islam’s historical commitment to aesthetic beauty and elegant architecture. Here are some of the country’s artfully conceived places that not only radiates beauty and grace but as well as history and culture.

Shah Cheragh

Roughly translated to “King of the Light”, the story behind Shah Cheragh goes back to around 900 CE, when a wanderer came across the site due to the mysterious light that was shining from a distance. The wanderer then investigated and found a grave of an important Muslim figure.

From then on, the site has become a popular pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims. It was only in the 14th century the site’s mirror-ball was placed in Shah Cheragh as instructed by Queen Tash Khātūn to intensify the light a thousand times over.

Despite being damaged over the centuries, the mosque has been in continuous good care, shining bright as it did years ago.

Badab-e Surt

A rare geological sensation, the iridescent pools of water in Badab-e Surt are gathered in rust-coloured springs. The colourful puddles layer each other turning the naturally formed terraces into an extraterrestrial sight, mixing all the colours of the rainbows.

The natural disaster was hand crafted by nature during the Pleistocene and Pliocene epochs, when two mineral hot springs spent thousands of years sending bubbling water down the mountain from 6,000 feet above sea level.

When the terraces of puddle get hit by the light just right, it would seemingly glow with red, yellow and orange due to the tones of the underlying rocks. Sometimes the colours of the bright blue sky and its clouds would get reflected by the water, making an even more surreal.

Basir al-Mulk Mosque

One of Iran’s oldest cities, Shiraz is a city of vivid art, rich history and vibrant craftsmanship. All of these can be found throughout Iran, but one of the best places to see and experience it is at Nasir al-Mulk Mosque.

One of the most beautiful mosque in Iran, Nasir al-Mulk is built with colourful stained glass, thousands of painted tiles and Persian rugs that cover the floor. A place of worship, this dazzling mosque is almost like walking into a kaleidoscope.

Sometimes dubbed as the ‘Pink Mosque’ because of the thousands of pink-coloured tiles that cover the ceiling, the best time to visit the mosque would be during early morning, when the sun hits the sainted glass patterns and reflects it onto the floor.

Radkan Tower

Seated on a hill top in northern Iran, the Radkan Tower was long assumed to be an ancient tomb or a beacon that guided travellers on the area, instead it was a curious tower made for something more spectacular.

Thanks to the discoveries of archeo-astronomers, the tower has been dated all the way back to the mid-13th century and is believed to be built by one of the greatest Persian scholars of the age, Nasir al-Din Tusi. Tusi was a scientist, polymath and astronomer and is known for helping pioneer the observatory at Maragheh, Azerbaijan.

During the days of solstice and equinox every year, the sun aligns perfectly to shine through the doors on the opposite sides of the tower. The tower is also believed to determine the beginning of the seasons, leap years, and the Iranian New Year, Nowruz.

Yakhchāls

They look like giant beehives made out of clay but these ancient structures were used to make and preserve ice in the deserts of Persia. Yakhchāls are ancient evaporative coolers and was made around 400 BC.

The conical structures were created to allow ice to be made, collected and preserved so that they can be used throughout the year. It was used for things such as preserving food and making the traditional Persian frozen dessert, faloodeh.

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