Day 72 (1): The most beautiful garden in Iran (...is not a Persian garden)

Mahan Travel Blog

 › entry 102 of 260 › view all entries
Shah Ne'matollah Vali Mausoleum
Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Michael (Australia), Hossein (Iran)

As we exited the bus from Kerman we were greeted by Hossein, an Iranian guide I had been in touch with for the past two weeks. I had e-mailed him for information on tours into the Kaluts desert. Despite not being the best season to visit the desert, I really wanted to do an overnight trip there. Michael was keen on doing this as well, so we had been planning this trip for tomorrow.

Then yesterday Hossein had send me an e-mail saying that he had to do his tour guide exam on Friday morning, so it would be impossible for him to do the trip on Thursday night. If needed, he could arrange a friend to do the trip instead.
Inside the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'matollah Vali
We didn't feel much for this. Hossein was recommended in the Lonely Planet and a friend of Michael's had done a trip with him a few weeks ago and had been raving about the guy.

On the bus we had another look at our planned schedule for Kerman and surroundings and suddenly we got the idea to change everything around. We had been planning to visit the towns of Bam and Rayen as a long daytrip. But today seemed to be a lost day anyway, so we figured we might as well continue travelling and stay in Rayen tonight. That way we could visit Bam tomorrow, come back to Kerman tomorrow and do the Kaluts tour on Friday night. I love it when a plan comes together!

Upon hearing our plans Hossein immediately offered to drive us to Rayen tonight, via the town of Mahan. We thought about it.
Bagh-e Shahzde
We had been planning to simply take the bus the 135 km to Rayen, but we'd already spent 6 hours in a bus today. His proposal to also include the town of Mahan (which seemed interesting enough) quite appealed to us, so we accepted his offer.
After he helped us sort out our onwards transportation for Saturday, we set off in his car, a Paykan, of course (“it is my friend's”, he explained, “I have a better car when we go to the Kaluts”)

We drove to the small town of Mahan, 35 kilometres south-east of Kerman, which is primarily a summer retreat for Kerman's wealthy (of which there are quite a few, as we would later learn). There are two attractions in this town, which merit a visit.

The first of the two is the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'matollah Vali. A mausoleum, for a change, however, with one with a twist.
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
This mausoleum was in fact built by an Indian king in the 15th century, in honour of a Sufi scholar. Sufism is a mystical, poetical way of interpreting Islam, which does not conflict with Shiism or Sunnism. It was invented in Persia, and therefore very close to the heart of many Iranians.

After visiting the mausoleum we went to the Barg-e Shahzde, a lovely green garden in the middle of the arid desert. It is a wonderful place and we both liked it immensely. Several people had pointed out to us that this garden is not a Persian garden though. Yes, it made use of qanats for irrigation, but the design was more European than Persian. Perhaps that was the reason why we liked it so much, after all, we had already concluded that Iranians and tourists do not always like the same things.

We had a nice tea here and took a few dozen pictures. Once the sun started to set we went on our way again.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Shah Nematollah Vali Mausoleum
Shah Ne'matollah Vali Mausoleum
Inside the Aramgah-e Shah Nematol…
Inside the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'mato…
Bagh-e Shahzde
Bagh-e Shahzde
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Aramgah-e Shah Nematollah Vali
Aramgah-e Shah Ne'matollah Vali
Inside the Aramgah-e Shah Nematol…
Inside the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'mato…
Inside the Aramgah-e Shah Nematol…
Inside the Aramgah-e Shah Ne'mato…
like every other Paykan, Hosseins…
like every other Paykan, Hossein'…
view from the Bagh-e Shahzde garde…
view from the Bagh-e Shahzde gard…
Pavilion inside the Shahzde gardens
Pavilion inside the Shahzde gardens
Bagh-e Shahzde
Bagh-e Shahzde
having tea in the Bagh-e Shahzde g…
having tea in the Bagh-e Shahzde …
parking lot of Bagh-e Shahzde
parking lot of Bagh-e Shahzde
sunset
sunset
Doing my best Phil Collins imperso…
Doing my best Phil Collins impers…
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Bagh-e Shahzde at night
Mahan
photo by: Vlindeke