Iran Ziyarat Guide: Shrines in Iran

To see the world beyond all the materialistic, worldly points of view when you get lost in the darkness is all that helps: a personal, spiritual experience in which you get to see things and matters clearer and you get to deal with them easier than ever. Iran Ziyarat experience is full of aesthetic landscapes, with a multiplicity of different types of jewelry scattered all over the grand heart of this land. Although the history and the culture of this country are of great importance and can be the shelter you’re looking for, it is through religion and its merging into the culture that Persian people could create such a magical atmosphere, culture, and architecture. A great part of this architecture evolved by the time when the best architects of Iran were held in charge of building mosques and shrines and restoring them through time to honor the spiritual position of Imams.

Being an important element in Islamic culture, the tradition of Iran Ziyarat is of high value in Persian culture and many Muslims as well go to Iran to observe this particular aspect of Persian culture and experience the same. Not only are you provided with an authentic, unique experience of spiritual elevation in a pilgrimage to Iran, but you’ll get to discover all the history behind the building, all the stories being told in the praying rooms and learn about the Iran Ziyarat culture which has formed an important part of Persian people lives. What would be more surprising to the eyes of the visitor are the picturesque scenes, astonishing tiling on the walls, and mesmerizing mirror works inside the prayer rooms. it’s a journey into the very self and bringing peace about to the soul.

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For many years Iran has been a perfect destination for Muslims from all around the world having housed some of the most beautiful, stunning shrines in its chest accompanying special events that are worth experiencing. There are 6 main holy shrines in different cities of Iran which are shining among all the hundreds of holy places in this country. The cities of Mashhad, Tehran, and Qom are among the top places to go to Ziyarat in Iran.

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Imam Reza Holy Shrine in Mashhad; The Heart of Shia

Step into this great complex, and by each step, invite yourself to an otherworldly place. You’ll see tears in the eyes of the pilgrims and Zuwaars, People who came to visit their honored Imam from faraway distances to talk him through their great troubles and ask for his help. In the main building, the glorious shrine of Imam Reza shines even through the blurry gaze of his visitors. The faith you feel they have in the eighth Shia Imam is adorable; they believe that he hears them and grants them miracles in their lives. Your experience in this complex is not what you can describe through words like delightful, melancholic, or impressing; it goes beyond words and tales. Here, you get to meet Muslims coming from different countries who get along very well and share their particular moment of reflection in a place that has developed through hundreds of years.

This impressive complex includes many mosques such as the famous Goharshad Mosque with various interior designs and architecture. All the glory and grandeur lie in the mixture of Islam with the ancient, unique architecture of Iranians which leads to the current Muqarnas entrances and domes, Qashani tilework, Quran calligraphy, and amazing mirror work. The exceptional architecture goes hand in hand with the spiritual value of this religious site and forms such a unified and inseparable heritage that everyone finds worth visiting. Interesting museums, a splendid library, seminaries, and the Razavi Islamic Sciences University are a small part of this considerably extensive complex.

Fatima Masumeh Shrine in the Religious city of Iran, Qom

Qom is believed to be the religious center of Iran and the city with the most pilgrims after Mashhad. The magnetic, holy gem shining brightly at the center of this city is the Fatima Masumeh Shrine. The intricate tilework and the picture of the golden dome accompanied by the azure blue and turquoise color on the minarets absorb the soul of the prayers and grant them an unbelievable level of calmness and tranquility. Fatima Masumeh is the sister of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam whose shrine is located in Mashhad. Many believers go all the way to Qom to honor the pure body of this noticeable lady whose blessed soul hears and endows her guests with miracles. 

Fatima Masumeh Shrine catches everyone’s attention when it comes to architectural beauty and the staggering design of patterns. The floral motifs under the alcoves and the impressive calligraphy and inscriptions in perfect harmony with the spirit of the place mesmerize you and paralyze your muscles. However, once you’re fed with the delight of the beauty surrounding you in the courtyard, it is the murmuring charm of the shrine itself that calls upon you. Discover the hidden elegance in every inch of this religious site and enjoy a relaxing time calling on the sacred lady who intercedes for the entrance of Shias to heaven on the Day of Judgement.

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Shah Abdol-Azim Shrine in the Historical Rey County

Enfolding three main shrines in its bosom, Shahr-e Rey is one of the top Iran Ziyarat destinations in Iran; therefore, many pilgrims visit this sacred site each year. The main Shrine belongs to Hazrat Abdol Azim, and the other two belong to Imamzadeh Hamzeh and Imamzadeh Taher. Pilgrims come to ask for help from these great persons and find peace deep in their chests. This holy complex has gone under restorations and the evolution of its structure and architecture includes many heritages of different dynasties such as the Kufic inscriptions of the Seljuq and the Iwans remarking the Safavid touch on the site. The more breathtaking feature of the interior part of the structure is the exquisite mirror work which boasts to be one of the most beautiful of the type and invites the spirit of the believers to devotion and piety.

Shah Cheragh Shrine (must-visit Iran ziyarat place)

Located among the treasures of the city of flowers and nightingales, Shiraz, Shah Cheragh Shrine is one of the most important Iran Ziarat destinations which is also very popular among the tourists. Referred to as the shrine of “the King of Light”, this holy shrine has housed two brothers of Imam Reza in its sacred core. One legend has it that Ayatollah Dastghaib discovered the exact place of this tomb by seeing a light emitting from the ground in a graveyard. Although we don’t know for sure if that is true. The enchanting spiritual power of this holy site multiplies as you step into the interior part of the shrine where the light of great chandeliers among the main halls is absorbed and reflected through the alluring glasses and mirrors that have covered all the ceiling. The beauty and magnificence levitating in this holy shrine grab your soul and take it far away from the chaotic thoughts of everyday life.

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With your Pilgrimage Visa (Type C) you can only travel through Tehran, Mashhad, and Qom. You can find more information about Iran Pilgrimage Visa and its requirements here: Iran Pilgrimage Visa

Imamzadeh Saleh Shrine in Tehran

The beautiful blue dome crowns Valiasr Street, where a magnificent mosque sits beneath the snowy Alborz mountains. The dome’s enlarged flower designs and stunning turquoise patterns on the minarets attract both local and foreign pilgrims. Inside, lies the resting place of Saleh, the son of the seventh Shia Imam, revered by Muslims. The mosque’s architecture is a blend of Safavid and Qajar styles, and its spiritual aura beckons visitors from all over Iran. This sacred site offers tranquility in the bustling city of Tehran. Near the mosque, you’ll find the charming Tajrish Bazaar, a perfect spot for shopping and collecting souvenirs from the small neighboring stores after your visit to Imamzadeh Saleh Shrine.

Imam Khomeini Shrine

The tomb of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran is highly respected in the country and draws the attention of many Muslims in the capital. The complex is quite modern and beautifully designed, constructed about 40 years ago. Inside, you can find the tombs of Imam Khomeini’s wife, his second son, and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. However, the main attraction is Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum at the center of the main hall. The golden dome above the Zarih is adorned with 72 tulips, representing the 72 followers of Imam Husayn martyred in Karbala. As you land at Tehran IKA Airport, you can spot this shrine on the left. It’s located next to Behesht-e Zahra, Iran’s largest cemetery, visited by many to pay their respects to the deceased and martyrs of Islam.

How to Perform Ziyarat

Ziyarat means going on a pilgrimage to visit the holy shrines of Prophet Muhammad and his descendants. During this pilgrimage, there are customs and traditions that religious figures and Imams encourage us to follow as a sign of respect towards the sacred buried bodies. These rituals include reading Ziyarat prayers, Dua, and the Quran. People don’t take pictures at these beautiful shrines; instead, they admire the grandeur and beauty to feel closer to God and open their hearts to Allah.

In Iran, during Ziyarat, it’s suggested that women wear a chador, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. At the entrance of all the holy shrines in Iran, you’ll find beautifully floral chadors provided for visitors. In Iran, people have their own way of making promises and showing gratitude. For example, women may tie green fabrics as they touch the Zarih while thinking of their resolutions, and some families distribute free food among people as a kind gesture.

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