Dec 04

Visit Imam Reza’s Shrine While Traveling In Iran

You can visit Imam Reza’s Shrine when you are traveling in Iran. It is situated in Mashhad and is a huge complex which houses the mausoleum of Imam Ridha, who was the eighth Imam of Islam. There are many other structures within this complex including Goharshad mosque, a library, a museum, a cemetery, four seminaries, a dining hall for pilgrims, the Razavi University of Islamic Studies, vast prayer halls and many more such buildings. The shrine covers a huge area and is the hotspot of tourists. There are seven courtyards surrounding the place.

Place of Pilgrimage

Al-Ma’mun was responsible for the assassination of Imam Reza in 818 who was then laid to rest alongside the grave of Harun. This place was then renamed as Mashhad al-Rida meaning the place of Reza’s martyrdom. It became a center of pilgrimage for Iranian and non-Iranian Shias.

The present structure of the dome of Imam Reza’s mausoleum was built in the 9th century. Since then, many bazaars and buildings have been built around it. The structure has been destroyed by many invaders down the ages and has also been rebuilt many times.

Many Renovations

While traveling in Iran, you will learn that the shrine was devastated by Saboktakin in 993, who was a Ghaznavid ruler. But a few years later, the building was again rebuilt by his son Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi.

The structure was renovated and new buildings were added to the complex in 1150 by the Seljuk ruler, Sultan Sanjar, who was inspired to do this after his son recovered miraculously here. It was again renovated in 1310 by Sultan Muhammad Khodabande, an Ilkhanid ruler. You get accounts of the beauty of this place from the famous traveler, Ibn Batuta, in 1333.

Beauty of the Shrine

The dome is the main attraction which you can see when you visit Imam Reza’s Shrine. The walls are elegantly decorated with tiles of all colors. When you go inside the structure, you can see the tombs of both the Imam and Caliph Harun al-Rashid alongside each other. There is a platform on the sides which has many chandeliers in it. Mashhad became a major city in the Shahrokh era during the 15th century. The Timurid rulers were in power then.


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