Cheap Flights To Mashhad
As Iran's holiest city, Mashhad is famous for its beautiful Haram: a shrine complex. This commemorates the martyrdom of the Shiite's eighth Imam, Imam Reza, in 818 A.D. Every year, over 20 million pilgrims flock to this shrine and worship with much passion and emotion. The city is also the capital of Khorasan province but began life as a mere village. However, when the Imam Reza was murdered and buried in the city, his shrine became a holy site for Shi'ite Muslims to visit, ultimately becoming as famous as sites like Saudi Arabia's Holy Kaaba Iraq's Karbala.
mashhad also features a number of prominent tombs such as the tomb of Nadir Shah and several large parks. Kooh Sangi Park and Mellat Park also offer activities for children, including a large Ferris wheel, while Koohestan Park-e-Shadi features a zoo. With cool temperatures all year round, the city has a lot to offer visitors and is a great place to buy carpets. In fact, one of the regular festivals in the city is carpet washing, where local people converge to wash the carpets of Imam Reza's shrine. Other festivals include the secular Sadeh festival and the Yalda festival in honour of the longest night of the year.
Things To Do
While the Imam Reza Shrine Complex dominates the city's attractions, there's a lot more to see in mashhad, including tombs, parks, sculptures and places to shop.
Imam Reza Shrine Complex
This complex includes a mausoleum and is the largest mosque in the world by sheer size. It stands in honour of the Shiite's eighth Imam, Imam Reza, who was buried there in the ninth century A.D.
Among the city's lovely parks is Kooh Sangi Park with its rocky backdrop and large open spaces in the fresh air. Mellat Park is an extended park comprising different areas with something to offer people of all ages.
There are some lovely sculptures dotted around the city. Around Iranian new year, artists take part in a sculpture designing competition and the best sculptures remain on display in various locations for the rest of the year.
Calendar Of Events
Alongside many Iranian festivals that the city celebrates, there's also a specific mashhad carpet washing ritual to fascinate and amaze visitors.
Yalda: The Yalda festival takes place in late September in celebration of the longest night. The harvest follows and families gather in the city to partake of typical Iranian food and read poetry together.
Sadeh: Sadeh is a non-religious festival for people following different faiths. It takes place on the 10th day of Bahman and people of the city build large bonfires and prepare a special soup in celebration.
Carpet Washing: On the Friday closest to the 17th day of the month of Mehr, locals meet at spring to wash the carpets from Imam Reza's shrine. This beautiful ritual involves rose water being sprinkled on carpets decorated with wooden sticks.