So, you travel to Iran and plan to spend few days in Kerman, Iran, we strongly recommend you to visit Mahan for its unparalleled beauty and serenity. As part of your Iran Tours, many foreign tourists ask for this town to be included in their itineraries.
Just 35 km to the East of Kerman on the road to Bam, you can see Mahan close to the foot of Joopar Mountains, a local range extended all the way from Kerman to the south of Bam. This little town is actually located in a fertile valley where water has long been supplied from the underground water channels, Kariz (qanat), dug by innovative Iranians since antiquities.
Highlights of Mahan
There are two major sights in Mahan that draws lots of domestic as well as international tourists to this corner of the country. Many foreign travelers, who pay a visit to Iran, include Kerman in their list of the cities to see, because Mahan is in the vicinity.
Located in a dry area, although Mahan is surrounded by Joopar Mountains, water is scarcely found close to the surface. So, traditionally the trees with deep roots have been planted at this area like at the desert towns of Iran. You can find pines, cypress, vines, poplars, etc among the trees grown around it.
Despite the short supply of water, wherever there is some water supplied to the surface, you can find a garden. There are lots of gardens that have turned Mahan into an oasis. One of these gardens is called Shahzadeh (Shazdeh) meaning prince.
Shahzadeh Garden: As one of the most beautiful and expressive examples of Persian gardens, it is located at the North of the town just outside it. Built on a slope from the Joopar Mountains, as an ordinary brook of water couldn’t be constructed, garden planners had decided to plan water cascades flowing down the slope from the mansion on the highest spot toward its Southern entrance. The beauty of this garden at first glance is breath-taking.
The garden has been built and planted at 19th century during the reign of Qajars as a Summer resort for the princes of the court and Kerman governor’s family. It is surrounded by thick walls and bastions along it and at its corners. There are decorative trees around the garden casting shade inside. In the inner parts of the garden, fruit trees are planted like in any other typical Persian gardens.
The mansion on top of the slope used to be the temporary residence of the royalties and the people from the governor’s family and their guests. At the time when this article is written, the mansion is used as a restaurant. Those who take an Iran travel package and visit Mahan can have their lunch here.
Along the Eastern walls of the garden, there is a private bathhouse, Hammam, and a few other rooms for the servants. Today, some of those rooms are used as the kitchen for the restaurant.
Mausoleum of Shah Nematollah-e-Valley: This is the burial place of one of the major Sufis of the fourteenth century, who has been buried inside the town of Mahan. The mausoleum has been built much later by the followers of the Sufi who were spread from Iran to India.
The mausoleum is a compound consisting of four courtyards with plantation in them and one main building as the burial place. There is a museum, a tea house, a temporary residence for the followers of Shah Nematollah-e-Valley who come together once a year to hold their mystic celebration, a few shops with local handicrafts, etc.
The beauty of this mausoleum is in its architectural design, landscaping, garden planning and the idea of building such an edifice in the middle of the town that is shining with its glazed bricks covering the dome and minarets.