Salaam Alaikum

These images are all of the Gauhar Shad Mosque. More about the mosque here.

Imam Reza (a.s.) Shrine 1960

The Mosque of Gauhar Shad

The Aywan-i-Maksura or "Portico of the Sanctuary", supports a blue dome. The loftiness and elegance of the quadrangle, together with its perfect proportions and exquisite tile-work, make it the noblest mosque in Central Asia. Sykes P. M. History of Persia


Latest changes are as follows:

23rd October 2010

There is updated information in the hotel/travel sections of the site, regarding costs, budgets and contacts who can offer further help.

19th December 2009

I have found, on the internet, a detailed description of the Shrine and Shrine complex of Imamzadeh Fatima Ma'suma (a.s.). This was written by Bijan Sadaat in 1977 for the Asia Institute of Pahlavi University. Archnet records this organisation as being defunct. I have edited the text from this source and placed it here.

10th October 2009

I have just had the pleasure of receiving from the Foreign Pilgrim's Office of Astan Quds Razavi, a copy of the text, 'Uyun Akhbar Al-Reza' (The Source of Traditions on Imam Reza (a.s.), by 'Sheikh Sadooq' and translated by Ali Peiravi, 2006. I will used material from this where relevant. Initially I have used some material regarding the biography of Imam Reza (a.s.).

9th September 2009

I have generously been given a book to  include on this site. It is entitled, 'Lives of the Ulema buried in the Holy city of Qom'. Very usefully it has photographs of the graves of the ulema in the Shrine complex of Hazrat Masuma (a.s.) and their associated biographies. You can get this book from the downloads section of this site.

30th July 2009

I have done some more research into the architecture of the Gawhar Shad mosque here. This page also has links to new material on Timurid architecture.

18th July 2009

The visit by P.M.Sykes to the Shrine in 1910  is written up in a book called, 'The Glory of the Shia World'. I have taken extracts from the book and put them here

27th April 2009

A more comprehensive list of hotels and musafirkhanas in Mashhad and Qom.

10 April 2009 

The Foreign Pilgrims' office of the Astana Quds Razavi have kindly sent me a couple of books about the Shrine and information about their activities. This information has been used to update the following pages

4th March 2009

New Page dealing with newspaper correspondents' trips to Iran. Here 

The greater part of the original shrine and the adjoining buildings were destroyed in the tenth century A.D. but Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna, although a strict Sunni, erected a new domed building over the two graves in A.D. 1009; it is said that he erected this building because Ali, the Prophet's son in law and the first of the Imams, appeared to him in a dream and urged him to take this step (Lockhart 1939:25).


This site has been compiled for Muslims who want to make a ziarat (pilgrimage) to the holy shrines in Iran & also enjoy the cultural delights and scenery that Iran has to offer. Non-Muslims may also find the general travel, historical and architecture information to be of interest.

About to leave on ziarat...and just discovered this site?
If you are short of time - make sure you get the relevant ziarats, (pdf and audio) and other pilgrimage instructions from the Downloads section.

Using this site

The tabs above will take you to the major pages within this site. Below I have grouped these and other pages into sections containing similar pages.

The Basics section has information that you will need before you travel in order to make arrangements regarding transport and accommodation, for example.

The Major Ziarats section has information about the major ziarats in Iran.

The Cities section has information about sightseeing and minor ziarats in the major cities of Iran.

The Photo Collections section draws attention to some specific albums within the site.

The Articles section contains links to some detailed articles about the history and background information related to the shrines and Iran.



1. Essentials and itineraries

2. Transport

3. Hotels 


Major Ziarats

1. Ziarat Imam Reza

2. Masoumeh Qom

3. Shah Cheragh


1. Mashhad

2. Qom

3. Tehran

4. Shiraz

5. Esfahan

Photo Collections

Imam Reza (a.s.) Shrine Complex

Qilat - e - Naderi

Timurid Architecture

Sa'dabad (White) Palace Tehran


History of the Shrine

Imam Reza (a.s.)

The Glory of the Shia World

Ma'suma Qom (a.s.) Shrine

May Allah accept our prayers.

All information provided in good faith, please check as appropriate before you travel (c) 2009