The Persian Gardens have a special place in the history, art, and literature of this country, as they were designed and built by Iranian architects and artists as a sample and of the legendary paradise, which was described in holy books on earth, especially in drylands and desert cities of this country since ancient times. The Bagh-e Shazdeh, Shazdeh Garden or Shahzadeh Garden (literally meaning the Prince’s Garden) is one of the historical gardens of Iran, located on the foothills of the Tigaran Mountains, six kilometers away from the Mahan Town and 39 kilometers away from Kerman city of the Kerman Province in the southeast of Iran. This garden is one of the most stunning Persian gardens that were built based on a specific plan with special elements like a central mansion, special trees like cypresses and planes, and the use of water as water ponds and ditches, and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site with the 8 other Persian gardens in 2011. This fabulous garden is one of the most important attractions of Kerman that shouldn’t be missed while you are traveling in this city.
The History of Shazdeh Garden
The construction of this garden was started during the Qajar Dynasty by the order of Muhammad Hasan Khan Sardar Iravani the governor of Kerman and then it was continued and completed under the rule of the next governor, Abdulhamid Mirza Naser ol Dowleh Farmanfarmayan, the grandson of Naser al-Din Shan known as the Prince to be used as his recreational garden. According to a story about the garden, when the death of Abdulhamid Mirza (the prince) was announced to people, the mason of the garden who was busy with the last details of the garden stopped working immediately and left the garden happily because of all the injustice he experienced during this project. That is why you can note some parts of the tilework missing on the entrance gate of the garden.
The architecture of Shazdeh Garden
The glorious and beautiful Shazdeh Garden of Kerman is an excellent example of original and exquisite Persian gardens and one of the few samples of steep gardens (stepped gardens) known as Bagh-e Takht in Iranian architecture. One of the characteristics of the steep gardens is the fantastic exhibition of water that flows in stepped water ditches along the garden. This garden is a five and a half hectares’ rectangular ground which is 407 meters in 212 meters (487 square meters) and consists of the entrance gate, the bathhouse, the mansion, the servants' rooms, and the watering system including the water ponds, ditches, etc. passing through the high and aged trees that shine like a piece of emerald in the heart of the surrounding barrens.
The entrance of the garden which is one of the most eye-catching parts is a two-story façade decorated with a geometrical combination of tilework and brickwork that can be introduced as one of the most beautiful samples in Iran. Watching the garden’s view through the frame of the entrance gate is an unforgettable picture. There are also some extra doors along the garden’s walls, which are not used today. Entering the garden, you’ll pass 12 stair surfaces along the vertical axis that are located on the two sides of the main stair ditch, waterfalls, two water ponds, and the fountains that have a genius yet simple system and squirt the water of the ditch by the altitude difference and without any other mechanical power. This scenic pathway passes through the trees of the garden including high cypresses, maples, plane trees, and fruit trees that cause the garden to have a cold and snowy look during winter, get covered in red, yellow, and orange colors in autumn, and be fully lush and green in spring and summer. This pathway which is covered with cobblestones and geometric designs is stretched for 235 meters from the entrance gate to the main mansion of the garden. The main mansion of the garden is a glorious white two-story building with windows, terraces, and ivans opening to the garden and was the residential house of the owner of the garden. The water required for irrigating the Shazdeh Garden is provided from the Tigaran Qanat which originates from the Joupar mountains and after flowing in the garden because of its slope and irrigating the garden, it is transferred to Mahan town through water canals.
Tip for visiting the Shazdeh Garden
Visiting the Shazdeh Garden usually takes about one and a half hours, however, we highly suggest that you spend more time (about 2-3 hours) in this lush garden and enjoy its heavenly atmosphere and fresh weather.
You can drink a cup of tea or herbal drink or have a traditional Kermani cuisine at the café and the restaurant of the garden located behind the mansion.
Do not forget to go to the balcony of the mansion and enjoy the garden’s view including the trees, the stairway and steps, and the entrance gate from afar.
If you travel to Kerman more than once and in different seasons, do not miss to visit the Shazdeh Garden again, as it will surprise you with a whole new atmosphere and beauty in different seasons.
After visiting the Shazdeh Garden, visit the Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine in Mahan Town, which is the mausoleum of Shah Nematollah, the famous Iranian mystic, philosopher, and poet and is a sacred place for the locals of the city. This historical complex is one of the best samples of mausoleum architecture in Iran.
Visit the top attractions of Kerman including Shazdeh Garden and the Shah Nematollah Shrine and also the UNESCO listed Lut Desert on Mahan and Lut (Shahdad) Desert tour of PackToIran. Book this tour and enjoy a unique and adventurous excursion from Kerman.