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Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz attractions

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz attractions

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine is one of the main attractions of Shiraz and also an important religious sites in Iran, which is the holy shrine of Ahmad and Mouhammad, the sons of Musa al-Kadhim and brothers of Imam Reza the eighth Imam of Shiite Muslims. This architectural complex and monument is known for its magnificent and eye-catching ornaments and attracts many travelers and visitors.

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November 1, 2021

The Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine has a special place among the Shiite Muslims and locals of Shiraz, and is a sacred place for pilgrimage. Apart from its religious value and sacredness, this shrine is a significant heritage in terms of artistic and architectural value, as its magical mirrorwork and tilework double the spirituality and glory of its atmosphere. The name of Shah Cheragh, which literally means “King of the Light”, refers to a local mythical story about an old woman who notes a light from afar once a week, and when she reports this to the king, they find out that this light shines above a place which turns out to be the grave of the old son of Musa Ibn Jafar (Musa al Kadhim).

 

 

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz, Iran

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz, Iran

The History of Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine

The construction of Shah Cheragh shrine dates back to the kingdom of Adud al-Dawla the emir of Buyid Dynasty who ruled from 949 to 983. At first, the grave of Shah Cheragh was a mound. During the reign of Salghurids, also known as Atabegs of Fars, the governor of Fars ornamented the shrine, constructed a dome over on top of the shrine and a porch.

During the Ilkhanid Era, Queen Tashi Khatun mother of Abu Ishaq Inju, ordered the construction of a stunning monument with great ornaments. This project which took five years included adding a high dome and different sections like a mosque, a school, a bazaar and a lodge for pilgrims and travelers. According to the travelogue of Ibn Battuta every Monday night, Mrs. Tashi Khatun held religious ceremonies at Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine and gave food and dinner to the poor.

During the Safavid Era (16th – 17th century) Shah Ismaeil renovated the shrine and during the Afsharid dynasty they added a gold chandelier, but later during the Qajar era it was sold for amending the shrine which was ruined because of an earthquake. Also, Fath Ali Shah, the Qajar king spent so much money on renovating the shrine with standard materials and added a sliver Zarih on the tomb stone. The stunning mirrorwork of Shah Cheragh Shrine is the heritage of Pahlavi Dynasty, and the delicate exterior tilework is the work of Mr. Isa Bahadori the great Iranian carpet designer.

The Architecture of Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine

The architecture of the holy shrine is based on Azeri style which was prevalent during the Ilkhanid era. It has four alcoves (Shah Neshin) on four sides of the 14000 meters in square courtyard, and the courtyard has two entrances on the north and south with a large central pond. The tomb of Ahmad Ibn Mousa is on the west of the courtyard and has three shabistans and the tomb of Seyed Mir Muhammad is on the northeast.

The Ivan (porch)

The main porch which was constructed during Qajar Era, is 38 in 5.5 meters with 10 columns and two corridors leading to the tomb. The ceiling of the porch is covered with wooden Muqarnas and amazing woodwork (Girih tiles) which is the art of creating Islamic geometric patterns by wood.

The Zarih

Zarih is an ornate lattice structure made over a grave in Islamic shrines. The current silver Zarih of Shah Cheragh is 226 cm in 358 cm and is ornamented with Persian and Arabic poem about Shia Imams, and a wooden box is located on the tomb inside the Zarih.

Entrance gates

The courtyard of Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine has six entrance gates. The first and main entrance located on the west is an octagonal shaped space and has two separate corridors ornamented with tilework and poem. By passing the entrance gate on the east you can reach the historical Jaame Atiq Mosque, and the northern gate, and the southern gate connect you to the bazaar, Zand Street, etc.

 

 

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz, Iran

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz, Iran

 

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