by Mohadeseh Honarmand

Picturesque Mahan, 35km southeast of Kerman, is a low-key town that's widely famed for its shrine ( Shah Nematollah  ) and Unesco-listed Persian garden ( Shazdeh Garden ).

With a superb little heritage hotel (Ivan) and a fine (and unpretentious) teahouse at the shrine-area(Motevali Bashi), it's worth considering Mahan as an alternative place to stay in the Kerman region.

shah nemataollah2

Aramgah-e Shah Nematollah Vali
The physical and spiritual heart of Mahan is filled by the impressive mausoleum complex of dervish-mystic and poet Shah Nematollah Vali, who died in 1431 (aged more than 100!). Built five years after his death by an Indian king who followed his teachings, the complex has received many additions, most notably the Abbasid blue cupola and Qajar-era twin minarets. The mausoleum was built by Ahmad Shah Kani; the rest of the building was constructed during the reigns of Shah Abbas I, Mohammad Shah Qajar and Nasser-al-Din Shah.

0 Shahzadeh Garden

Bagh-e Shahzde
Arriving at these handsome gardens is like being beamed onto a different planet. One second you’re in the arid semidesert, the next it’s all flowing mountain water and tall green trees. Built in 1873, the garden rises to a small villa that was once the residence of Abdul Hamid Mirza, one of the last princes of the Qajar dynasty. It now houses a handicraft shop, restaurant and teahouse. In the early evening it looks charming when floodlit.
The gardens are well outside Mahan, 1.2km south of the southern ring road and 5km from the mausoleum.

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