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Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz Architectural and Cultural Attraction

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz Architectural and Cultural Attraction

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine is one of the main attractions of Shiraz and also an important religious site in Iran, which is the holy shrine of Ahmad and Mouhammad, the sons of Musa al-Kadhim the seventh Imam of Shiite Muslims and brothers of Imam Reza the eighth Imam. Apart from its historical and religious value, the Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine is an amazing architectural complex and monument known for its magnificent and eye-catching ornaments and attracts many travelers and visitors. Visitors to Chah Cheragh are sure to be awed by the beauty and grandeur of this historic site.

November 1, 2021

Chah Cheragh Holy Shrine is a revered mausoleum in the city of Shiraz, Iran, known for its stunning architecture and rich history. The Shah Cheragh is a sacred and distinct place among the Shia Muslims and a popular pilgrimage site for the locals of Shiraz. Apart from its religious value and sacredness, this shrine is a significant heritage in terms of artistic and architectural value, as its magical mirrorwork (Āina-kāri) and tilework (tessellation) double the spirituality and glory of its atmosphere. The name of Shah Cheragh, which literally means “King of the Light” (or maybe "Oh King! 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). Then the king decided to build a fancy shrine over the grave. Chah Cheragh is a revered mausoleum in the city of Shiraz, Iran, known for its stunning architecture and rich history.


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 the Buyid Dynasty who ruled from 949 to 983. At first, the grave of Shah Cheragh was just a mound. During the reign of Salghurids, also known as Atabegs of Fars, the governor of Fars ornamented the shrine, constructed a dome over the top of the shrine and also made a porch.

During the Ilkhanid Era, Queen Tashi Khatun mother of Abu Ishaq Inju, who was a generous and religious woman, ordered the construction of a stunning monument with great ornaments for the Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine. This project which took five years to be finished, included adding a high dome and different sections like a mosque, a religious school, a roofed bazaar and a lodge for pilgrims and travelers. According to the travel book of Ibn Battuta every Monday night, Mrs. Tashi Khatun held religious ceremonies at Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine, where locals gathered and said prayers and then she offered free food 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 this fancy chandelier was sold for amending the shrine that was badly damaged 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, which is a significant feature of this architectural masterpiece is a heritage left from the Pahlavi Dynasty, and the delicate exterior tilework which amazes every visitor is the work of Mr. Isa Bahadori the great Iranian carpet designer.

The Architecture of Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine

The architecture of the Shah Cheragh holy shrine is based on Azeri style which is one of the main Persian architecture styles and got prevalent during the Ilkhanid era. It has four alcoves (Shah Neshin) on four sides of the main courtyard which is 14000 meters in square. The courtyard has two entrances on the north and south with a large central pond. These two entrances connect this holy site to the other parts of the neighbourhood. 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. Visitors to Chah Cheragh are sure to be awed by the beauty and grandeur of this historic site.

The Ivan (porch) in Chah Cheragh

The main porch of Shah Cheragh shrine, this magnificent structure was built during the Qajar Era and is 38 in 5.5 meters with 10 columns and two corridors leading to the tomb. The porch is a stunning example of Islamic architecture and design, with its ceiling covered in wooden Muqarnas and Girih tiles. The art of creating Islamic geometric patterns by wood, known as Girih tiles, is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans who built this incredible structure.

The Zarih of Shah Cheragh

One of the most striking features of Chah Cheragh is the ornate lattice structure known as the Zarih. This silver Zarih is 226 cm in length and 358 cm in width, and is adorned with Persian and Arabic poems about Shia Imams. Inside the Zarih, visitors will find a wooden box with hand-carved ornaments that rests on the tomb. This intricate and beautiful structure is a symbol of the deep respect and reverence that the people of Iran have for their religious leaders.

Entrance gates of Shah Cheragh

The Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine boasts a magnificent courtyard adorned with six entrance gates. The primary gateway, situated on the western side, stands out with its octagonal shape. This grand entrance encompasses two distinct corridors, exquisitely embellished with intricate tilework and poetic verses. On the opposite end lies the eastern gate, leading visitors to the historic Jaame Atiq Mosque. Meanwhile, the northern and southern gates serve as connections to various bustling destinations such as the vibrant Vakil bazaar, Zand Street, and more. Each entrance offers a unique experience, inviting pilgrims and tourists alike to explore the wonders that lie beyond. The Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine's courtyard is a testament to its architectural splendor and serves as a gateway to an enchanting world of spirituality and cultural heritage.



Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz, Iran

Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine - Shiraz, Iran

As visitors explore Chah Cheragh, they will be transported to a world of rich history and culture. The beauty of the architecture, combined with the deep spiritual significance of the site, makes it a must-see destination for anyone visiting Shiraz. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply seeking a deeper understanding of Islamic culture, Chah Cheragh is sure to leave you awed and inspired.

Tips for visiting the Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine

  • For visiting the Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine you don’t need to pay any entrance fee.
  • Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine is one of those religious sites which requires all female visitors wear chador. So even as a foreign female traveler you need to rent a chador (free of charge) at the entrance and then visit the holy site.
  • There are English speaking guides present at the site, so even if you are accompanied with your guide ask one of them to give you some detailed information about the holy shrine and also about the religious facts.


For Visiting Chah Cheragh Holy Shrine and  many more Cultural Attractions of Shiraz

with PackToIran Team, Book Shiraz City Tour Now!

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