Jewel of the Timurid Era Goharshad Mosque


Goharshad Mosque, Mashhad; Timurian artistic masterpiece

Goharshad mosque ,  an Architectural Gem nestled in the southern quarters of the revered Holy Shrine of Ali bin Musa al-Reza in the city of Mashhad. This masterpiece stands as a testament to the immaculate artistry and intricate design of the Timurid era. The radiant tiling and captivating architecture of Goharshad Mosque have elevated it to the echelons of the most splendid and esteemed structures of its era.


Amidst the expansive realm of Imam Reza hloy shrine, the majestic Goharshad Mosque stands as a grand testament to its historical importance. Serving as the oldest courtyard within the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS), this mosque bears witness to centuries of devotion and veneration. The name of Goharshad is perpetuated through intricately crafted mosaic tiles embellishing the entrance door and inscriptions on the porch. Embarking on a journey to Mashhad unveils the chance to witness the magnificence of Goharshad Mosque, a mere plane ticket offering access to its resplendent splendor.


Unveiling the Rich Legacy: The History of Goharshad Mosque

In the year 818 AH of the Islamic lunar calendar, Gohar Shad, the daughter of Amir Ghiyas al-Din Tarkhan and the wife of King Shah Rukh Timurid, undertook the construction of a mosque on the southern side of the Imam Reza shrine. This mosque's construction was completed in 821 AH. Gohar Shad, a prominent figure of the Timurid era, played a significant role in serving the people during her husband's reign, earning her a legacy of benevolence. The name of Gohar Shad will forever be intertwined with the enduring heritage of this mosque's creation.



Architectural Opulence: Goharshad Mosque's Marvels

The primary architect of this structure was Qavam al-Din Shirazi, one of the most renowned architects of the Timurid era. This mosque stands as a masterpiece of Iranian architecture from the Timurid period. The architectural style of the mosque follows the Iranian four-iwan mosque style with a dome. In terms of Islamic architectural features, its design, style, calligraphy, intricate tilework, muqarnas, and plasterwork are adorned with unparalleled artistic decorations.


The mosque's structure includes 8 grand iwans (vaulted halls) and 7 smaller chambers. The southern iwan is known as the "Miqsura Iwan," being the largest. The northern iwan is famous as the "Dar al-Siyadeh Iwan." The eastern iwan is named the "E'tekaf Iwan," and the western iwan is called the "Sheikh Bahai Iwan." These four iwans are situated in a square courtyard, with spacious chambers visible between them. Iranian artistry is evident throughout the entire structure.


The dome's bulbous vaults and the exquisite minarets contribute to the uniqueness of this building. The minarets of the mosque are adorned with the Timurid-style muqarnas and intricate tilework. The entire perimeter of the mosque is covered with decorative mosaic tiles. The walls of the mosque display the names of Allah, Quranic verses, and observable hadiths. Despite enduring considerable damage over time due to natural and human factors, the Gohar Shad Mosque has undergone several restoration efforts. Following the Islamic Revolution, renovations were conducted, and a central fountain and basin were added to the courtyard.

Exploring the Rich Components of Goharshad Mosque

1. Iwan Maqsourah: Embark on a journey through time as you step into the Iwan Maqsourah, a portal that reveals more than mere grandeur. Adorned with mosaic tiles, this monumental arch unveils the mosque's inception date, etched within its artistic tapestry. Within this splendid iwan, an altar hewn from marble stands as a testament to enduring craftsmanship, crowned by the mosque's distinctive dome. The very date of its creation resides on this mosaic-clad inscription, a tribute to history interwoven with architecture.


2. Minbar Sahib al-Zaman: As you traverse the mosque's expanse, encounter the majestic Minbar Sahib al-Zaman, a lofty pulpit nestled in the southern enclave of the Moqsura porch. Crafted from walnut and pear wood during the Qajar era, this pulpit showcases the mastery of inlay and calligraphic artistry. Rising to a height of 7.5 meters and encompassing 14 steps, it embodies an artistic ascendancy that mirrors the spiritual journey of those who ascend its steps.


The Goharshad Mosque is more than just an architectural marvel; it's a living testament to the intricate fusion of art, history, and devotion. Through these distinct components, the past comes alive, and visitors are invited to partake in the narrative etched into the very walls of this iconic sanctuary.


Aesthetic Facets of Goharshad Mosque Unveiled

In its current form, Goharshad Mosque boasts a total of eight entrances, inviting those in search of serenity through various doorways. Among these entrances, two extend an invitation to the revered Holy of Holies, while another pair guides visitors towards the Bast of Sheikh Bahá'í. Additionally, one entrance leads to the corridor of Dar al-Wolayeh. The meticulous architectural layout also includes an entrance guiding visitors to the portico of Imam Khomeini, and three more entrances that open to the portico of Dar al-Siadeh.

Amidst these architectural intricacies, the mosque's design encompasses pavilions that grace the qibla porch, available in both modest and grand proportions. An arch, distinguished by its slightly broader dimensions compared to its lateral counterparts, elegantly adorns this symmetrical assembly, lending an exquisite touch to the mosque's overall design.


On each side of the porch, the twin minarets stand tall like watchful sentinels, adding to the mosque's remarkable outline. Between these grand porches, the naves flow characterized by their unadorned elegance that radiates a feeling of tranquil simplicity. Goharshad Mosque's architectural composition tells a rich story, inviting both reverence and contemplation from those who pass through its diverse entrances into a world of art, devotion, and history.


Getting to Gohar Shad Mosque:

To visit this exquisite historical mosque, you should make your way to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza. From any location within Mashhad, you can utilize public transportation, city taxis, or the metro system to reach the shrine. If you have an interest in religious landmarks and distinctive architecture, contemplate acquiring a train ticket to Mashhad and embark on a memorable voyage.


The best time, time and cost to visit Goharshad Mosque

You can visit this mosque every day and 24 hours a day during the year without paying a fee. You need about an hour to visit this mosque. The best seasons to go to Mashhad's sights are spring and autumn, so it is quieter in terms of population and the climate of Mashhad is mild.


Attractions near Goharshad Mosque

Tomb of Nadershah Afshar: 3.8 km

Mashhad Botanical Garden: 5.3 km

Kuhsangi Park: 7.3 km

Malek Abad Garden: 13 km

Helium Park Mashhad: 15 km


Restaurants near Goharshad Mosque

Al-Amara Palace Restaurant: 1.3 km

Firuzeh Restaurant: 1.5 km

Omid Restaurant: 1.5 km

Almas Restaurant: 1.6 km

Olive restaurant: 2 km

Tulip restaurant: 3.6 km


Hotels near Goharshad Mosque

Javad Hotel: 650 meters

Almas Hotel: 800 meters

Iran Mashhad Hotel: 1 km

Javaher Sharq Hotel: 1.5 km

Zamzam Hotel: 1.8 km

Medina Al Reza Hotel: 2 km

Toos Hotel: 2 km

Immerse yourself in the historical grandeur of Goharshad Mosque, an architectural treasure that stands as a testament to the Timurid era's opulence. Traverse the mosaic-clad pathways, bask in the intricate design of the dome and minarets, and lose yourself in the quiet sanctuaries of Shabistans. As you embark on this journey through time, remember that Qaaph is here to guide you every step of the way. Let us assist you in fulfilling your travel aspirations, ensuring a seamless experience that befits the majesty of this cherished destination. 


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