Shazdeh Garden (Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden) | Kerman, Iran
Like to discover a rare gem on your cultural adventure through Iran? How about an emerald oasis in the desert? On the outskirts of Kerman’s Mahan lies a green jewel: Shazdeh Garden (UNESCO-listed Persian Garden). Separated from its surrounding desert with high walls, this historical garden enjoys fresh weather, a breathtaking view, a harmonious design, and a genius water system. Also known as Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden or Bagh-e Shahzadeh (meaning the Prince’s Garden), the garden originally belonged to Qajar aristocrats. Interested? Then stay with me…
- 1 Why Shazdeh Garden is a must-see
- 2 The Story of Shazdeh Garden
- 3 The Stunning Look of Shazdeh Garden
- 4 Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden as a Persian Garden
- 5 The Private Garden
- 6 The Story Behind the Unfinished Parts of Shazdeh Garden
- 7 Where to Get the Best View of Shazdeh Garden
- 8 More About Shazdeh Garden
- 9 Like to visit Shazdeh Garden?
- 10 Shazdeh Mahan Garden Tours
- 11 Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden on Map
Why Shazdeh Garden is a must-see
- Shazdeh Garden is one of the 9 Persian Gardens registered in UNESCO
- Shazdeh Mahan Historical Garden is one of the biggest and most beautiful of these Persian Gardens
- It showcases elements of Persian architecture
- The stunning sceneries it offers change from season to season
The Story of Shazdeh Garden
In the mid-19th century, a beneficent Qajar-era aristocrat set the foundations of Shazdeh Garden. Then, the governor of Kerman (who was a prince of the Qajar dynasty) remodeled the garden and added the main pavilion and other parts. When the governor died in early 1890s, the construction of the garden was left unfinished. After Qajar Era, the garden turned into ruins several times. But recent renovations saved the gorgeous garden and put it on the list of one of Iran’s most charming attractions. It was then that this garden entered the list of UNESCO’s Persian Gardens.
The Stunning Look of Shazdeh Garden
Sharzeh Garden is a masterpiece of Persian architecture that will charm you with wonder after wonder. First, it is the lovely tiling you’ll see at the traditional Persian entrance. Then, the entrance disconnects you from the dry and sandy world outside and welcomes you to the world of architectural beauties inside. But the fascinating view of the green world that opens before you might distract you from the fine muqarnas decorations on the ceiling of the entrance building. After checking out this 2-story building, you’ll step inside the delightful garden.
From where you’re standing, a staircase centered with pools and fountains and bordered with tall trees directs your eyes toward a white pavilion at the end of the garden. On both sides of the glittering streams, staircases lead you to a large pool and the charming pavilion behind it. As the residence of the owner of the garden, the 2-floor pavilion showcases charming elements of Persian architecture. It features a nice tiling and brick work with Islamic and ancient Iranian patterns. Also, a layer of clay straw plaster covers the walls of the second floor. On the first floor, you’ll find the main hall, and in the second, you can see a few handsome rooms. Upstairs, you can also check out the lovely arches and the thin pillars that have blessed the building with an attractive view.
Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden as a Persian Garden
Like the other 8 Persian Gardens registered on UNESCO World Heritage List, Shazdeh Garden stands as a sign of Iranian adaptation to different climate conditions. So, the garden is divided into 4 sections and has a natural slope that leads water downward. The snow on the nearby mountains melts, flows to the upper part of the garden, and divides into channels that direct it to different parts of the garden. It is not just the plants in the garden that enjoy this traditional water distribution system. It is also your eyes that will be pleased by the delightful view of the flowing streams and splashing fountains. The garden is also home to a variety of trees. These trees include pines, cypresses, poplars, cedars, wild elms, and fruit trees. It is because of this water system and trees that the garden enjoys a mild temperature throughout the year.
The Private Garden
One of the things that make Shazdeh Garden different from other Persian Gardens is that it hides a garden behind the main pavilion. This garden provided the owners with a beautiful design and a more private atmosphere. With lovely trees, parallel pathways, and running streams, this part of Bagh-e Shahzde should also be a part of your exploration.
The Story Behind the Unfinished Parts of Shazdeh Garden
At the entrance of Shazdeh Garden, you can see parts that lack any decoration and tiling. Why are they so? The story goes that the aristocratic inhabitants of the garden didn’t treat their subjects well and weren’t very popular among the commons. That’s why when the plasterer heard about the Prince’s death, he left the job unfinished. He happily threw the rest of the stucco at the wall and quit the job.
Where to Get the Best View of Shazdeh Garden
Your first view of the garden is certainly a wow moment. But it is actually the upper floor of the main pavilion that blesses you with the most spectacular view of the garden. From up there, you can enjoy the harmony of the garden and the vibrant flow of water through it. If you turn around, you can also get a nice view of the nearby mountains. But all of this depends on whether the second floor of the pavilion is open to the public at the time of your visit.
More About Shazdeh Garden
9:00 a.m. to 7 p.m.
All days except some public holidays
When to Visit Shazdeh Garden
One of the outstanding features of Shazdeh Garden is the variety of beauties it offers in different seasons. The garden dresses up differently in each season. The pleasant weather and the colorful flowers make spring one of the best seasons for visiting this Persian garden. But it wears its most impressive clothes in fall. Covering the trees and the staircases, the red, orange, yellow and gold leaves dazzle your eyes with a charming scenery.
Also, sunset gives the garden a whole new look. With lights and lanterns that glow on every corner, Shazdeh Garden becomes a real treat to the eyes. The main pavilion is also at its best at nighttime. Many prefer to visit the garden at night, not just for the gorgeous view, but also for the peace and the pleasant music of the water.
Things to Do Near Shazdeh Garden
One of the best things you can enjoy around Shazdeh Garden is horseback riding. You can also shop for lovely handicrafts in the rooms of the garden. Kilims, carpets and traditional jewelry are of the delicacies you can find in these rooms.
The Nearby Attractions
Near Shazdeh Garden, you can check out Mahan’s Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine (9 km). You can also visit another Qajar-era construction: Shotor Galu Mansion. The world’s biggest adobe castle, Bam Citadel (UNESCO), is also at a 157-km distance.
Where to Eat Near Shazdeh Garden
Shazdeh Garden Restaurant
Like to visit Shazdeh Garden?
Then hop on one of our Kerman Excursion Tours, Kerman Desert Tours, or our 13-day Main Magnets Plus the Charisma of Desert Civilizations tour.
Shazdeh Mahan Garden Tours
Shahzadeh Mahan Historical Garden on Map
Keywords: Shahzadeh Mahan Garden, Baghe Shazdeh, Bagh Shazdeh Mahan, Shazdeh Garden Iran, Bagh-e Shazdeh
What a beautiful place. A pity, being an American, I cannot visit Iran. Perhaps one day
Dear John. Thank you for the comment! 🙂 In fact, you CAN visit Iran as an American. We have had American guests before. And if you’d like to, we can happily apply for an Iran visa for you!
I thought you might like to see a video of Shazdeh garden as well!