Cheshmeh Ali


Very popular as a picnic place in summer, Cheshmeh Ali's centrepiece is a pair of Qajar-era pavilions facing each other across a reflecting pool. It's almost worth the savari fare for the beauty of the 30km drive from Damghan. (Parking is free.)

Though one of the pavilions is right at the Dibaj junction where savaris drop off, the entrance is 600m further towards Sari. Another 200m beyond, in an area assigned as a student camp, is a small, mud-walled fortress ruin.

To get to Cheshmeh Ali use Damghan–Sari buses (three daily) or take any savari (IR35,000, 45 minutes) bound for Kalat-e Roodbar or Dibaj. Getting a return ride can be more complicated, however, as vehicles will be already full on leaving those villages; ask your outbound driver if you can arrange a return pickup.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Iran attractions

1. Badab-e Surt

13.74 MILES

Badab-e Surt is a series of terraced travertine (limestone) pools – smaller than those at Turkey's Pamukkale, but more colourful and serenely isolated…

2. Imamzadeh Jafar

16.46 MILES

Imamzadeh Jafar is a splendid, ancient pale-brick building with round side-towers, arched false-windows and a five-level dome culminating in a brick cone…

3. Masjed-e Jameh

16.86 MILES

With its metallic dome, this mosque looks outwardly new but was actually founded a millennium ago; the fine faceted-brick minaret probably dates mostly…

4. Pir Alamdar

16.89 MILES

Dating from the 1020s, Pir Alamdar is a circular, Seljuk-era tomb-tower in faceted pale brick, notable for its original band of Kufic inscriptions around…

5. Tarikhuneh Mosque

17.08 MILES

This unique, partly ruined mud-brick structure has 18 extraordinarily sturdy rear columns that date from about AD 760 – reputedly making this the second…

6. Mil-e-Radkan Qarbi

24.19 MILES

Sitting upon an astoundingly lonely knoll with wistful views over the cliff-edged valley, this circular, conical-topped tower was built in 1020 for a…