Aramgah-e Shah Ne’matollah Vali

Southeastern Iran

The physical and spiritual heart of Mahan is filled by the impressive mausoleum complex of dervish-mystic and poet Shah Ne’matollah 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 two charming, pond-filled courtyards have roosting birds in the trees who are all a-twitter at dusk.

The main tomb lies beneath a 17m dome surrounded by carpets incorporating pentagram symbols, some with elements of backward mirror writing. An easily missed highlight is a tiny prayer chamber whose walls and ceiling are covered with calligraphy in a spiral pattern.

There is a small museum (ticket required) but it was under reconstruction at time of research. To access the rear Abbassid courtyard you might need to ask a guardian to open the heavy doors behind the main shrine room (a donation is appropriate).

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