Shahzadeh Mahan Garden: A Paradise in the Heart of the Desert

An Oasis of Tranquility Nestled in Kerman

The beautiful Shahzadeh Mahan Garden is a special place worth seeing when visiting Iran. Located in Kerman, it is one of Iran’s most exceptional gardens. It is one of the shining examples of the Iranian garden that, in the minds of the ancients, was a metaphor for the Garden of Eden.

Besides being historically significant, Kerman’s Shazdeh Mahan Garden is also very popular among tourists. Let’s stroll through the Shazdeh Garden, uncover its history, and learn how to get there.

Unveiling the Jewel of Kerman: Shahzadeh Mahan Garden

A Paradise In The Heart Of The Desert, Shazdeh Mahan Garden
A Paradise in the Heart of the Desert, Shazdeh Mahan Garden

The Kerman Province is known for its low rainfall, lack of vegetation, and hot, seasonal winds. In such a climate, a lush and pleasant garden is astonishing. Our surprise increases when we learn this garden is over a century old. The fantastic garden of Kerman, which covers an area of five and a half hectares, is a legacy from the Qajar era.

Who is Prince Mahan?

Beauty Of Shazdeh Mahan Garden In Kerman
Beauty of Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Kerman (photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Muhammad Hasan Sirdari Iravani was the first to envision a heavenly garden on Earth. This is why the Qajar-era governor of Kerman ordered the construction of this garden. But believing that sorcerers would reside in his paradise, he passed away. Years later, Prince Abdul Hamid Mirza Nasir al-Dawla, who ascended the throne of Kerman, continued his unfinished work in 1257 to build a place for his leisure and recreation.

It’s as if he wanted the Prince’s Garden to be both to his liking and in his name. Yes, although we don’t know for sure, he is believed to be the “Prince Mahan” – the one who spent the last 11 years creating one of the paradises on Earth.

Architectural Features of the Garden

Architecture Of Shahzadeh Mahan Garden
Architecture of Shahzadeh Mahan Garden (photo by Wikipedia)

As soon as you enter Prince Mahan’s Garden, your gaze falls on its large pools that tempt you to dive in. Two buildings have been constructed in the eastern and western parts of the garden – the first is the entrance hall, and the second invites you to the grand gatherings of the nobility and kings.

From the second floor of the mansion at the end, you can see the entire garden beneath your feet – this is just a corner of this 5.5-hectare paradise with a length of 407 meters and a width of 122 meters.

Apart from the garden, there is nothing but dryness, and the foothills of the Tigran mountains are 6 kilometers to the town of Mahan and 35 kilometers to the center of Kerman province. But inside, there is a world of wonder with beautiful tilework whose turquoise hues mesmerize you. Of course, the lime mortar, mud plaster, and yellow bricks accentuate its intricate patterns and designs.

Another distinguished feature of the Mahan Garden is its residential and recreational use. Architecture experts say that when the Shazdeh Mahan Garden was built, gardens generally had the role of settlement, hunting ground, or fortress. The numerous fountains that cool and delight the garden space are another strength of the garden’s architecture.

Attractions and Sections of Prince Mahan’s Garden

Shazdeh Mahan Garden, Kerman, Iran
Shazdeh Mahan Garden, Kerman, Iran

It seems Iranians have never settled for less, even back then. The mere dance of the turquoise patterns on the earth-toned walls of its entrance hall lifts our spirits, let alone the upper mansion, the secluded garden, the chief caretaker’s house, the watchtower, the pool, the fountain, and the royal building.

The Upper Mansion

As the name suggests, it is located in the upper and noble part of the garden. Although the garden is magnificent and beautiful everywhere, this place has a different serenity. Perhaps in ancient times, many people could not enter many grand and royal places, but today, you can see the upper mansion or the building at the end of the garden, even from the garden’s entrance.

The upper mansion has now become a restaurant to welcome Iranian and foreign visitors.

Prince Mahan'S Garden At Night
Prince Mahan’s Garden at Night (photo by Wikipedia)

Irrigation System and Courtyard

Since the architecture of Prince Mahan’s Garden is tiered and sloped, the qanat (underground aqueduct) and mountain water enter from one side of the garden, flow to the lower levels, and circulate around the courtyard to irrigate the pool, waterfalls, flowers, and plants. The people also enjoy the clarity of the cool water coming from the mountain.

The Pool

From ancient times, Iranians’ temperament has been pleased with the glimmer and murmur of water. This is why every architectural and garden structure built in Iran from previous eras had a pool.

In addition to the pool, Prince Mahan’s Garden also has several fountains. This garden has three very large pools, the largest of which is at the end of the garden and in front of the upper mansion or the grand residence of the garden’s owner. The smaller pool is at the beginning of the garden and in front of the entrance hall. Its circular pool is also located before the garden’s entrance portal.

Prince Mahan'S Garden In Kerman
Prince Mahan’s Garden in Kerman


Most Iranian gardens have a uniform courtyard, but Prince Mahan’s Garden in Kerman is tiered. Each level is about half a meter to one meter in height, and stairs have been installed to go up and down each level and reach the royal mansion.

The Entrance Hall

Even paradise has a door, let alone a garden. Before entering Prince Mahan’s Garden, you see the entrance hall of the garden, where guests of that time were received in the second-floor room. The front part of this entrance hall is flat, but the interior part is volumetric.

Before entering the garden, try to stand directly in front of the entrance portal and look into the garden. What you see is a white-colored royal mansion that you can view from the entrance. You must pass through many fountains and lush trees to reach that place.

Shazdeh Mahan Garden View
Shazdeh Mahan Garden View

The Chief Caretaker’s House and Watchtower

A garden of this size cannot be without a caretaker or gardener. This guard must have a place to rest and sleep so that he does not have to go to his own home, which might be far from the garden. That’s why the back part of the upper mansion building was given to the garden’s guard to live in throughout the year and protect this vast garden.

Visiting the Shazdeh Mahan Garden


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Shahzadeh Mahan Garden: A Paradise In The Heart Of The Desert


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Shahzadeh Mahan Garden: A Paradise In The Heart Of The Desert


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As a traveler, do you know when you should set out to get the most enjoyment from the Shazdeh Garden? Well, the reality is that the Shazdeh Mahan Garden has its own charm in every season of the year. When deciding on the time of your trip to Kerman, consider your priorities.

The Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Spring

Shazdeh Mahan Garden In Spring
Shazdeh Mahan Garden In Spring

Kerman has a pleasant climate from late March to the end of May. If you can’t stand too much heat and cold, plan your trip for the spring season so you don’t miss the sight of the garden in full bloom.

The Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Summer

Shazdeh Mahan Garden In Summer
Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Summer

The summers in Kerman are pretty hot, and probably only the residents of the southern cities can tolerate it. But in return, it’s less crowded, and you can visit the Shazdeh Garden and other city historical sites away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.

The Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Autumn

Shazdeh Mahan Garden In Autumn
Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Autumn (photo by Wikipedia)

The beauty of the Shazdeh Mahan Garden in the fall needs no description. The play of colors, on the one hand, and the good weather – though only until the end of October – on the other hand, help you have a delightful experience in Kerman.

The Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Winter

Shazdeh Mahan Garden In Winter
Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Winter

The desert city of Kerman has cold and dry winters. If you’re not used to this weather, choose another time to visit Kerman. However, the advantage of traveling to Kerman in the winter is that you can participate in the Sadeh celebration. This ancient Zoroastrian ceremony is held on the tenth of Bahman (January 29).

Amenities at Prince Mahan’s Garden

Visiting Shahzadeh Mahan Garden In Kerman
Visiting Shahzadeh Mahan Garden in Kerman (photo by Wikipedia)

Restaurant: Undoubtedly, sitting in the delightful garden environment and enjoying a delicious meal is appealing. This garden has a restaurant in the royal mansion and sometimes in the garden’s open spaces to welcome guests. You can also use free internet at this restaurant.

Guesthouse: Explore Prince Mahan’s Garden with peace of mind without worrying about overnight accommodation, as lodging facilities are available in the garden’s guesthouse.

Horse Riding: The possibility of horseback riding around this garden is available for enthusiasts, which is a great pleasure.

Handicraft Shopping: Some of the rooms in the garden’s mansion are dedicated to selling souvenirs, rugs, and carpets, which undoubtedly have their special charm and can be purchased as gifts for your family and friends.


Kerman Hotels

Places to See Around Prince Mahan’s Garden

After a pleasant and unforgettable stroll through Prince Mahan’s Garden, complete the memories of your trip to Kerman by visiting other notable attractions in this city. The mausoleum of Shah Nematollah Vali, located near this garden in Mahan, can be your next destination to further acquaint yourself with this great Sufi mystic.

You can also visit museums such as the Zoroastrian Museum, the Clock Museum, and the Harandi Garden Museum, stroll through the historic Bazaar of Kerman and the Ganjali Khan complex, and purchase delicious sweets and souvenirs. Visiting the Jabalieh Dome (Stone Museum) is another recommended option by Kojaro for an unforgettable trip to this city.

Entrance Of Shazdeh Garden In Kerman
Entrance of Shazdeh Garden in Kerman

World Heritage Listing

UNESCO has placed Prince Mahan’s Garden on the UNESCO tourism map and translated the information into 35 languages. It is one of nine Iranian gardens inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List 2011. UNESCO proclaimed Prince Mahan’s Garden a World Heritage Site on June 30, 2011.

Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Kerman’s beautiful Shazdeh Mahan Garden. This garden is truly special because it has lasted for hundreds of years. If you visit Kerman, we highly recommend spending time at Shazdeh Mahan. Walk slowly and take it all in. Imagine what the garden was like when it first opened. Think about the people who made it what it is. You may find it very peaceful there, away from the busy world.

We hope you get a chance to see Shazdeh Mahan Garden for yourself. Then you’ll know why it is so incredible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Shazdeh Mahan Garden located?

The Shazdeh Mahan Garden is located near the city of Mahan. Mahan is a small town about 2 kilometers from the garden. Mahan is located on the road between the cities of Kerman and Bam. The garden itself sits on the slopes of the Tigran mountain

Who built the Shazdeh Mahan Garden in Kerman?

This beautiful garden was made during the time of Prince Abdul Hamid Mirza. He was related to Naser al-Din Shah, an important ruler of Iran many years ago. Since the garden is located near the town of Mahan, it is called “Shazdeh Mahan Garden.” Shazdeh means prince, so the name means the “Prince’s Garden in Mahan.”

How far is Kerman from the Shazdeh Mahan Garden?

Kerman is one of the largest cities near the garden. It takes about 30 minutes to drive from Kerman to the Shazdeh Mahan Garden. The road is in good condition, so it is easy to drive.

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Sogand Safari

My name is Sogand, an enthusiastic psychology master who loves diving into new topics, expanding my knowledge, and sharing perspectives through writing.

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