Visiting Qom: Iran’s Spiritual Center and Shrine of Hazrat Masumeh

Unveiling the Spiritual Wonders of Qom

The city of Qom is known as Iran’s Spiritual Center and the cultural capital of the Shiite world.

This religious city holds a very special place for Shiites around the world because of its shrine to Hazrat-e Masoumeh (one of the holy women in Shiite history). Every year, many people travel to Qom to visit her shrine.
It’s worth noting that Qom is also a city where many immigrants such as Afghans, Pakistanis and Arabs reside. Many of them came to Qom to receive religious education in seminaries.

Qom is not only rich in religious attractions but also has cultural, historical, and even natural beauty. If you are interested in traveling to Qom, in addition to visiting the holy places, you can explore other notable attractions.

Below, we present the most important of them separately.

Climate of Qom

Qom is located in the central part of Iran and has a hot and dry climate. The city is also located near The Salt Lake (Hoz-e Soltan), causing the surrounding area to be covered by salt marshes.
The best seasons to visit Qom are spring and autumn.

Customs and Traditions of Qom

Traditions Of Qom
Traditions of Qom (photo by Wikivoyage)

Considering that the official religion of the people of Qom is Shia Islam, many of their customs and traditions are similar to those of Shia Arabs in Arab countries.
Such as religious ceremonies (including Ashura and Tasu’a), Shia festivals, birth of the 12th Shia Imam, Hazrat Mahdi (known as Nime Sha’ban), for whom there is a mosque called Jamkaran in Qom.

During the mourning days of Shia Muslims, people from different regions of Qom gather in groups and move towards the shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh. In these ceremonies, they engage in chest-beating (striking their chests with specific movements that symbolize grief), chain-beating (hitting chains on their shoulders with specific movements), drumming (with mournful rhythms), and various other customs.

On the birthday of the twelfth Shia Imam, Qom residents light the streets with lamps and distribute candy, chocolate and food.
Each religious holiday also has its own rituals, such as Eid al-Adha (sheep sacrifice) and Eid al-Fitr (the ceremony marking the end of the Shia Muslim fasting month), all of which is honored by the people of Qom.

Tourist Attractions in Qom

As mentioned above, Qom has a wide variety of tourist attractions. First, let’s introduce the most important pilgrimage and religious sites in Qom.

The Shrine of Hazrat Fatemeh Masoumeh

The Shrine Of Hazrat Fatemeh Masoumeh
The Shrine of Hazrat Fatemeh Masoumeh (photo by Visit Iran)

The origins of this structure date back to the Seljuk era, but it has been expanded and embellished during various periods, such as the Safavids and Qajars.

This shrine consists of several buildings, including Shabestan (a prayer hall) such as Shabestan-e Najmeh Khatun, several courtyards like Ayeneh (Mirror) Courtyard and Atiq (Ancient) Courtyard, and a mosque named Masjid-e Azam. There is also a seminary called Madreseh-ye Feyziyeh located within the shrine. It’s worth noting that the tombs of several Iranian kings, such as Fath-Ali Shah, Mohammad Shah, and Shah Abbas Safavi, are located in this complex.
There are numerous other buildings within this pilgrimage site that are not mentioned in this article.

Jamkaran Mosque

Jamkaran Mosque In Qom
Jamkaran Mosque in Qom (photo by Iran Culture)

This mosque is also dedicated to the twelfth Shia Imam, and people, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays, visit it and engage in worship.

Other famous mosques in Qom include the Jameh Mosque of Qom and Imam Hasan Askari Mosque.

Other ancient works from Qom include:

Museums in Qom

Other cultural sites in Qom include museums that you can visit during your trip to Qom if you are interested.

The Holy Shrine Museum (Astan-e Moghadase)

The Holy Shrine Museum In Qom
The Holy Shrine Museum (photo by Voyage en Iran)

There is a museum near the shrine called the Holy Shrine Museum of Fatemeh Masoumeh. In this museum, various ancient manuscripts, old Qurans, antique objects, handwoven carpets, and many other valuable items are preserved.

Qom Ethnography Museum

Qom Ethnography Museum
Qom Ethnography Museum (photo by Visit Iran)

This museum is located inside two old houses called Zand House. By visiting these houses, you can become familiar with various objects, antique utensils, traditional Qom clothing, agricultural tools, and many other interesting items in the city of Qom.

Traditional Arts Museum

Traditional Arts Museum In Qom
Traditional Arts Museum in Qom (photo by Tolran)

This museum is located in the old house named Yazdan Panah. In this museum, in addition to getting acquainted with various handicrafts in Qom, you can also observe various workshops where these crafts are made.

Other famous museums in this city include the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Shia Religious Authorities’ Artifacts.

Old Bazaar of Qom

Old Bazaar Of Qom
Old Bazaar of Qom (photo by Iran Culture)

The architecture of this bazaar is fascinating for Iranian and foreign tourists because it has traditional Iranian architecture and features different sections of an Iranian bazaar, such as four-squares (Chahar-Suq), Timcheh, Caravanserai and alleys. The bazaar is covered and offers a variety of products for sale.

Historical Houses of Qom

Yazdanpanah House In Qom
Yazdanpanah House in Qom (photo by Tripadvisor)

Ancient houses such as Zand House and Yazdanpanah House are open to visitors every day. In the Yazdanpanah house, in addition to the museum, there is also a restaurant where you can dine while visiting the museum and admiring the beautiful architecture of this house.

Deir-e Gachin Caravanserai

Deir-E Gachin Caravanserai In Qom
Deir-e Gachin Caravanserai in Qom (photo by Wikidata)

This ancient caravanserai is located near the city of Qom and was listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1402. It is interesting to know that this place is renowned as the mother of caravanserais in Iran due to its significance and size. You can visit this caravanserai every day and stay overnight in its rooms.

Qom Bird Garden

Qom Bird Garden
Qom Bird Garden (photo by Iran Local Guide)

This garden, with an area of approximately 12,000 hectares, is a permanent habitat for various beautiful and rare birds. You can visit designated areas in this garden to observe these birds.

Natural Attractions in Qom

Due to the hot and dry climate of Qom city, you can visit fascinating places made from natural salt such as lakes and salt domes.

Below we will briefly introduce these locations.

Salt Lake (Sultan Lake)

Salt Lake In Qom
Salt Lake in Qom (photo by Iran Paradise)

Due to drought in Qom, this lake often dries up and the lake bed is covered with a salt crust. Many tourists visit Qom to see the salt lake because it is a visually appealing landscape. Due to its shallow water, you can walk on the salt crust of the lake.

Qom Salt Dome

Qom Salt Dome
Qom Salt Dome (photo by TAP Persia)

This structure is made up of irregular accumulation of salt crystals.

These crystals have combined with red clay to create incredible beauty.

 Next to this dome there is also a lake that fills with water in winter and spring.

 Due to the properties of salt, existing in this environment and breathing its air can also

 contribute to your health.

Traditional Foods of Qom

Among the most popular dishes of the people of Qom are “Abgoosht” (meat-based stew).

Let’s introduce some famous traditional dishes of the Qom people.

Ghonabid Abgoosht

Ghonabid Abgoosht
Ghonabid Abgoosht (photo by Travel To Iran)

This Abgoosht (a type of broth), which is highly popular among the people of Qom, is made with ingredients such as ghonabid (A type of cabbage), chickpeas, potatoes, kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, salt, turmeric, dried lime, and water.

Carrot broth (Havij Abgoosht)

Havij Abgoosht
Havij Abgoosht (photo by Food Land)

This dish has high nutritional value and as the name suggests, it is made from a combination of special Qom carrots and dried plums (barge) with meat, onions, red beans, mint and some water.

Qom Meatballs

Qom Meatballs
Qom Meatballs (photo by rasekhoon)

To prepare this delicious dish, you need to mince the meat, then combine it with rice, dried herbs, onions, tomato paste, peas and special spices, roll into balls.

Then cook them in water until fully cooked.

Qom Souvenirs

Sohan E Qom
Sohan e Qom (photo by Gather & Graze)

Silk carpets have a large number of fans in the city of Qom. It is worth noting that this city is known as the capital of silk carpet production in Iran and even in the world.

Silver rings in Qom can also be considered valuable souvenirs. This city is also known as the national city of rings in Iran.

One of the most important edible souvenirs of Qom is “Sohan“. This sweet is a type of pastry with a very delicious flavor and is also exported to neighboring countries.

We hope that by reading this article we have encouraged you to visit the city of Qom.

It is worth mentioning that there are many accommodations and hotels in this city, you can choose a place depending on your preferences and criteria.

We wish you a wonderful trip in advance.

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Zeinab Khadivi

Hello, I'm Zizi Khadiv. I love traveling and socializing with people, and I really enjoy introducing the beauties of my country and the hospitable people of Iran to people from other countries. That's why I love being a tour guide.

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