Nishapur meaning “New City of Shapur” is one of the oldest city of Persia dating back to Sassanid Dynasty. It has been the home of great thinkers of Persia. Though Nishapur was demolished and burnt to ground in Mongol Invasion, it raised from ashes again after a while and became an important city in Islamic era. Tourists should not miss visiting Nishapur Highlights while they are passing this beautiful city. Here are some:

A Gem Garden of Nishapur

A Gem Garden of Nishapur

 

Mausoleum of Attar Neyshaburi

The Mausoleum of Attar Neyshaburi, the great mystic poet Attar (1150-1220), also known as the Martyr Poet, is a small octagonal monument covered by a turquoise dome. Born and raised in Nishapur, he dedicated his life to study mathematics, poetry and hagiography. Nevertheless, the Mongols, unfortunately murdered the famous Persian Poet who has a heavy influence on Hafez Shirazi, in 1220. He is known for his masterpiece The Conference of the Birds (or Dialogue of the Birds), written in the form of an allegory. Groups of birds are in search of search of divine wisdom, called Simorgh, literally means “Thirty Birds”. In the end, only thirty birds succeeded in finishing the journey and surprisingly they found out that they themselves are Simorgh.  Here is a piece of The Conference of Birds:

 

If Simorgh unveils its face to you, you will find

that all the birds, be they thirty or forty or more,

are but the shadows cast by that unveiling.

What shadow is ever separated from its maker?

Do you see?

The shadow and its maker are one and the same,

so get over surfaces and delve into mysteries

(The Conference of the Birds by Attar, translated by Sholeh Wolpe)

Mausoleum of Attar Neyshaburi

Mausoleum of Attar Neyshaburi

 

Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam

Born in 1048, Omar Khayyam was a great Persian philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet who wrote his poetry in four lines known as Rubaiyats.

He was born in a small village near Nishapur and passed his early education in there. Then he headed to Samarkand, another province of Persia then. His genius in astronomy, physics, mathematics and Poetry made him famous all over the Persian Empire quickly. But his world fame came to him in the middle of the 19th century, when his poetry was translated into English by Edward FitzGerald, an English poet and writer. His mausoleum was designed by Hooshang Seyhoun, a well-known Iranian architect, in Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Period.

 

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

(The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward FitzGerald in 1889)

Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam

Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam

 

 

Kamal al Molk Tomb

Known as Kamal-ol-Molk, Mohammad Ghaffari, one fo the greatest painter of Iran, born in Kashan in an affluent family of Ghaffari in 1848. In his teens, he decided to move to Tehran to further his education, enrolled in Dar-ul-Funun, and got the attention of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar who invited him to his court and because of his mastery titled him as Kamol-al molk (Perfection of Land). His paintings mostly includes portraits of courts men, landscapes, royal camps and hunting grounds, and different parts of royal palaces.  Kamal-ol-Molk died in Nishapur, Iran, in 1940 and buried next to Attar.

Kamal al Molk Tomb

Kamal al Molk Tomb

Mirror Hall

Mirror Hall, which he believed to be his best work. He painted it over a five-year period

Garmeh

 

Top View of Garmeh

Top View of Garmeh

 

Dreamland in desert

If you have the dream of going to a real oasis in the desert, you shouldn’t miss Garmeh, a palm tree clad village with an abundance of water and crops, in the middle of sand plains. A place where you can sit by a well in the shadow of a tree in comlete silence and watch the occasional heard of sheep pass by. That’s exactly what Garmeh is like. Somewhere in Iran’s central desert, Dashte- kavir, lies this tiny village irrigated by a small mountain spring. Garmeh has been welcoming travelers from all over the world for hundreds of years as it used to be one of the rest spots on the famous silk road.

Hidden Oasis

Garmeh is the capital of Garmeh County in  North Khorasan province. One of the most important monuments of this city is Jalaleddin fortress, which is inherited from Khwarazmian Dynasty. The fortress was established by the command of Jalaleddin Kharazmshah in order to defend it against the Moguls’ attack in the seventh Hijri century. It was built on the top of a hill with a hexagonal foundation. A well exists inside the fortress which seems to be natural. The other monument of this city is Bagh-e-Mazar tomb.

Mud Texture Structure

Mud Texture Structure

What to do in Garmeh?

During your stay in Garmeh, depending on your time, you can go for a walk among palm trees, relax in a spring or climb the nearest mountain or hill to enjoy the surrounding sceneries.You can also visit other villages nearby like Ordib, Iraj and Dadkin with gardens and mountains, Bayazeh and its castle, Abgarm and its thermal spring.80kms from Garmeh, on the way to Tabas, there’s a salt lake, and 80km from Garmeh to Jandaq you will find Mesr and Farahzad villages and the sand dunes surrounding you.

Salt

Salt

History of Garmeh

The documented history of human settlement in the area dates back to 4000 years ago, but there exists some relatively reliable evidence that suggests human habitation as far back as 7000 years. From about 2000 years ago, the oasis was placed on the Silk Road and therefore, on the main trading route between China and Europe. As a result, many travelers have passed through this area. A famous Persian poet, philosopher and explorer, Naser Khosrow passed through the area about 950 years ago and has mentioned this area in his travel diary. As for well-known European travelers of the recent centuries, we can mention Seven Hedin and Alfonse Gabriel, who visited Garmeh in the last century.

The town’s only water source, close to the heart of the village, is the only source of life for the gardens and Date Palm orchards that make this oasis such a special place. The main activity for the natives during this incredibly long period had been some form of agriculture and animal husbandry in unforgiving conditions that are the reality of this land.

Garmeh Desert

Garmeh Desert

Don’t miss photography!

This picturesque village also has many attractions which makes it a popular spot for so many tourists from all over the world. There are beautiful palm trees in the southern flank of the village. The weather is great in spring, fall and winter. There is an old four-floor citadel in Garmeh which dates back to the Sassanid period and has been attracting so many archeologists.

The eye-catching alleys of Garmeh which are decorated with beautiful Sabbats attract so many filmmakers to Garmeh. Garmeh lakes are the habitat for ducks in spring and winter and the hills are home to partridges.

Palm Tree

Palm Tree

There is a natural spring which has been flowing for thousands of years and creates a good ecosystem for different types of small fish. There are elephant-like mountains around with red soil containing iron. Its pleasant silence and the starry nights, along with the sound of water and the movement of palm trees, attract lots of tourists from all over the world to this area.

Handicrafts of Garmeh are mostly created out of palm leaves which is a good souvenir for international tourists. The residents of Garmeh speak Pahlavi language which is the oldest language in Iran. The Mesr Desert, near Garmeh, attracts lots of tourists every year. There is also a thermal spring near Garmeh which has many therapeutic benefits and is useful in treating Arthritis.