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Friday, May 26, 2017

Iran’s Nasir al-Molk ‘Pink Mosque’: Magical Riot of Colors totally worth seeing

Impressive interiors of the Nasir-Al Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Iran is that country of rich culture, riveting history, delicious food, beautiful people and stunning nature. While most of the world knows the key attractions in popular places like Isfahan, Tehran and Shiraz due to their historical and religious significance, there are quite a few places in these cities that are magical in nature and that are well-kept secrets from the outside world.

Colourful window and its colourful reflection at Nasir-Al Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Take Nasir Al-Molk or the Pink Mosque as an example. Somewhere near Shah Cheragh Mosque as you keep meandering along the quiet and clean lanes of Shiraz’s Gowad e-Arabian district, you will come across an ordinary looking building that is yet another mosque. If you had looked at the simple exterior of this mosque, had exclaimed that it is yet another mosque and moved on, you would be kicking yourself. And if you did enter this 19th century mosque, its magical riot of pink and other colors would be sure to blow your mind.

Gorgeous colors inside the Pink Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Designed by Iranian architects Mohammad Hasan e-Mamar and Mohammad Reza Kashi-Saz-e-Sirazi under the order of Mirza Hasan Ali, a Qajar ruler, this mosque uses a lot of gorgeous pink color tiles for its interior design. It’s traditional Panch Kase (five concaved) design along with the extensive use of colored glass in its facade catches the eye and mesmerizes the viewer.

A Nasir-Al Mosque Moment from Shiraz

The arches, the stained glass, the colorful niches, the rich carving and the overall riot of colors are bound to enthral one and all. You might wonder why a place of worship has such a rainbow of colors. And more so in a Muslim place of worship, which is usually strict and bent on traditions. You will find the answer when you are standing or sitting in the prayer room and the colors slowly envelope the entire room with the rising sun. These colors add so much joy in you that even if you are not a Muslim, you are bound to find peace and say a word of prayer. I know I did because I was totally awestruck, joy-struck and peace-struck on the morning when I visited the Nasir al-Molk mosque of Shiraz, Iran.

Portrait from Nasir-Al Mosque (Pink Mosque), Shiraz, Iran

To catch the mosque in its best light, leave early after breakfast and reach the pink mosque by say 8 or 9 am depending on the time of sunrise and time of year. Grab a seat in a corner of the glass room chamber, keep your camera ready and watch the colors dance and illuminate the room as the sun rises. The colors change by the minute if you catch the entire morning hour. I hope you like this trance dance of colors at the Nasir al-Molk mosque during your next holiday to Iran.



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