Qom or the Persian Vatican is the closest city to Tehran with 140 Km and about 1.5 hours driving. This is the second holiest city in Iran and the Middle East after Mashhad, with a long history. This city is remarked among the Muslims(Shiite) for the holy shrine and also for tourists not only for the shrine but also for creditable Islamic school (Hozeye-Elmiye). People of different nationalities are allowed to enter the shrine, no matter what their religions are or where they come from.
Qom has for a long time been the main city for religious studies in Iran. Hozeye-Elmiye-Qom is the largest theology school in Iran. Many senior clerics of Shia Islam live in Qom. Qom is very developed due to various religious, historical, and cultural reasons and its proximity to Tehran, and there are very easy ways to visit this city.
The nearest and most easily accessible international airport is Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport(110 Km). Also, Isfahan Int airport with 300 Km is the second close airport to Qom. The Holy Shrine of Fatima, the sister of the 8th Shiite Imam Mashhad, makes Qom the second holiest city in Iran, after Mashhad. This is conservative territory. This is where Khomeini the leader of Iran's revolution lived and where the revolution against the Shah began.
The shrine is huge, with lots of different impressive buildings and monuments. The architecture is simply stunning. Inside, the pilgrims stroll around, men, women, and families. Inside, many of the walls are almost blindingly bright, and small pieces of mirror form geometric mosaics. To visit the shrine, the female travelers must wear Islamic Hijab( chador) at the entrance – the lady guards will help you well. To enter men and women use different entrances but inside, both can stroll around the place together, except inside the Holy Shrine of Fatima. The room with the very shrine is strictly unisex and no photos are allowed. The spirituality could be felt like moisture in the tropical air.
Qom is well-connected by train, and there are different daily scheduled train services from Tehran rail station, it takes with a slower and low-class train at about 2.30 but faster and higher-class trains are about 1.30. Also, overnight departure runs from Isfahan, Mashhad, and several other cities. There are high-speed connections via high-way roads from Arak and Yazd as well.
Driving from Tehran to Qom via the Qom highway might be the best reasonable option. However, if you’re worried about driving in Iran you can reserve a ticket for the public buses to Qom. After all, it is much safer and cheaper to travel by public bus. Tehran's comprehensive and complete bus system with 3 terminals in different parts of Tehran (South, West & Argentine)and a daily schedule, transports all passengers between Tehran and Qom with the lowest price and highest security.
it costs from 1.5 US$ up to 2 US$ (2021)
Local buses cost about 3 Cent, from anywhere to any point on the bus’ route. Private tour buses are generally more expensive.
1. Qom is one of the main pilgrimage sites.
The holy shrine of Fatimah Masoumeh and Jamkaran holy mosques attract millions of Shiite travelers from Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, India, and some African countries.
Some believe it is the religious capital and the most conservative city in Iran. Traditional religions even oppose having shopping malls in the city. They believe it is the symbol of the Western world.
2. Iran's Islamic revolution started from here
Khomeini ayatollah, the leader of the Iran Islamic revolution had lived here, studied, and started his opposition to the Pahlavi regime from here. Therefore, this city has a creditable position among traditional religious leaders.
3. The most important center of Shiite religious studies and research
Qom does not only have the most important religious center in Iran but also has the largest number of students and religious teachers and with more than 200 religious schools is one of the most influential religious centers in Iran. Some of the most prominent religious movements and progressive religious decrees (Fatwa) in Shia Islam and also during Iran's history have originated in Qom. Feyziyeh school, located in the vicinity of the Fatimah Masoumeh Shrine, is the best university in the Shia world. The school was classified as a national monument in 2008. Most of the main political personalities of the Islamic Republic were educated in Qom and Feyziyeh. Theological studies usually last ten years, where they learn Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy, rhetoric, etc.
1. Visiting the holy shrine of Fatimah Masoumeh.
Undoubtedly the most important place to visit in Qom is the holy shrine of Fatimah Masoumeh. The most important monument and the reason for the emergence of the city of Qom which made it the religious capital of Iran lies in the heart of Qom. Fatimah is the sister of Imam Reza, the 8th Shiite Imam in Mashhad. Shia Muslims believe that Prophet Mohammad had twelve divine successors. They venerate the 12 Imams and their immediate family members. All over Iran, these shrines (Imamzadeh) are major pilgrimage sites.
Indeed, the shrines (Imamzadeh) are so impressive and relevant among the Iranian that some of the rulers, kings, poets, and important persons had wished to be buried here. The golden dome of the shrine catches the eye from far, whereas the green and blue tiles and mirrored decoration of the interior is jaw-dropping. The architecture of Fatimah Masoumeh is so unique that they used some of its elements for the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini near Tehran. The golden dome has a striking similarity. The place is always crowded and people are strolling there. There are tons of shops in the streets and Bazaars around the shrine(Haram) selling religious publications and souvenirs.
2. The Garden of the Green Tomb, a lesser-known place to visit in Qom
The garden in the eastern part of Qom has three tower-shaped tombs dating from the 13th to 14th centuries. Locals believe they belong to famous Arab commanders of the House of Safi who were independent rulers of Qom at the time. Two of them have a turquoise-colored cone and one has a rounded dome.
3. The Jameh Mosque in Qom
A great monument belongs to 529 AH and was built by the order of Fathali Shah Qajar. This mosque is about 6000 square meters and with two-porch and includes some parts that have been attached in different periods. According to some people, this is the second oldest mosque in Qom. The mosque consists of an old Maqsurah and dome, an old porch with two Ivan and three prayer halls, one basement, a courtyard, and the entrance gate.
4. Qom Bazaar - one of the most traditional shopping malls in Iran
The famous Qom bazaar is laid near the holy shrine. The oldest part dates back to the Safavid period, that is to say, 400 years ago. It is a perfect place to taste some of Qom's specialties and experience one of the city's famous products. If you are going to buy a magnificent silk carpet, No wonder, Qom is the best place. They are not only the best but also the most expensive. Thus, it's a real investment that continually grows in value regardless of its use. The Qom rug is made of pure silk produced in almost 100 different colors.
5. A delicious Persian dinner in the traditional and historic house
If you are going to taste an Iranian dish at a traditional house Yazdanpanah house is the best place. A famous historical house that shows Iranian handicrafts and also serves a traditional Persian dish. Lamb kebab, chicken kebab, dizi, and all the local cuisines are on the menu. The best thing to do to finish your day in Qom.
6. Jamkaran mosque
The most important religious mosque not only in Qom but also all over Iran, is dedicated to the 12th Shiite Imam. It is the last Imam that the Shias expect to return and save humanity from the devil.
7. Namak Lake (salt lake)
100 km east of Qom is the salt lake which is part of the great salt desert. The lake only exists in winter and then occupies about 1 km² of the total surface area of 1,800 km² of the desert. In summer, the water evaporates entirely due to the hot climate, and you can walk on the crisp layers of salt.
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