Č(AH)ĀRBĀḠ-E MAŠHAD. The term čahārbāḡ (commonly contracted to čārbāḡ, lit. “four gardens”) must originally have denoted a garden made up of four parts or areas and is evidently due to the Timurid princes who, in the 9th/15th century, created parks or gardens and garden palaces with the name Čahārbāḡ, laid out on a pattern of beds, paths, and ditches.

The 10th/16th-century author Wāṣefī, refers to the following čahārbāḡs apparently located in Herat: Šāhroḵīya or Čahārbāḡ-e Šāhroḵīya (II, pp. 1201, 1239, 1258), the Čahārbāḡ of Šāhroḵ’s son Mīrzā Bāysonḡor (II, p. 1170), the Čahārbāḡ of Amīr ʿAlī-Šīr (II, p. 1224), and others (II, p. 1067).

The prosperity of Herat and the renown of that city’s pleasant gardens in the Timurid period must then also have caused the term to spread further afield. Thus Wāṣefī refers to the Čahārbāḡ of the governor of Nīšāpūr, which comprised a garden and a building (II, pp. 1099-100), and to Čahārbāḡs at Torbat-e Jām (II, pp. 1036, 1038). In other historical texts there are mentions of the Čahārbāḡ of Šāhroḵ in the outskirts of Bukhara (Ḥabīb al-sīar III, p. 539; see also Ḵonjī, pp. 193, 196, 261-62), the royal Čahārbāḡ near Bukhara (Marvī, II, p. 793), the Čahārbāḡ of Ebrāhīm Solṭān Mīrzā, and the Čahārbāḡ of Amīr Mazīd Arḡūn outside Balḵ, the Čahārbāḡ of Ḥāfeẓ Beg at Andejān, the Čahārbāg of Ḵosrow Shah outside Qondoz, the Čahārbāḡ of Rādkān (now the name of a village) near Mašhad (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, pp. 294, 296, 190, 265, 193, 28), the Čahārbāḡ at Tabrīz, the Čahārbāḡ at Bārforūš, the royal Čahārbāḡ at Isfahan, the Hazār Jarīb (thousand acre) Čahārbāḡ at Isfahan, the Čahārbāḡ at Šamāḵī, the Čaman-e Bīd Čahārbāḡ at Herat (Marvī, I, pp. 64, 91, 119, 230, 233, 370; II, p. 784), a royal Čahārbāḡ in Herat mentioned in a farmān of Shah Ṭahmāsb I to the governor of Khorasan (Mawlawī, I, pp. 95, 96), the Čahārbāḡ of Ṭāher Beg at Marv (Marvī, II, p. 823), and the Čahārbāḡ at Mašhad (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, pp. 57, 217).

The term čahārbāg is also frequently found in names of villages in the Herat area (Ḥāfeẓ-e Abrū, pp. 80, 81; Sayyed Aṣīl-al-Dīn, p. 66; Qāsem b. Yūsof, pp. 44, 46, 57), probably so called because they contained gardens of the čahārbāg design.

Under the Timurid sultan Šāhroḵ, the Safavids, and Nāder Shah Afšār and his descendants Čahārbāg was the name of a royal garden and palace at Mašhad; under the Qajars and up to the present time it has been the name of an old quarter in the city.

According to Maṭlaʿ-e Saʿdayn (ed. Šafīʿ, II/1, p. 214), the Timurid sultan Šāhroḵ, during a visit to the shrine of the Imam Reżā in early Šaʿbān, 821/Septem­her, 1418, gave orders that a Čahārbāḡ with a palace (čahārbāḡ-ī o sarā-ī) be laid out on the east (evidently a mistake for west) side in the outskirts of Mašhad, his intention being to stay there whenever he went to the city (see also Faṣīḥ Ḵᵛāfī, III, p. 234; Ḥabīb al-sīar III, p. 603; Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, II, pp. 285-86). In view of the location of the present Čahārbāḡ quarter in Mašhad, Šāhroḵ’s Čahārbāḡ must have been on the west side of the city. He stayed in the new Čahārbāḡ building when he came to Mašhad on a visit on 5 Rabīʿ II 842/25 September 1438 (Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, loc. cit.).

In later periods the Čahārbāḡ of Mašhad remained in use as the governor’s residence (e.g., Eskandar Beg, I, p. 295; tr. Savory, I, p. 426) and where kings stayed on their visits to the shrine. According to Hedāyat (I, pp. 312, 331), Shah ʿAbbās I stayed in the Čahārbāḡ of Mašhad, which was the royal residence (dawlat-ḵāna-ye šāhī), during his two journeys to Mašhad, including the one he made on foot from Isfahan.

Nāder Shah Afšār resided there at the end of Rabīʿ II 1143/11 November 1730 (Astarābādī, p. 139), and on the occa­sion of the marriage of his son Reżāqolī Mīrzā with Shah Ṭahmāsb II’s sister Fāṭema Solṭān Ḵānom in Rajab, 1143/January, 1731, the wedding celebration was held in the Čahārbāḡ palace, which was adorned with mirrors and illuminated with lamps (pp. 141-42). Dur­ing his reign Nāder took several steps to improve and enlarge the Čahārbāḡ of Mašhad. According to Marvī (I, pp. 202-03) he instructed architects to design the building of a palace called Hašt Behešt in the royal Čahārbāḡ and to divert the copious flow of water from the village of Golestān. Water level was raised at deep points with layers of brick and stone and then brought up to ground level by means of siphons. When the water came into the Čahārbāḡ, it gushed up in a jet six to ten cubits (ḏaṛʿ) high. Golestān is now a village near Mašhad on the road to Ṭorqaba; it gets its water from a stream and a qanāt and also has an old dam. The construction of this dam, known as the Band­-e Golestān, is usually attributed to Šāhroḵ b. Tīmūr or his wife Gowharšād or to a slave-girl of Gowharšād named Golestān; but in the light of a farmān of the Timurid sultan Abū Saʿīd (text in Navāʾī, p. 213), the late ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Mawlawī concluded that it must have been built by order of the said Abū Saʿīd (killed in 873/1469). The dam is still in use (Šarīʿatī, p. 151). In addition, Nāder caused two water tanks to be built in front of the Čahārbāḡ, one below ground as a charity to supply water for the general public, the other above ground with fourteen apertures through which water could be let out by various devices. The water fed pools and fountains in the Hašt Behešt, where lofty buildings had been constructed, and then passed under the avenue through siphons and conduits before coming up like a fountain from below the pool in the courtyard (ṣahn-e ʿatīq) of the shrine. The overflow from this pool passed through a continuation of the same canal to the quarters along the avenue. Contemporary architects estimated that Nāder spent 14,000 tomans on the project (Marvī, I, p. 203). Marvī also mentions Nāder’s orders for carpets for the Hešt Behešt and the buildings in the royal Čahārbāḡ (I, p. 206) and the start of work in 1145/1732-33 on Nāder’s order for the construction of a brick and plaster tomb on the Upper Avenue (Ḵīābān-e Bālā, Bālāḵīābān, Ḵīābān-e ʿOlyā) beside the buildings in the royal Čahārbāḡ (I, p. 204). This tomb occupied the site on the avenue where the modern mausoleum and museum of Nāder have been erected. The ruins still to be seen along this avenue next to the mausoleum are apparently the remains of a mosque and a bath and water tank attached to Nāder’s original tomb (Bīneš, 1353, II, p. 384). The frequent mentions of Čahārbāḡ, royal (šāhī, pādšāhī) Čahārbāḡ, and Čahārbāḡ entrance (dahana) by Marvī (I, pp. 38, 89, 103, 160, 163, 164, 200; II, 772, 827) all refer to the Čahārbāḡ of Mašhad.

In the reign of the Afsharid Šāhroḵ (1161-1210/1748-­96), the Čahārbāḡ of Mašhad remained in use as the royal residence. In the accounts of the contests between rival power-seekers and their treatment of Šāhroḵ and his countermoves, the Čahārbāḡ and its fortifications, gate, and facilities are frequently mentioned; it was the scene of many events. A picture of its size and im­portance at the time can be drawn from these sources (Golestāna, pp. 40, 44, 55, 56, 57, 93, 99, 117; Qoddūsī, pp. 419, 427; see also Rīāżī, p. 145).

With the fall of the Afsharids and the rise of Tehran as the center of authority, the Čahārbāḡ of Mašhad fell gradually into ruin. Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, writing in the reign of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah Qājār, remarked (II, p. 239) that one of the six major quarters of Mašhad was called the Čahārbāḡ quarter but did not mention any remains. It lay in the west of the city between the Sarāb quarter and the shrine precinct, the Čahārbāḡ quarter being closer to the city center than Sarāb which abutted on the city wall at its western end. Both quarters were aligned on the qebla and perpendicular to the Upper Avenue. Today a quarter called Čārbāḡ still exists in the same part of the city (Bīneš, 1356, pp. 578-80; Rīāżī, p. 40; Šarīʿatī, p. 45; Adīb Heravī, p. 187).

It has been surmised that the garden of the Shrine administration (Tawlīat-e Āstān-e Qods-e Rażawī), situated on the southwestern side of the mausoleum of Nāder Shah and reputedly a waqf endowed by Neẓām-al-Molk, may be a much altered remnant of the Čahārbāḡ of Šāhroḵ (Bīneš, 1356, p. 579). The Čārbāḡ quarter of today is no longer a major part of the city; it consists of a small street of that name leading into the Upper Avenue.



Moḥammad-Ḥasan Adīb Heravī, Ḥadīqat al-Rażawīya, Mašhad, 1367/1948.

Mīrzā Mahdī Khan Astarābādī, Tārīḵ-ejahāngošā-­ye nāderī, ed. ʿA. Anwār, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962.

T. Bīneš, “Mašhad,” in Majmūʿa-ye ḵaṭābahā-ye na­ḵostīn kongara-ye taḥqīqāt-e īrānī, ed. Ḡ.-R. Sotūda, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974, II, pp. 380, 383-84.

Idem, “Joḡrāfīā-ye maḥallahā-ye Mašhad,” MDAM 13/3, Autumn, 1356 Š./1977, pp. 577-80.

Moḥammad-­Ḥasan Khan Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana (Ṣanīʿ-al-Dawla), Maṭlaʿ al-šams, Tehran, 1303/1885-86, repr. 1355 Š./1976.

Faṣīḥ Aḥmad b. Jalāl-al-Dīn Moḥammad Ḵᵛāfī, Mojmal-e faṣīḥī, ed. M. Farroḵ, Maš­had, 1339 Š./1960.

Abu’l-Ḥasan Golestāna, Mojmal al-tawārīḵ, ed. M.-T. Modarres Rażawī, 3rd ed., Tehran, 1356 Š./1977.

Ḥāfeẓ-e Abrū, Joḡrāfīā, ad. Ḡ.-R. Māyel Heravī, Joḡrāfīā-ye Ḥāfeẓ-e Abrū. Qesmat-e robʿ-e Ḵorāsān: Herāt, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.

Reżāqolī Khan Hedāyat, Rawżat al-­ṣafā-ye nāṣerī, Qom, 1339/1920-21.

L. Honarfar, “Čahārbāḡ-e Eṣfahān,” Honar o Mardom 96-97, Mehr-Ābān 1349 Š./September-October 1970, pp. 2-14.

Fażl-Allāh b. Rūzbehān Ḵonjī, Mehmān-­nāma-ye Boḵārā, ed. M. Sotūda, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1355 Š./1976.

Moḥammad-Kāẓem Marvī, Tārīḵ-eʿālamārā-ye nāderī, ed. M.-A, Rīāḥī, Tehran, 1364/1985.

ʿA.-Ḥ. Mawlawī, Āṯār-e bāstānī-e Ḵorāsān, Mašhad, 1354 Š./1975.

Qāsem b. Yūsof Heravī, Resāla-ye ṭarīq-e qesmat-e āb-e Qolb, ed. Ḡ.-­R. Māyel Heravī, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.

M.-Ḥ. Qod­dūsī, Nāder-nāma, Mašhad, 1339 Š./1960.

Ḡ.-R. Rīāżī, Rāhnamā-ye Mašhad, Mašhad, 1334 Š./1955.

ʿA. Šarīʿatī, Rāhnamā-ye Ḵorāsān, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.

Sayyed Aṣīl-al-Dīn ʿAbd-Allāh Wāʿeẓ, Maqṣed al-eqbāl-e solṭānīya wa merṣad-al-āmāl-e ḵā­qānīya, ed. Ḡ.-R. Māyel Heravī, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972.

Zayn-al-Dīn Maḥmūd Wāṣefī, Badāʾeʿ al-­waqāʾeʿ, ed. A. Boldyrev, 2 vols., Moscow, 1961.

(Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Yūsofī)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: December 15, 1990

This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 6, pp. 626-627