Pakistan’s western neighbor, Iran, offers a lot to explore for those interested in Islamic history and spirituality. Despite its negative reputation in the Western world, many Pakistanis visit Iran for religious pilgrimage or general tourism. There are two ways to enter Iran, by land or by air. The land route is more affordable but can be challenging, especially for families. The air option is more convenient and cost-effective. Visas can be easily obtained through travel agents specializing in religious travel.
Once in Iran, Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport serves as the main entry point. It is a small but functional airport, and taxis are the best way to get to the city. Qom is a must-visit city, known for its religious significance and scholarly atmosphere. The shrine of Bibi Fatima Masuma is a major attraction in Qom. The city also houses the Jamkaran mosque, a spiritual retreat on its outskirts.
Mashhad is another important destination in Iran, known for the resting place of Imam Ali Raza. Iranian trains are comfortable and luxurious, offering a pleasant journey to Mashhad. The vastness and grandeur of Imam Raza’s Haram are indescribable, and the area is always filled with pilgrims.
It is important to note that most Iranians do not speak English, so it is advisable to learn basic Farsi or use translation apps. Overall, a trip to Iran can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but proper preparation and understanding of the local language and customs are crucial.
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