Photos by Mohammad Hassan Taaghi, Islamic Republic News Agency
Mashhad is the second largest city in Iran. It is located 850 kilometres (530 mi) east of the capital city Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its population was 2,772,287 at the 2011 population census. Mashhad was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv in the East.
Imam Reza (Ali ibn Musa al-Rida), the Seventh descendent of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the eighth Twelver Shia Imam (ca. December 29, 765 - August 23, 818), is buried in Mashhad. The shrine of Imam Reza is visited by millions of Shiites each year, and it is among the favorite destinations during Iranian new year holidays. These photos show the pilgrims posing for photos to immortalize their visit to the shrine.
Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, Iran (View Larger Map)
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