Home Tourism Reasons for the Attraction of Mazariha Alley in Yazd

Reasons for the Attraction of Mazariha Alley in Yazd

by Parastoo Sahebi
13 minutes read
Mazariha Alley

Yazd is one of the most historical and fascinating cities in our country, Iran. The historical fabric and ancient architecture of the city, along with the presence of various tourist attractions, combined with the warm and friendly spirit of the people of Yazd, have led to a large number of tourists, both foreign and Iranian, visiting this city every year. However, one of the tourist attractions in Yazd that may not have caught your attention before is Mazariha Alley. This alley represents the ancient and traditional culture of Yazd with its 700-year-old history. If you are interested in learning more about this alley, stay with Eligasht in this article.

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Introduction to Mazariha Alley in Yazd

Mazariha Alley is located in the city of Yazd, in the neighborhoods of Na’imabad and Ayatollah Kashani Street. This alley, known for its historical antiquity, used to be the place where henna sellers practiced their trade for centuries. They passed on their profession from generation to generation to their sons and grandsons. Henna, this amazing and fragrant substance, has been used for various purposes since ancient times, and henna sellers were considered honorable and important professionals for the people of Yazd, to the extent that Yazdi henna was famous throughout Iran.

Although most henna sellers collected henna leaves from other cities, the henna trade was carried out in Yazd and exported to other places, even outside the country, making Yazdi henna highly valued. Mazariha Alley in Yazd has different henna processing chambers, and some of these chambers are still active to this day.


What does “Mazari” mean?

You might be curious to know what “Mazari” means and why this alley is called Mazariha Alley in Yazd. It should be noted that this term comes from the Yazdi dialect because “maz” in this dialect means “wheel,” and “Mazari” refers to the mills used to grind henna leaves and other spices. In fact, in the workshops or stores of henna sellers and merchants located in or around Mazariha  Alley, large stone mills are used to grind the henna leaves into a green, fragrant, and high-quality powder.

For this reason, those who work with these mills and are engaged in the profession of henna processing are colloquially referred to as “Mazari,” and this alley, being the place for this work, has been known as Mazariha Alley in Yazd since ancient times.


History of Mazariha Alley

It is said that Mazariha Alley in Yazd has a history of more than 700 years. If you look at the walls of some rooms, you can even see layers of henna powder that have remained on the walls for many years, creating natural patterns. The Zoroastrian and Muslim people of Yazd had interactions with their co-religionists in countries such as India, Pakistan, and some Arab countries since ancient times. They quickly realized that the market for buying and selling henna, this mysterious plant with extraordinary medicinal properties, was thriving in those countries.

Yazdi people of intelligence decided to enter this profitable profession and engage in the cultivation of henna leaves. They would gather henna leaves from various cities in Iran and the world and bring them to Yazd, where they would grind them using large stones until they became completely soft. Afterward, they would put these ground henna leaves in sack bags and sell them to merchants. With the advancement of this profession in Yazd, people decided to dedicate a specific alley to this occupation, and thus Mazariha Alley was formed.

Mazariha Alley

Henna over time

Until just a decade or so ago, people used henna, this amazing plant, to color their hair, even their beards, and for the treatment and prevention of various skin diseases and infections. People and traditional healers believed that this colorful and fragrant substance could eradicate any infection, microbe, or fungus. They even used henna to remove dead skin cells from their scalp and body.

It can be said that henna had a prosperous market until recent years. However, with the passage of time and the presence of chemical dyes, scrubs, and industrial exfoliators in the market, the popularity of henna declined. Many people who were involved in this profession gradually turned to other occupations.


Introduction to the Architecture of Mazariha Alley in Yazd

As we mentioned, one of the main reasons tourists visit a city like Yazd is its historical fabric and traditional Iranian architecture. When we talk about markets and alleys like Mazari Alley, we cannot overlook its traditional and functional architectural structure. It should be noted that Mazariha Alley in Yazd has different sections, and it is better to introduce each one separately.


Main Section

It is interesting to know that there were various workshops in Mazari Alley, each dedicated to its craft. Each workshop consisted of several sections. The central part of the workshop was the area for grinding henna. In this section or room, there were two large stones. One stone was fixed firmly on the ground like a large field, and the other stone moved in a vertical motion on top of it. It should be noted that this stone was very heavy, and not everyone could move it.

You might wonder how they rotated the grinding stone. At that time, powerful animals were used to rotate the stone. Gradually, with the advancement of technology, electric motors were used. Nowadays, there is no longer a need for animals or strong men to perform this task. Simply by pressing a button and connecting the device to electricity, everything is ground!Mazariha Alley

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Straight Ceiling

One of the interesting parts of the main workshops in Mazariha Alley in Yazd is its ceiling. The ceiling of this room has a domed style, similar to the old traditional markets in Iran. At the top of this dome, there is a constructed opening that serves both to bring light to the workshop and to provide ventilation and airflow. Although the amount of light entering through this opening is not very high, it may take a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness of the space when entering the workshop, allowing you to see things clearly around you.


Bag Stitching Room

Around the main section of the Mazariha Alley workshops, there are several small rooms where specific tasks are carried out. It’s worth noting that in the past, and sometimes even today, one of these rooms was dedicated to stitching henna bags. These bags were usually made of jute fabric and stitched with special thread to uniform sizes.

Additionally, each shopkeeper had their special seal, and before filling the bags, they would stamp their seal on them to send their name along with the product to other destinations and cities. Nowadays fewer people stitch these bags by hand due to the availability of sewing machines.


Storage Room

Another section of this straight alley is the storage area. The henna-filled bags needed to be kept in a place. The people of Yazd used to arrange these bags in a neat and orderly manner in a room designated as the storage area. When merchants arrived, the chamberlains would bring out the bags one by one from the storage and hand them over to the merchants to begin their long journeys to distant cities.

Mazariha Alley

Current State of Mazariha Alley

Perhaps the important question that comes to mind is the current condition and circumstances of Mazariha Alley in Yazd. Are there still people engaged in the henna business there? As we mentioned, with the introduction of chemical dyes and new cosmetic, hygiene, and medicinal products to the market, henna gradually faded from memory. Some individuals who were involved in this profession switched to other occupations, but some merchants in this field decided to use their mills for grinding aromatic plants and various spices.

Today, when you visit Mazariha Alley in Yazd, you will see shops that have written on their storefronts, “Aromatic Spices.” The scent of cinnamon, cardamom, and various cooking spices intertwines with the scent of henna in this field, captivating everyone.


Why should we visit Mazariha Alley in Yazd?

You may wonder why you should visit Mazariha Alley in Yazd. It’s important to know that the Cultural Heritage Organization has restored this area, and some of the shops in this alley are dedicated to selling and showcasing handicrafts and the cultural heritage of Yazd. Visiting this alley will immerse you in the colorful world of Yazd’s history, culture, and the pleasant aroma of spices and henna. Literary associations also occasionally hold poetry and storytelling sessions in this Alley.Mazariha Alley

During your visit to this Alley, in addition to purchasing high-quality henna, you will have the opportunity to explore various chambers and witness the interesting process of milling henna leaves, preparing henna powder, weaving Karbas bags, packaging, and stitching henna bags. There are also different exhibitions and events held in Mazariha Alley, including art exhibitions, street theater, visual arts exhibitions, and book critique sessions.


Visiting Mazariha Alley in Yazd

Perhaps after reading about the 700-year-old history and fascinating architecture of this Alley, you might be tempted to see this historical site. It’s important to note that as soon as you enter this alley, your sense of smell will be filled with the intense scent of various spices like pepper, ginger, and cinnamon. If you have respiratory conditions such as asthma or are allergic to strong smells, it’s better to avoid this area.

But you may also want to know the best time to visit this alley. Since Yazd is a desert city, it’s best to visit during the spring season when the weather is moderate. However during the Nowruz holidays, Yazd becomes more crowded and expensive.


How to get to Mazariha Alley?

There are two routes you can take to visit this Alley. One route passes through Kashani Boulevard and, after Imam Jafar Sadiq Street, the first alley on the right will be Mazariha Alley. The next route passes through Imam Jafar Sadiq Boulevard, and after reaching Ayatollah Kashani Street, you should enter this street and then enter the first alley, which is Mazariha Alley.


Tourist Attractions in the Surrounding Area

You may also be interested to know about the tourist attractions around Mazariha Alley so you can make the most of your visit. Some of these attractions include Bahram Fire Temple, Mar Kar Museum, Jameh Mosque of Yazd, Amir Chakhmaq Square, Dolatabad Garden, Khan Square, Khan Bath, Ziaiyeh School, Molla Agha Baba Synagogue, Mortaz House, Qasr-e Aineh and Roshanai Museum, Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Ali, and the Historical, Classic, and Handmade Car Museum of Yazd.

Mazariha Alley

Introduction to Hotels and Restaurants around Mazariha Alley

There are hotels near this Alley in Yazd where you can stay. Some of these hotels include Saraye Kaveh Residential Complex, Laleh Hotel, and Dad Hotel. As for the restaurants in the vicinity, notable options include Pasargad Yazd Restaurant, Akbar Joje Restaurant, Gandum Fast Food, Tut-Faranghi Restaurant, Shah Mardan Restaurant, and Mazari Cafe.


Final words

In summary, Mazariha Alley in Yazd is one of the historical alleys with a history of 700 years. This alley, which is considered one of the popular tourist attractions in Yazd, has been a place of henna-related craftsmanship since ancient times. Today, it has been restored by the Cultural Heritage Organization, and some of its chambers are occupied by henna vendors. The remaining chambers are dedicated to selling Yazd’s handicrafts and various spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. If you are not sensitive to the smell of spices and enjoy exploring bazaars and historical alleys, don’t miss the opportunity to visit this fragrant and aromatic alley.



  1. Where is Mazariha Alley in Yazd?

Mazariha Alley is a historic and picturesque alley located in the city of Yazd, Iran. It is renowned for its traditional architecture, narrow lanes, and mud-brick buildings that showcase the unique charm of Yazd’s old town.


  1. Is Mazariha Alley a pedestrian-only zone?

Yes, Mazariha Alley is a pedestrian-only zone, allowing visitors to explore the area on foot without the worry of vehicular traffic. This creates a peaceful and immersive experience, allowing you to fully appreciate the architectural beauty and cultural heritage of the alley.


  1. Are there any traditional cafes or restaurants around Mazariha Alley?

Yes, Mazariha Alley is dotted with traditional cafes and restaurants where you can indulge in authentic Persian cuisine and enjoy a cup of aromatic Iranian tea. These establishments often have outdoor seating areas, allowing you to soak in the ambiance of the alley while savoring delicious local dishes.


  1. Can I find local handicrafts and souvenirs in Mazariha Alley?

Absolutely! Mazariha Alley is a treasure trove for those seeking unique souvenirs and traditional handicrafts. The shops along the alley offer a wide range of items, including Henna and handmade carpets, pottery, textiles, and intricate metalwork. It’s the perfect place to find a special memento to remember your visit to Yazd city.

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