Bagh-i Khalvat (MEGT)
Isfahan, Iran
The Bagh-i Khalvat, located south of the Chihil Sutun Garden, was where the shah held private meetings. Among the works carried out during the reign of Shah ‘Abbas, Munshi refers to gilded private apartments (khalvat khānah) called Sarvistan, Nigaristan, and Guldasta. We may assume thus that the Bagh-i Khalvat was created before 1598, when Munshi says that architects and engineers completed the sublime buildings for the Naqsh-i Jahan. There were two buildings in this garden, as shown in the plan by Kaempfer. One was along the southern wall of Chihil Sutun; the other stood against the wall between Khalvat Garden and Anguristan. It had a four-ṣuffa (open with four loggias on its sides) plan with a basin in the middle, a lobed basin in front of its southern loggia near a tower from which the king accessed the haram, and a third basin at the crossing of the main axis of the two buildings. The first mention to a chahār ṣuffa building, on the grounds of the Bagh-i Naqsh-i Jahan, is by Munajjim and dated to 1011 AH/1602. Its location next to the haram coincides with the chahār ṣuffa on the western side of Bagh-i Khalvat. It had three pools with fountains, one in the exact center, another on its western side and the third to the left. Tahir-i Vahid dates the khalvat khānah and its gardens to 1658–1659, and it is probable that he is referring to the addition of a tālār in front of the building that stood along the wall between this garden and Chihil Sutun. Bagh-i Khalvat was modified when the Sara-yi Sadri was built on its grounds during the reign of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar (1797–1834), as documented in a drawing by Coste in 1840.
Sources: Travel Account, 1840, Travel Account, 1684

-Mahvash Alemi


Four Sources on Shah ‘Abbas’s Buildings of Isfahan (Open in Zotero)

Tārīkh-i ʻAbbāsī, yā, Rūznāmah-ʼi Mullā Jalāl: shāmil-i vaqāyiʻ-i darbār-i Shāh ʻAbbās Ṣafavī (Open in Zotero)

Tārīkh-i ʻālam-i ārā-yi ʻAbbāsī (Open in Zotero)

I giardini reali di Ashraf e Farahâbâd (Open in Zotero)

Giardini reali e disegno del paesaggio ad Esfahan e nel territorio iraniano alla luce dei documenti inediti di Pascal Coste (Open in Zotero)

Originally published at: Alemi, Mahvash. “Bagh-i Khalvat.” Middle East Garden Traditions. Dumbarton Oaks, November 18, 2014. Archived at:

Isfahan, Iran
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Associated Collections
Dates of attested life:1602-1840
Date of entry of information: September 2007
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Bagh-i Khalvat
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