Iran National Tea MuseumLahijan
Iran National Tea Museum and the mausoleum of Kashef-ol Saltaneh, the founder of tea industry of Iran (tea father of Iran) is located on Chai or Tea hill in Lahijan. Haj Mohammad Mirza, also known as Kashef-ol Saltaneh, was famous as a tea planter, diplomat, reformist, writer and constitutional revolutionist from Qajar and Pahlavi dynasty. He was sent to India in 1275 S.H, as the Iranian Consult. While in mission, he learned about tea and its planting and brought back some tea seeds to Iran with himself. This led to the beginning of tea planting, which was not common until then. Kashef-ol Saltaneh died in Kotal Malo of Fars province in 1307 S.H. At first, following his will, he was buried in a simple cemetery with black marble and no roof or fences on a tea hill he bought in the same year. But it was later decided that two percent of the tea trade should be allocated to making a proper cemetery worthy of him.
The construction of the building began in 1335 S.H, in western architectural style. By the support of Society for the National Heritage of Iran the building continued to reach its current form, and today it has a cement skeleton and stone facade with a base of five hundred and twelve square meters. The collection was assigned to Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran in 1371 S.H. The rectangular room next to the cemetery was dedicated to the tea museum of Iran. The construction of the museum ended in 1375 S.H.
Iran National Tea Museum in Lahijan county is the only museum dedicated to tea industry and represents it to the visitors from the day it was introduced in Iran to its current status. This museum has three parts including the cemetery with a long and rectangular tower, the internal space of cemetery, and the floor and side walls. The cemetery has been made in circular form and has eight pillars, each about fifteen meters that reach the ceiling. 532 historical objects have been registered in this museum such as files and documents of Kashef-ol Saltaneh, tea serving utensils such as coal samovar, ceramic, copper and stone teapots, cups, the Naser al-Din Shah treaty, teacup handles, trays that are on display.