Next to the Marble Throne Veranda, there is the second Zand monument, the Karim Khani Nook or Karim Khani Veranda which was Naser al-Din Shah’s favorite place of retreat, where he spent long hours in solitude. When looking at its earlier photos, the veranda has, alas, lost some of its original features. The stairway leading to the Karim Khani Nook has a tragic story of its own. Out of long-nurtured hate for Karim Khan, Agha Mohammad Khan had the Zand monarch’s body disinterred and reburied under the stairway. Later in 1925, Reza Shah Pahlavi ordered for Karim Khan’s bones to be reburied next to the Safavid King, Shah Soltan Hosein, in Qom. Some historians insist, however, that the remains were brought back to the Karim Khan Zand’S original grave in Shiraz.
One of the most interesting objects in the Karim Khani Nook is the tombstone of Naser al-Din Shah, assassinated in 1896. Brought here from the Shah Abdol Azim Shrine, it is a single piece of marble stone, bearing a life-like relief of the king carved by Abbas Gholi. More interesting, however, is the story, or rather stories, about the king’s assassination.
One common version among various divergent versions is that on April 29, 1896 Naser al-Din Shih attended the Shah Abdol Azim Shrine in Rey for prayer. Unlike other occasions, however, he ordered for the shrine to be kept open to the public. A man known as Mir-za Reza Kermani, taking advantage of this situation and bearing a petition in his hand, approached the king to ask for his favor. Once at the right distance, he pulled out a handgun and shot the king in the heart. In an attempt to save Naser al-Din Shah, a chair was brought from the private tomb of Badr family, which he was seated on. Faded traces of the king’s blood are still visible on the chair, placed in a corner of the main hall of the palace for the visitors to have a look at.
The rumor has it that in order to avoid any social unrest following the king’s death, it was decided to keep Naser al-Din Shah’s murder secret. The dead body of the king was, thus, placed into the royal coach (now kept in the National Car Museum of Iran) and sent to the Golestan Palace. However, in addition to the corpse of Shah-e Shahid (the Martyr King), there was another man in the couch who impersonated Naser al-Din Shah. Wearing white gloves, he would at times wave at people or touch his moustache in the same way as the dead king used to do. Once in the Golestan Palace, the body of the dead king was buried for a period of one year in the Royal Tekiyeh and later moved to the Abdol Azim Shrine.