Schematic view From the concept of garden as place to rest, through a place of hospitality we begin to arrive at the formal attributes of the garden in Persian Architecture. The garden becomes a mandala, symbol of heaven and the self, with an outward movement from the central pavilion to the four or eight enclosures beyond, and a self-centred movement within through the four entrances of the palace to the basin of water inside, the spiritual centre of the palace or place that comes to represent man.
At the centre the fountain itself, whose water flows ever outwards recommences the outward motion once again, thus providing an architectural equivalent to the Sufi notions of baten and zaher, the inner and the outer.
The idea of garden and courtyard, complements to the hot and arid plateau of central Iran, remain as impartant forms in the concept of paradise during the Islamic era. The garden conformed to the iconography of the ancient Iranian motif of the enclosure planted with trees surrounding a central pavilion, as shown in the view of the Palace of Hasht Behesht above.
The schematic view above is adapted from that used by Ardelan and Bakhtiar, in "The Sense of Unity", p.68