Khorasan province which is located in north-east of Iran, covering
an area of 313,335 sq.km., is the largest province of the country
and includes one fifth of the country’s area. The townships of
this province are Esfarayen, Birjand, Taibad, Torbat-e-Jam,
Torbat-e-Haydarieh, Chenaran, Khaf, Darega, Sabewar, Sarakhs,
Shirvan, Tabas, Ferdows, Fariman, Ghayenat, Ghoocha, Kashmar,
Gonaba, Meshed, Nahbandan, Neyshabour, Bardaskan and Bojnoord.
Meshed is capital city of this province in which the Shrine of His
Holiness Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Shi’ite, is situated.
The population of Khorasan province was 6,047,661 in 1994, of
which 56.58% resided in urban areas and 43.36% in rural areas.
Remaining were non- residents or nomads.
From natural features point of view, Khorasan province is divided
into two northern and southern sections. The northern part is
nountainous which in its lower areas, fertile plains are formed
and suitable conditions for agricultural and animal husbandry
development are made available. The southern part constitutes of
low plains with low hills and poor vegetation cover.
Khorasan province is located in north temperate zone and has
changeable weather as a whole. The temperature of the province
increases from north to south, but annual precipitation decreases.
The high regions of the province, Aladagh and Binalood heights,
have cold mountainous weather. Bojnoord, Ghoochan and Shirvan
regions and southern parts of Binalood, Kopeh-Dagh heights,
Hezarmasjed and some part of Meshed township have temperate
mountainous climate, Ghaenat and mountainside of the province have
mild semi-arid weather and southern areas have warm, dry and arid
Khorasan province has been the permanent arena of emergence and
fall of powers and governments along the past history of Iran. The
Turkkish, Arab, Tatar, Ghaz, Ghagar and Ghabchan, Mongol, Turkemen
and Afghan clans have caused uncountable events in this wide
Ancient geographers have divided the Great Iran (Iranshahr)into
eight territories of which Khorasan was the largest and the most
flourishing territory. In Sasanian Dynasty era,this province was
governed by a Espahbod (Lieutenant General) who was called "Padgoosban"
and four margraves, each commander of one of the four parts of the
In the Islamic period, Khorasan was divided into four Parts, each
part was called in the name of four large cities i.e., Neyshaboor,
Marve, Harat and Balkh. In the year 652 AD., Arabs came to Iran
and in this period residents of Khorasan adhered to Islam
Khorasan land till the year 821 AD. was dominated by Bani-Abbas
clan. But in the year 900 AD. was emancipated by Taherian clan as
an independent territory and in 904 AD. joined to the realm of
Samanian dynasty. In the year 1004 AD. Sultan Mahmood Ghanavi
conquered Khorasan and in 1049 AD. Toghrol the First (Saljooghian
dynasty) conquered Neyshaboor. Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi fought
against Saljooghians and finally Ghaznavi Turks defeated Sultan
Sanjar Saljooghi badly. In the year 1161AD. Khorasan was conquered
by Kharazmshahian, simultaneously, due to attacks of Mongols, it
was annexed to the territories of Mongol Ilkhanan.
In 15thcentury, independence flag was hoisted by Sarbedaran
movement and in 1493 Khorasan was occupied by Amir Teymoor
Goorkani and city of Harat was declared as capital. In 1537 AD. it
was possessed by Ozbakans.
After the death of Nader Shah Afshar (1791), Khorasan was occupied
by Afghans and in Ghajar period, with Supporting of Afghans for
protection of Indian’s borders, finally paris Treaty was concluded
(1903) and Iran was obliged to not interfere in Afghanestan’s
At this time Khorasan was divided into two parts: eastern part
became England protectorate and western part remained under
occupation of Iran. In other wors, the most populated part of
Khorasan separated from Iran. In spite of all these ups and downs,
Khorasan is one of the fertile and flourishing provinces of Iran.
From natural attractions point of view, despite of water resources
limitation, Khorasan is one of the sightly points of Iran . Small
lakes, mineral water springs, recreational areas, protected
regions, heights and summits, caves and ... are amongst the
attractions of this province.
Khorasan province has encompassed numerous religious buildings and
monuments of pilgrimage, including the Shrine if His Holiness Imam
Reza and hundreds of nausoleums and Imamzadeh which attract so
many pilgrimages and visitors to this province.
Hereunder, historical, cultural and tourism characteristics of the
cities of the province are pointed out