Golestan Province tourist information
Golest─?n Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran , located in the north-east of the country south of the Caspian Sea . Its capital is Gorgan .
The province was put as part of Region 1 upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22nd , 2014 .
Golest─?n was split off from the province of Mazandaran in 1997 . It has a population of 1.7 million (2011) and an area of 20,380 km² . The province is divided into the following twelve counties (shahrestans) : Aliabad County , Aqqala County , Azadshahr County , Bandar-e Gaz County , Gonbad-e Qabus County , Gorgan County , Kalaleh County , Kordkuy County , Maraveh Tappeh County , Minudasht County , Ramian County , and Torkaman County . Present-day Gorgan was called Esterabad until 1937 .
Gorg─?n , Hyrcania (in Latin) , and Υρκαν╬»α (in Ancient Greek , meaning "the district of the wolves") were all previously referred to as Vark─?na in the Behistun Inscription . Wolves are still seen in the vicinity .
Human settlements in this area date back to 10 000 BCE . Evidence of the ancient city of Jorjan can still be seen near the current city of Gonbad-e Kavus . It was an important city of Persia located on the Silk Road .
Under the Achaemenid Iran , it seems to have been administered as a sub-province of Parthia and is not named separately in the provincial lists of Darius and Xerxes . The Hyrcanians , however , under the leadership of Megapanus , are mentioned by Herodotus in his list of Xerxes’ army during the invasion of Greece .
The Turkmens reside in the north of the province , a plain called Turkmen Sahra , this former nomadic people live in this area from 15th century , main cities of whom is Gonbad-e Kavus and Bandar Torkaman . Turkmens are Muslim and follow the Hanafi school of Sunni interpretation . They are a sizable minority at cities such as Gorgan , Ali Abad , Kalaleh and many of eastern townships .
Other ethnic groups such as Baluchs , Qezelbashs , Kazakhs , Georgians , and Armenians also reside in this area , and have preserved their traditions and rituals .
Recent decades has seen a huge migration to this province , especially from Zabol northest city of Sistan and Baluchestan .
A small minority of Bahá'í Faith also live in Golestan (in Shahpassand) .
The Buwayhid and Ziyarid dynasties of Persia were from this region . They were known for the revival of pre-Islamic Persian culture . For example , Buwayhid leaders entitled themselves as Shâhanshâh , literally king of kings , a term used by Sassanid rulers .
The world's tallest brick tower stands in this province . It is the famous Gonbad-e Qabus , built by a famous Amir of this region .
Climate and geography
Golest─?n enjoys mild weather and a temperate climate most of the year . Geographically , it is divided into two sections : The plains , and the mountains of the Alborz range . In the eastern Alborz section , the direction of mountains faces northeast and gradually decreases in height . The highest point of the province is Shavar , with a height of 3,945 meters .
Golestan National Park
Golestan National Park in northern Iran is faced with the construction of a road through the forest , allegedly for the ease of traffic for villagers and woodmen but at the expense of losing the only national park in Iran throughout which a range of different climates (humid near the Caspian Sea and desert farther south) is spread .
Golest─?n National Park is Iran's biggest national park which spans three provinces , Golestan , Mazandaran and North Khorasan . Surprisingly , the authorities ignore repeated calls by experts to construct such roads around , instead of through , the forests , which in this way would no longer threaten the animal and plant life .
Colleges and universities
1- Golestan University
2- Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
3- Golestan University of Medical Sciences
4- Islamic Azad University of Azadshahr
5- Islamic Azad University of Gorgan
6- Islamic Azad University of Ali Abad katool