Razavi Khorasan Province tourist information
Razavi Khorasan Province is a province located in northeastern Iran . Mashhad is the centre and capital of the province . Other cities and townships are Quchan , Dargaz , Chenaran , Sarakhs , Fariman , Torbat-e Heydarieh , Torbat-e Jam , Taybad , Khaf , Roshtkhar , Kashmar , Bardaskan , Nishapur , Sabzevar , Gonabad , Kalat , Khalilabad and Mahvelat . Razavi Khorasan is one of the three provinces that were created after the division of Khorasan Province in 2004 . In 2014 it was placed in Region 5 with Mashhad as the location of the region's secretariat .
Greater Khorasan has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties and governments in its territory throughout history . Various tribes of the Arabs , Turks , Kurds , Turkemen and Mongols brought changes to the region time and time again .
Ancient geographers of Iran divided Iran ("Iran-Shahr") into eight segments of which the most flourishing and largest was the territory of Greater Khorasan . Esfarayen , among other cities of the province , was one of the focal points for residence of the Aryan tribes after entering Iran .
The Parthian empire was based near Merv in Khorasan for many years . During the Sassanid dynasty the province was governed by a Spahbod (Lieutenant General) called "Padgoosban" and four margraves , each commander of one of the four parts of the province .
Khorasan was divided into four parts during the Muslim conquest of Persia , each section being named after the four largest cities , Nishapur , Merv , Heart , and Balkh .
In the year 651 , the army of Islamic Arabs invaded Khorasan . The territory remained in the hands of the Abbasid clan until 820 , followed by the rule of the Iranian Taherid clan in the year 896 and the Samanid dynasty in 900 .
Mahmud of Ghazni conquered Khorasan in 994 and in the year 1037 Tuğrul .
In 1507 , Khorasan was occupied by Uzbek tribes after the death of the Turkic king Nader Shah . In 1747 , it was occupied by the Afghan Durrani Empire centered in Qandahar .
During the Qajar period , Britain supported the Afghans to protect their East India Company . Herat was thus separated from Persia , and Nasser-al-Din Shah was unable to defeat the British to take back Heart . Finally , the Paris Treaty was concluded in 1903 and Iran was compelled not to challenge the British for Herat and other parts of what is today Afghanistan .
Finally Khorasan was divided into two parts : the eastern part , which was the most densely populated region came under British occupation , and the other western section remained part of Iran .
Khorasan was the largest province of Iran until it was divided into three provinces on September 29 , 2004 . The provinces approved by the parliament of Iran (on May 18 , 2004) and the Council of Guardians (on May 29 , 2004) were Razavi Khorasan , North Khorasan , and South Khorasan .
Among the archeological sites discovered in this province :
Kohandezh hills : Excavations conducted by an American team between 1935 and 1940 in Nishapur discovered museum-worthy objects , which were shared with the government of the Shah . The Metropolitan Museum of Art's publications document its own Nishapur ceramics from those excavations . For half a century after 1945 the site of Nishapur was ransacked to feed the international market demand for early Islamic works of art . Nowadays , the Kohandezh hills reveal the remains from those excavations .
Shadiyakh : Shadiyakh was an important palace in old Nishapur up to the 7th century , and became more important and populated after that . The palace was completely ruined in the 13th century . It was the home of notables such as Farid al-Din Attar , whose tomb is found in Shadiyakh .
The major ethnic group in this region are Persians , there are other sizeable communities such as Kurds , Khorasani Turks and Turkmens . There is also an Afghan community in the province due to the influx of Afghan refugees coming from Afghanistan in recent years .
This province envelopes many historical and natural attractions , such as mineral water springs , small lakes , recreational areas , caves and protected regions , and various hiking areas .
Besides these , Khorasan encompasses numerous religious buildings and places of pilgrimage , including the shrine of Imam Reza , Goharshad mosque and many other mausoleums and Imamzadehs which attract visitors to this province .
The Cultural Heritage of Iran lists 1179 sites of historical and cultural significance in all three provinces of Khorasan .
Some of the popular attractions of Razavi Khorasan are :
· Tus , where Ferdowsi , the Persian language's most important poet , is buried
· Nishapur , where Farid al-Din Attar , Omar Khayyám , and Kamal-ol-molk are buried
· Goharshad mosque and the vast shrine-complex of Imam Reza that forms the heart of Mashhad
· Khaneh Khorshid
· Shandiz and Torghabeh
· Tomb of Nadir Shah Afshar in central Mashhad
· Akhangan (Akhanjan) tower , north of Tus
· Haruniyeh dome in Tus , where the famous mystic Imam Mohammad Ghazali is buried
· Tus citadel
· Bazangan lake , in Sarakhs district
· Kooh Sangi , a notable hill in Mashhad
· Band-e-Golestan (Golestan dam)
· Zoshk , a country village west of Mashhad
· Kang , a scenic stepped village
· Kardeh Dam
· Vakilabad and Mellat parks in Mashhad
· Zari , Hendelabad , Mozdooran , Moghan and Kardeh caves
· Robat Sharaf (a relatively grand caravanserai ruin in Sarakhs district)
· Tomb of Khajeh Abasalt , Khajeh Morad , Ravi and mausoleum of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi
· Yahya and Khajeh Rabi mausoleum at the northern edge of Mashhad city
· Sabz (green) dome in a roundabout in Mashhad