North Khorasan Province
North Khorasan Province (Persian:
Ostān-e Khorāsān-e Shomālī) is a province located in northeastern Iran. Bojnord
is the centre of the province. In 2014 it was placed in Region
Other counties are Shirvan, Esfarayen,
Maneh and Samalqan, Jajarm,
North Khorasan is one of the three provinces that were created after the
division of Khorasan in 2004
Greater Khorasan has witnessed the rise and
fall of many dynasties and governments in its territory throughout history.
Various tribes of Arabs, Turks, Kurds,
Mongols, Turkmen and Afghans have brought change to the region time and time
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 settlement by Aryan tribes entering Iran.
empire was based near Merv
in Khorasan for many years. In Parthian times, Esfarayen
was one of the important villages of Nishapur.
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, Herat, 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 Beg, the first of the Seljuq empire
rulers conquered Nishapur.
Mahmud Qaznavi retaliated against the invaders several times, and finally
the Qaznavi Turks defeated Sultan Sanjar. But there was more to come, as
in 1157 Khorasan was conquered by the
Khwarazmids. In 1220 was annexed by the Mongols of Chiggis Qa'an.
When in 1226 the great conqueror finally died, the Khorasan was inheriter by
his son Tolui and then by the son of this, who's named Hulegu, the first
emperor of the mongolic Ilkhanate of Persia.
In the 14th century, a flag of independence was hoisted by the Sarbedaran
movement in Sabzevar, and in 1368, Khorasan came into the hands of Tamerlane.
In 1507, Khorasan was occupied by Uzbek
tribes. After the death of Nader Shah in 1747, it was occupied by the
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 Herat. 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.
North Khorasan today
Northern Khorasan province is one of the most diverse territories in Iran
today, largely reflecting the ethnic makeup of Iran. Kurdish speakers make up
46.1%, forming the relative majority (plurality) of the population. The next
largest group is Persian speakers which makeup 27.8% of the population,
Khorasani Turks makeup 20.6% and Turkmens make up about 3.3% and other Iranians
make up 2.2% of the population. There used to be a sizeable population of Lurs
who used to inhabit this province, however most returned to their native area
in western Iran as there are no signs of them in the province today
Previously there used to be a sizeable community of Arabs who settled in the
area during the Arab invasion of Iran, however by 1875 they had intermarried so
extensively with Persians and Turks that they were indistinguishable in feature
and language, having largely abandoned the Arab language and culture in favour
of the local one
This province contains many
historical and natural attractions, such as mineral water springs, small lakes,
recreational areas, caves and protected regions, and various hiking areas. Most
of the historical relics are from the Qajar
era, as earthquakes continue to ravage older relics.
The Cultural Heritage Organization of
Iran lists 1,179 sites of historical and cultural significance in
all three provinces of Khorasan.
Some of the popular attractions of
North Khorasan are:
- Tepe Pahlavan, near Jajarm, A prehistoric archeological
- Jalalal-din castle, Jajarm
- Miandasht wildlife refuge, living place of Asiatic
- petroglyphic site from Bronze Age in Jorbat (10 km
north of Jajarm)
- Sari Gol protected area,
- Hasanabad, Ghaisar and Solak old castles,
- Noshirvan and Ebadatgah caves,
- Faghatdezh castle,
- Tomb of Sheikh Ali Esfarayeni
- Saloog Protected Area,
- Besh Qardash (five brothers) and Baba-Aman
- Bidag, Konegarm, Konjekooh, Armadloo and Seyed Sadegh
- Mofakham mirror house (image), built during the Qajar
- Baba Tavakol mausoleum,
- Imamzadeh Sultan Seyed Abbas
- Salook Protected Area
- Bazkhaneh valley
- Ayyub mineral water spring
- Ruwin village