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Geography and History

The province of Northern Khorassan, located in the northeast of Iran covering an area of 28,434 sq. km.. The townships of this province are Ashkhaneh, Esfarayen, Bojnoord, Jajarm, Shirvan and Farooj.. Bojnoord is the capital city of this province, The population of Northern Khorassan Province in 2006 was about 811,572 of which approximately 48.35% resided in urban areas and 51.06% in rural areas, the remaining were non-residents.This province can be divided into two north and south sections regarding its natural features: The northern section which has a mountainous terrain, though its lower plains are suitable for agricultural purpose and animal husbandry .The southern section comprises of low hills and plains with poor vegetation.


Climatically this province is variable in weather. Located in th north temperate zone, the temperature increases from north to south but the annual rainfall decreases. Regions with high altitudes enjoy cold and mountaneous climate. Aladaq heights experience cold and mountainous weather, whereas in some parts of Bojnoord, Shirvan, Jajarm and Esfarayen a temperate climate exists.

History and Culture

The province of Northern Khorassan, that has formerly been a part of Great Khorassan, has constantly been witnessed to the rise and fall of powers and governments in the past history of Iran. Various classes such as Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Turkmen and Afghans have accounted for much unaccountable events in this wide territory. The ancient geographers of Iran had divided Iran (Iran Shahr) into eight segments, of which the most flourishing and largest was territory of Khorassan. During the Sassanian (sassanide) Dynasty the province was governed by a Espahbod (Lieutenant General) called “Padgoosban” and four margraves, each commander of one of the four parts of the province.Khorassan was divided into four parts during the Islamic period and each section was named after the four large cities, such as Nayshabur , Marve, Harat and Balkh. In the year 31 AH, the Arabs came to Khorassan and it was at this time that the inhabitants accepted the religion of Islam.Till the year 205 AH, this territory was in the hands of the Bani-Abbas clan, followed by the rule of the Taherian clan in the year 283 AH, and there after in 287 AH the Samanian Dynasty came to the scene as rulers. Sultan Mohmood Qaznavi conquered Khorassan in 384 AH and in the year 429 AH Toqrol, the first of the Saljuqian Dynasty conquered Nayshabur.Sultan Mahmood Qaznavi retaliated against the invaders several times, and finally the Qaznavi Turks defeated Soltan Sanjar Saljuqi. But there was more to come, as in the year 552 AH. Khorassan was conquered by Kharazm Shahian and because of simultaneous attacks by the Mongols, Khorassan was annexed to the territories of the Mongol Ilkhanan. In the (8th century AH, a flag of independence was hoisted by the Sarbedaran movement in Sabzevar and in the year 873 AH, Khorassan came into the hands of Amir Teimoor Goorkani and the city of Harat was declared as capital. In the year 913 AH Khorassan was occupied by the Ozbekans.
After the death of Nader Shah Afshar in 1160 AH, Khorassan was occupied by the Afghans. During Qajar period, Britain supported Afghans as they were responsible for guarding the Indian Borders. Finally, the Paris Treaty was concluded (1903) and Iran was compelled not to interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. At this time Khorassan was divided into two: the eastern part, which was the most densely populated region came under Britain’s protection, and the other western section remained under the occupation of Iran. But in spite of all these upheavals Khorassan is one of the most fertile and flourishing provinces of Iran. This province envelopes many material attractions, such as mineral water springs , small lakes , recreational areas, caves and protected regions, heights and summits surmount its attractions despite its acute shortage of water resources. Besides these, Northern Khorassan province encompasses numerous religious buildings and places of pilgrimage, and many other mausoleums and Imamzadehs which attract visitors to this province.

North Khorassan Province Townships

Ashkhaneh, Bojnoord, Esfarayen, Farooj, Jajarm, Shirvan.


Ashkhaneh is the center of Maleh and Samalghan Township locating in the west of Bojnoord and has been one of the four parts of this city in the past. Enjoying many springs and rivers, originating from Aladagh Mountains, it is very important for agricultural activities as well as animal husbandry. Formerly, this city has been one of the important centers for production of wool and skin. Its history is mixed with Bojnoord and most of its residents are Torks and Kords.


Bojnoord Township is 701 k.m. far from Tehran locating in a plain region enjoing mountainous and moderate climate. Originally it was called “Bijan Gerd”. Since Gerd means city, it meant the city of Bijan. The old Bojnoord had been located on a hill northwest of present Bojnoord that it is called Sareban Mahaleh. The ethnic composition of the city is a mixture of Torks and Kords.


Esfarayen is located in the north west of the province and is about 772 km. from Tehran . A part of this town is situated on the slopes of Shah Jahan Mountains and the other part in the plains. The town experiences cold weather. Esfarayen was one of the focal points where the Aryan tribes settled after entering Iran during the Parthian period. Esfarayen was then one of the important villages of Nayshabur. Even after the Arabs gained control, Esfarayen flourished and continued to be so after Islam. In spite of attacks, it was reconstructed. In the late 8th century AH, this city was ruined during the Teimoorian attack. During the Safavid era the town was attacked by the Ozbek tribes. In the Afshar period the old city of Esfarayen was completely destroyed thereby compelling the inhabitants to reside in the present city of Esfarayen, or as it came to be known.


This township has formerly been the center of Farooj village locating at southeast of Shirvan Township. After the establishment of this Province, it was promoted to a township. Farooj is an eastern city of Northern Khorassan Province neighboring Quchan Township in Razavi Khorassan Privince. Farooj is a plain area enjoing a moderate climate. Most of its residents are engaged in agricultural and animal breeding activities. Its rugs are famous for their delicacy and beauty.


Jajarm is one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Due to archeological excavations in the region, some valuable vestiges have been obtained some of which belong to more than 5 thousand years back indicative of being one of the oldest habitats of the world. These vestiges are mostly earthenware objects showing high taste and talent of their creators. In Achaemenian time, Jajarm was a part of Part Satrap and then in time of Parthian it changed into one the most important commercial centers of the region that lasted till Sassanide time. The people of Jajarm accepted Islam in the year 31 AH in 2nd Century AH they participated in the movement against Omavi Caliph. This region was highly flourishing till Salsoughian Dinasty and sustained high damages after the invasion of Mongols. It has been  one of the important centers for the Sarbedaran movement. During the time of Ozbeks domination over Transoxiana, Jajarm was in the center of clashes till Afsharieh and Zandieh Dynasties. Today, with establishment of some important development projects, this Township is one of the important industrial region of the Province as well as the country.


Shirvan is 773 km. from Tehran . In its northern parts Shirvan experiences cold weather being a mountainous region. But the southern part enjoys a temperate climate due to the flow of Atrak River here. Existence of ancient burial sites or graves of the Zoroastrians prove that this place was inhabited before the Islamic era and it was in the year 31 AH that the inhabitants embraced Islam during the Caliphate of Osman. Though Shirvan flourished during the Kharazm Shahian reign it was heavily damaged under the attacks of the Goorkanians. In order to prevent the Ozbak attacks, Kurd tribes were moved to this area during the reign of Shah Abbas I. During the Qajar period, this place was a focal point for local clashes. But in recent years the city of Shirvan has been reconstructed according to modern styles of architecture.

Historical Monuments  

Mofakham Mirror House, Bojnoord

This building is in the city of Bojnoord , and belonged to Sardar Mofakham, one of the officials in the late Qajar period. As the name indicates, this building boasts of its mirror work and tile design.




The Ornaments of Mofakham Mirror House is shown at the picture below:




Religious Monuments

Imamzadeh Abdollah Kooran, Esfarayen

This is located 30 km. west of Esfarayen , near the village of Kooran. The structure is tetragonal in shape with each side 5 m. in length This structure has fine and intricate brick work that is eye-catching. The wooden chest of the grave dates back to the Qajar period.

Imamzadeh Hamzeh Reza, Shirvan

This tomb is located 6 km. from the city of Shirvan and is the remain of the 5th century AH, the Qaznavi period. This structure has been made of brick, gypsum and wood. This shrine is near the Teimoorian Mausoleum which is known as Teimoorian Hill. It is said that the son of Imam Moosa Bin Jafar (AS) is buried here.This Imamzadeh is registered in historical records.

Natural Attractions

Atrak River, Shirvan

This river originates from the Hezar Masjed , Aladaq and Binalood heights . The main tributary runs in this vicinity, and two other rivers such as “Shirin Chai” and “Soomobarakeh” feed the Atrak River and form a part of the borderline between Iran and the Republic of Turkemenistan before entering the Caspian Sea . This river has certain leisure spots. Atrak Valley is in this valley that the Atrak River with the length of 600 km flows and is one of the most beautiful and greenest spots of the region and therefore enhances the attraction for visitors.

Qarhsoo River, Esfarayen

This river flows in the valley of Esfarayen . It originates from south of Aladaq Mountains and to the north from Shah Jahan Mountain Ranges. After saturating the Jajrum plain, it flows from north to south and joins the Kalshoor River in the south of Sabzevar . Finally at the end of its course it enters the salt desert which seeps up its flow. This river too has its own special attractions.




Gelian Va Estakhri Summer Residing Place, Bojnoord

This vicinity engulfs places such as Gelian, Hesar-e-Pahlavanan and Estakhri; situated on the skirts of the Shah Jahan Mountains. The countryside boasts of valleys full of streams, abundance of trees, springs, high waterfalls, and caves. Besides historical remnants such as Moosa Khan Wall and Khodaverdi trench, the tomb of a great mathematician called Baba Tavakol, and the resting place of Amir Shams Alladin Mohammed also exists here. Furthermore, the nurturing of fish is another feature of this area. This vicinity is accessible by car. Some Scenery in Khorassan-North is shown below:




Culture and Art


The Governmental universities in Khorassan-North province

University of Bojnoord, Eshragh Institute of Higher Education (Bojnoord, North Khorassan).

The Islamic Azad universities in Khorassan-North province

Islamic Azad University of Bojnoord, Islamic Azad University of Shiravan.

Bojnoord Museum

This museum is located in Mofakhan Aiyneh Khaneh and contains several archeological vestiges of the Province.

Bojnoord Wildlife Museum

This museum is located in Dolat Street in which all wildlife of the province are shown including birds, mammals, reptiles and…  .