South Khorasan province has a total area of 151193 square km located in eastern part of Iran. It’s part of Iran-Afghanistan international boundary and the third province of the country in terms of area. South Khorasan is one of the three provinces that were created after the division of Khorasan in 2004. It is the neighbor of provinces of Khorasan Razavi, Semnan, Isfahan, Yazd, Kerman and Sistan and Baluchistan. Birjand is the center of the province, and it consists of 11 counties. The major ethnic groups in this region are the Persians, as well as Baluches. It is one of the arid areas of the country, but a small part of the it enjoy mild temperature, and rest of it has hot summers and cold winters. Lut desert covers large area of province that has effected the temperature of the place greatly.
Gahestan or Qohestan was a region in grand Khorasan that stretched from south of Neishabour to Sistan. Right now south Khorasan includes a great part of grand Khorasan. The history of Gahestan villages, probably, reached to pre-historical era. During the early attacks of the Muslims, Hephthalites ruled Gahestan, but when Umar became the Caliph, Arabs were successful in conquering it. Years later, a big uprising under the Leadership of a person named Qaron started, but the Arab commanders quelled it. Gahestan later became part of grand Khorasan with the centrality of Neishabour; Isma’ilism governors ruled it until the invasion of Mongol. By the arrival of Mongols, Gahestan was destroyed and never returned to its previous glory. In the centuries that followed, the region was ruled by total chaos until in Qajar era, the independent rulers were suppressed and the region became part of the country again.
Unique nature, historical, cultural and religion sites are all over the province. The landscape of Lut desert, waterfalls, Saffron farms, and berry farm turn South Khorasan to an excellent place for tourist and nature lovers. The attractions of this place includes Tabas citadel, Mustofi house, Bushruyeh wind-tower, Nehbandan Water Mill, Qaen Jam-e Mosque, and Aleya School. Lut desert, Akbariyeh Garden complex and Baladeh Qanat are among attractions of this province that have been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List.
The landscape of Lut desert, waterfalls, Saffron farms, and berry farm turn South Khorasan to an excellent place for tourist and nature lovers. The attractions of this place includes Tabas citadel, Mustofi house, Bushruyeh wind-tower, Nehbandan Water Mill, Qaen Jam-e Mosque, and Aleya School.
Its handicrafts includes embroidery, Jajim weaving, Giveh making, felt making, and pottery. The main souvenirs of province are Saffron, berry, dried whey, Jujube, black dried curd, and Persian olive. The local foods are Abodardar Aash, Omaj Aash, Plum Abgoosht, and Saveri.
Amogn the most notable figures of the province we can name Boozrjomher Qaeini who was a poet of Mas’ud I of Ghazni reign, Badi’ozzamān Foruzānfar who was a contemporary literary critique, linguist and culture expert, and Dr. Mohammad Hassan Ganji who was an internationally known meteorologist.