Razavi Khorasan Province has an area of about 118851 square km located in northeastern Iran. The fifth province in the country in the term of population. It neighbor South Khorasan, Semnan, North Khorasan, as well as Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. It has 28 counties, and Mashhad is the center and capital of the province. The province is almost entirely surrounded by mountains, with its highest peak being Binalud. Razavi province enjoy dry and semi-arid climate, but in the mountainous area, the winters are cold and summers are mild. In the region with low height, winter is nearly cold and summer is hot and dry.
Grand Khorasan, covered the south of Amu Darya and large parts of Central Asia countries. It had the four largest cities of Islamic era, Neishabour, Marv, Herat, and Balkh. Ma’mun, the Abbasid Caliph, appointed Tahir ibn Hussain as the governor of Khorasan, but in less than a year Tahir announced independency from Caliph, he then transferred the capital of grand Khorasan from Marv to Neishabour and ended the absolute dependency of Iran to the Arab Caliphs. Khorasan and Mā warāʼ al-Nahr (Transoxiana) were among the brightest region in history of Iran known for the flourishment of science, literature and Persian language especially in the Tahirid and Samanid dynasties.
When the Turks of Ghaznain came to throne and took the ruling of the area, one of the most important events of the region’s history took place, and that was the breakdown of grand Khorasan. In this time, a great section of the province with the centrality of Ghazni (Afghanistan) remained under the rule of Ghaznavid, and the rest of it was governed by Seljuk dynasty. During Mongol invasion, Tamerlane attacked Khorasan four times. Later grand Khorasan became part of Safavid territory and finally Nader shah choose Mashhad as capital city; after his death Khorasan was under the control of Afghan’s commander. Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar took the full control of Khorasan without war and bloodshed, and from then the grand Khorasan was ruled by Qajar dynasty.
The biggest and holiest mausoleum in Iran is holly shrine of Shiite eighth Imam, Imam Reza (peace be upon Him) which is located in Mashhad city. Millions of both local and foreign pilgrims travel to Mashhad every year to visit him. Besides, the magnificent complex of Astan Quds Razavi includes the Imam Reza shrine, Guharshad Mosque, Golden Iwan, Allah Verdi Khan Ravaq, Shah Mosque and Bathhouse, and Anthropology Museum. Some other tourism attractions of Razavi Khorasan is the Ancient Windmills of Nashtifan, Robat Sharaf Caravansary, Tomb of Nadir Shah Afshar, Tombs of the prominent figures such as Farid al-Din Attar, Omar Khayyám and Kamal-ol-Molk, and Gonabad Qanat that has been inscribed on UNESCO world heritage list.
The biggest mausoleum in Iran is holly shrine of Shiite eighth Imam, Imam Reza (peace be upon Him) which is located in Mashhad city. Millions of both local and foreign pilgrims travel to Mashhad every year to visit him.
Some handicrafts of province includes Carving on Stone, Pottery, Turquoise Stone, Silk Weaving, Barak Bafi, and Furrier. The important souvenir of province are Saffron, Barberry, pomegranate, spices, different types of Nabat, and Carpet.
Shashlik, Shol-e, Eshkaneh, Dizzi, and Balghur Aash are among local foods of province. Ferdowsi Tosi (Epic Poet), Farid al-Din Attar (Mystic and Poet), Omar Khayyám (Poet), Kamal-ol-molk (Painter), Jaber-e bin Hayyan (Alchemist, Mathematician), Mohammad-Taqi Bahar (Poet), Dr. Ali Shariati (Sociologist), as well as Mohammad Reza Shajarian (Traditional Singer) are among notable people of Mashhad.