Mazandaran province with an area of 23842 square kilometers is the 18th province of Iran in terms of size. The northern border of this province is surrounded by the coastal strip of the Caspian Sea and is neighboring the provinces of Gilan, Golestan, Semnan, Tehran, Qazvin and Alborz. Mazandaran has 22 counties and its center is Sari. Common languages of the province are the Tabari (Mazandarani dialect) and Farsi.
The Alborz mountain ranges cover the southern margin of Mazandaran. The highest peak of Iranian Plateau, Mount Damavand, with the height of 5671 meters is located in this province. Every year many domestic and foreign tourists climb this mountain. Mazandaran’s climate is temperate and humid. The existence of vast jungles is influential in the air moderation and the formation of rivers. The Alborz mountain ranges are like a dam in the south of Mazandaran and prevent the entry of moisture of Caspian Sea to the central parts of Iran.
Two very old and powerful tribes settled on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. Tapours, which the name of Tabarestan comes from, and the other is the clan of Amardi that gave their name to the city of Amol. Phraates I of Parthian Dynasty moved Amardi to Khar (Varamin), and Tapours took over the land that used to belong to them. Later, the area fell to the hands of the Sasanian rulers as well. In addition, in some periods, non-territorial conquerors took the control of Mazandaran or some parts of it. These conquerors were Tahirid, Saffarid, Samanid, Ziyarid, Ghaznavid, Seljuq, Khwarazmian, Mongols, Sarbadar, and Timurid. During Safavid era, Shah Ismail I sent a troop to Mazandaran, but the definitive capture of the area took place during the reign of Shah Abbas I. Upon his order, the royal palace and complex of Safi Abad were established in present Behshahr. At the time of its construction, the place was called Ashraf.
The coastal cities such as Chalus, Ramsar, Nour, Nowshahr, Babolsar and Mahmud Abad, jungle areas around Ramsar, Nour and Damavand Mount and peak, Badab Soort Spring, Alimestan Jungle, Babol Palace, Veresk Bridge, Fereydunkenar Wetland, and Nima Youshij House (poet) are the main attractions of the province.
The historical garden of Abbas Abad near Behshahr (from the complex of Persian Garden) has been registered in the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Among the most important handicrafts of Mazandaran province, we can mention Woodcarving, Moaragh, Mosaic, Bamboo and Mat Weaving, Kilim, Jajim, Tablecloth, Bedcover, scarf, Chador Shab, socks, Chuqa, Bashloq and Vazshamd.
Varieties of jam and Syrups especially Orange blossom jam, raspberries, sour cherries, oranges and pickles are among the common souvenirs of Mazandaran. Native foods often include a mixture of rice and vegetables. Varieties of fish, Pelle or Polow (rice)-kebab, Torshi Tareh, Torshi Kebab, Aloo Kebab (kebab and plum), Dezingeh fish, Baqala ghatogh (rice and a form of bean), Kadubareh, Nettles Aush, sour Aush, pumpkin stew, pumpkin polow, Dopeti, Aqoozmosama, Espenasak and Spinach Marji are among the common foods in the province.
Nima Youshij (poet- father of Iran’s modern poetry) and Manouchehr Sotoudeh (contemporary geographer and scholar) are among the famous figures of Mazandaran province.