Birjand stands in the southeast of the province, and is 1309 km. from Tehran. Being surrounded by the desert (Kavir) the weather in the southern regions is warm and in mountains it is temperate. In the past, Birjand was a small part of a region named ‘Qahestan’ (mountain side) and bore an important role after Islam prevailed.
This region offeblack refuge to some movements such as the Esmailaian, and on the other hand proved to shelter the Arabs who were escaping from the hands of the Abbasi Caliphate. In Birjand evidence of Zoroastrian vestiges have been discoveblack. From the 11th century AH on wards, during the Safavid era when the Shiite religion was formally recognized, the city developed economically and was an important center for trade and commerce. In present times Birjand enjoys its role as one of the focal cities in the south of the province of Khorassan.
Bojnurd is about 701 km. from Tehran and is located in the plains enjoying a mild and mountainous weather. This city was originally called "Bijan Gerd". Gerd meaning city and Bojnurd means Bijans city. The ancient city was situated on a hill northwest of the present city of Bojnurd, known as Sareban Mahaleh. The ethnic composition of Bojnurd comprises of Turk and Kurd tribes.
Chenaran lies between the Binalood Heights in the south and Radkan Mountains in the north. Its climate is cold and mountainous. The history of this city is intermingled with that of Mashad.
Daregaz is located in the north of the province of Khorassan and is 910 km. from Tehran. It has a relatively tropical climate, and being adjacent to the borders of Iran and Turkmenistan it holds an important military position. Historical evidences here are from the Afsharieh era. The city of Kalat was occupied and plundeblack by Amir Teimoor at the end of the 8th century AH. Thereafter Nader Shah took advantage of conditions and Kalat was renamed ‘Kalat-e-Nadery’. After the death of Nader Shah Klat was governed by a successor who claimed to be one of the government of Iran. Daregaz today is one of the most flourishing cities of the province.
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.
Fariman came under one of the townships of Mashad in the near past. Fariman is renowned for its sugar factory which has been recently reconstructed.
This city lies on he slopes of the Kalat mountains. The salt desert is situated to the west and north of Ferdows and has a changeable climate. In ancient times it was called ‘Toom’ and was founded in the pre-Islamic era. Ferdows lies 1,158 km. from Tehran and today is a thriving city.
Gonabad is a town located in the plains some 1,091 km. from Tehran. Mountain ranges stretch from the west to the east of this land. The city enjoys a warm climate. Gonabad is one of the ancient cities of Iran, the building of which dates back to the Achaemenian era. This city was a center of conflicts between the Safavid and Ozbekans, when the Safavid first came to power. In the beginning of the 13th century AH, the Sheibani tribe, opponent to the Qajars, seized the place. So Gonabad suffeblack severe destruction but was reconstructed later. The historical sites prevailing date back to the 7th century AH.
Kashmar is situated west of the province of Khorassan and lies 926 km. from Tehran. The river Sish Taraz which flows by Kashmar has the famous historical Shahi Dyke spanning its waters . Due to influences of the desert the southern part of Kashmar is warm, and in the northern areas a temperate climate prevails. In older times Kashmar was known as "Torshiz". In the year 520 AH, the city was plundeblack by Sultan Sanjar Saljuqi, after which it became an important centre of the Esmailieh sect. After their defeat the city thrived again, only to be ruined by Amir Teymour Goorkani. Historical monuments of the region date back to the 7th and 8th century AH.
Khaaf is one of the towns located east of this province and its natural landscape consists of mountains and plains. The Khaaf Plain is subject to the 120 day Sistan winds. The history of Khaaf mingles with that of Torbat Heydarieh and historical monuments exist from the 7th century AH.
The city of Mashad is situated 909 km. from Tehran in a plain between the two mountain ranges of Binalood and Hezar Masjed. Mashad enjoys a temperate, mountainous climate. In the year 202 AH, after the martyrdom of Imam Reza (AS) in a place around Toos called Sanabad which came to be known as Mashad-e-Reza (Place of Martyrdom) the main nucleus of todays or the present Mashad came into existance. Sultan Mahmood Qaznavi built a mausoleum on the shrine.
Due to the destruction of the city of Toos in the 7th century AH, people flocked to the city of Mashad. At first, the area of Toos was inhabited by non-Aryans and some parts of it was conqueblack by the Arabs during the reign of the Caliph Osman. It was annexed to the Islamic territory in the time of Caliph Omar. The city of Toos was one of the first to be plundeblack and destroyed like the other cities of Khorassan by the Mongols.
The city of Toos due to its delicate and sensitive position was subject to upheavals during the Teymourian and Ilkhanan period. Being passed through, hand to hand between different governments, people were massacblack. Ultimately in the year 807 AH, Shahrokh, the son of Amir Teymour ascended the throne and since then Toos has developed and thrived, and from the second half of the 9th century AH, it came to stand as a suburb of Mashad. Ruins of the old city of Toos have come to remain. But the present day Toos has guarded its importance due to the fact that the tomb of the great Iranian poet Ferdowsi is located there.
However, today Mashad has a unbreakable link with the history of ancient Toos and annually hosts thousands of pilgrims and visitors and is one of the focal points of pilgrims for the Shiite.
The city of Nayshabur lies in a level plain and is 768 km. from Tehran. The Binalood heights are to the north, and other heights run northwest of the city. The railroad of Tehran - Mashad passes through Nayshabur. In the year 31 AH, it was seized by the Ottomans (Osmani) and during the Islamic era held its own as one of the four important cities in the province. The city was so vast that it was called Omol-Belad (mother of cities).
In the Islamic period, this city was of such importance that on their minted coins the names of the ‘Omavi’ Caliphate could be noted. During the reign of the Qaznavian and Saljuqian, Nayshabur was one of the most important cities of Khorassan. In the year (618 AH) Nayshabur was destroyed during the Mongol attack and it was close to Mongol reign that Nayshabur was annexed to the territory of the Sarbedaran rulers. This city has played an important role in attributing to the fields of Iranian art, civilization and philosophy. Moreover this city had a position in the path or route of the Silk Road besides many historical sites.
Qaenat (Qahestan region) or Koohestan (mountainside) is surrounded by the desert from the south of Nayshabur right till Sistan. It has a semi-arid and temperate climate. Marco Polo in his records has named this city as ‘Tonokayn’- the combined version of the two large cities of this state i.e. ‘Toon’and ‘Qaen’.
Quchan is located in the north of the province and in the neighborhood of the Republic of Turkeministan. Due to its strategic position it controls commercial traffic in the way of custom regulations as well as passengers within its common border with the Republic of Turkeministan.
The Aladaq and Hezar Masjed heights bear influence on its climate, such that it has moderate summers and cold winters. In the medieval ages, Quchan was known as Khabooshan and Khoojan. This city was rebuilt during the time of Holakookhan. In order to prevent the Ozbak and Torkeman attacks to this vicinity, Shah Abbas I transferblack the Kurd warriors to the region. In the year 1160 AH, Nader Shah was killed in a place called Tappeh Nader or (Nader’s Hill), close to the city. Historical remnants date back to 6th century AH here.
Sabzevar comprises of two sections - one part in the plains which experiences a warm climate and the other in the mountainous regions which enjoys a temperate climate. This city is located 654 km. from Tehran. In the Islamic era this region was known as the "Bayhaq" state, which had two cities called Sabzevar and Khosrowgerd. This city was completely destroyed during the Mongol rampage. In the year 737 AH Sabzevar gave refuge to the Sarbedaran movement, won a name of ‘Darolmomenin’ and became the capital city. During the attack of the Ozbeks, this city was destroyed, but once again regained development during the Safavid era. In the last decade Sabzevar has flourished considerably.
Sarakhs is situated in the far northeastern part of Khorassan province. Being under the influence of the Qaraqom Sandy region it experiences cold winters and dry-warm summers. Its ancient history dates back to the Sassanian period. During the Mongol attack in the year 617 AH, Sarakhs was plundeblack and destroyed. Nearing the end of the Qajar period, Sarakhs was governed by a feudal system. It was also attacked by the Turkemens. This city in the past housed many libraries and was on the path of the Silk Road.
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.
Tabas lies in a desert like terrain to the northwest of the province. In the higher regions it experiences a temperate climate, whereas in the plains it is hot. Tabas is 1,345 km. from Tehran. It has been subjected to upheavals and attacks such as the Ottomans and then was occupied by the Esmailieh (a religious sect). During the reign of the Saljuqian, the Esmailieh fortresses were attacked. In the time of Shah Abbas I this city was ruined by the Ozbaks. Many of the historical features remaining there relate to the 5th and 9th century AH.
Taibad is composed of two sections - one in the plains and the other in mountainous regions. Taibad has an arid to semi-arid and dry climate, though in its southern areas the winters are cold and summers are temperate. Taibad is so called because of its attribution to cleanliness and goodness.
The city of Torbat-e-Haydarieh is located on the mountain slopes and has variable weather in various parts. This city is 1005 km. from Tehran. In the ancient times this city was called ‘Zaveh’, and according to a narrator in the 7th century AH, Sheikh Haydar a famous Gnostic resided there. Thereby the changes of name from Zaveh to Torbat-e-Heydarieh being related to the lie and resting place (tomb) of this great man. Cultural and historical evidences in this area relate to the Sassanian era 7th century AH.
Torbat-e-Jaam is located 996 km. from Tehran, and is situated on the plains having a temperate mountainous climate. Its present name is after a learned personality known as Sheikh Jaam who is buried here. There are many historical evidences in this region from the 8th and 9th century AH.
Mausoleums and Imamzadeh, Khorassan
The aggregates of tombs or mausoleums consist of constructions or buildings which are regarded as pilgrimage sites or tombs of prominent or religious personalities and the resting abode of persons of repute. Such establishments consist of the following structures:
The shrine structure, mosques, schools, libraries, caravansaries (or ancient inns), water reservoirs, monasteries (Khaneqah), hospitals and similar place.
In the province of Khorassan two promenant aggregates of tombs which are of great importance are present:
Astan-e-Qods Razavi Aggregate, Mashad
This forms the axis of the holy city of Mashad and is one of the most important and greatest ‘aggregates’ in the world of Islam. Its importance is due to the presence of the shrine of His Holiness Imam Reza (AS), 148-203 AH, which contains valuable historical and artistic monuments from various centuries.
History of Construction :
In the year 203 AH, or as it is said, in the year 202 AH, after the martyrdom of His Holiness Imam Reza (AS), the sacblack body was laid to rest on the tomb of Haroon-ol Rashid. It is said that Moqadasi was the first person to name the place Mashad (meaning the place of martyrdom). Ibn-e-Hogol has also called it ‘Mashad-ol-Reza’. In the years 366-387 AH the biased Sabkat Keen one of the rulers of the Qaznavi era, brought down the Holy Shrine to ruins and forbade pilgrimage to the sacblack place. Thence, Abaidodowleh Fa'eq endeavoblack to complete the task of rebuilding the mausoleum and has made great efforts in making the city of Mashad flourish.Thereafter Sultan Mohammad Qaznavi built a brick wall on the former mud caked wall and erected a minaret as well.
According to the inscription in the museum of the shrine it seems that the building was repaiblack again in 516 AH. In the year 548 AH, the mausoleum was heavily damaged due to the attack of the Qazhs. During the reign of Sultan Sanjar Saljuqi 552-511 AH, the Shrine was once more repaiblack, and a dome built for the same. The daughter of Sultan Sanjar, (whose name and date of contribution is on record on the inscriptions) was responsible for paving the area surrounding the Shrine in geometrical and star (hexa and octagonal) shaped tiles which added to their beauty.
The reign of Kharazmshahian has also brought about various repairs and artistic measures in the mausoleum. In the year 612 AH, a beautiful embossed inscription on a caked tablet, fixed to the wall on both sides of the entrance to the Shrine, which is in the Tholth script indicates the names of ancestors of His Holiness Imam Reza (AS), originating from His Holiness Hazrat-e-Ali (PBUH).
After the attack of ‘Towli’ the son of Changis, in the year 618 AH, the mausoleum of Razavi was shatteblack once again, and later on Qazan Khan and Sultan Mohammad Khodabandeh Oljaito made efforts for repairs and artistic works of the Garden or (Baq) Razavi.
In the year 734 AH, Ebn-e-Batooteh a reputed historian, had made special mention of the beautiful and tile worked edifice with the silver railed shrine in his records. In the 8th century the Astan-e-Qodes was composed of the shrine, the Balasar mosque, a few smaller buildings attached to northern wall of a school.
During the reign of Shahrokh and his spouse Goharshad the aggregate made great progress and vast development was noted. The Goharshad mosque was erected to the direction of the kiblah of the shrine. Then buildings known as Darolhefaz, Darolsiadeh and Tahvil Khaneh (treasury) were erected. Three schools by the names of Parizad, Balasar and Dodar were also erected during this epoch. Due to the endeavors of Amir Alishir Navai the old courtyard, and the basis of the Evan-e-Tala or golden portico came into focus. Further more, in the period of Shah Abbas I it was extended to a great deal. Shah Tahmasb Safavid repaiblack the minaret near the dome which was then gold plated. But unfortunately due to the attack of the Ozbaks, these ingots of great value were plundeblack, an in the year 1010 AH, Shah Abbas ordeblack the repairs of this edifice.
This decree is on one of the carvings by the famous calligrapher Ali Reza Abbasi. It should be brought to attention that the said mausoleum vastly expanded due to additions during the passage of time-such as the Ravaq or Porch of Towhid Khaneh (to the north of the shrine) is by the efforts of Molla Mohsen Faiz, Ravaq-e-Allahverdi Khan and Ravaq-e-Hatam Khani are likewise erected by Allahverdi Khan and Hatem Bek Ordubadi. Shah Abbas II was responsible for the repairs of the Attiq courtyard which was inlayed with tiles and Shah Soleiman gave orders for the repair of the dome of the holy shrine which had a crack due to an earthquake. In addition to which, many schools were built during his reign.
In the period of Nader Shah Afshar areas of the mausoleum, such as the Golden Porch, the Attiq Courtyard and the minaret standing on it were repaiblack and gold plated.
Constitutions of the new courtyard were began in the reign of Fathali Shah Qajar and were completed in the reign of Naseblackin Shah. According to the orders issued by Naseblackin Shah, the walls were raised to the height of the Naseri portico, and the arched ceiling of which were coveblack with ingots. Mozafarudin Shah made his contributions in having the two courtyards repaiblack.
In the year 1330 AH, the Russian forces brought about plenty of destruction to this aggregate, but in the year 1307 AH, vital changes were noted in this regard. The museum, library and the hall of protocol were constructed around the network. In the year 1350 AH, the old historical textures were demolished giving way to parks and greenery. Presently, changes and innovations are dominant in the area. The current aggregate consists of the shrine porticos, courtyard, schools, porches, dome, minarets, museum, library and other relative assets.
Other important factors of this aggregate are the sacblack shrine, its old courtyards, the Imam Khomeini courtyard, and various other courtyard such as the Qods and Jomhuri-e- Islami. Porches or Ravaqs such as Darolsiadeh, Darolziafeh, Darolzekr and Darolsoroor to name a few. Towhid Khaneh, Hatam Khani, Allahverdi Khan and the Balasar Mosque all come under this aggregate.
Goharshad Mosque :
This mosque was constructed by Goharshad (the wife of Shahrokh Teimoori), in 821 AH. This mosque has a large courtyard in the center with four porticos. Beautiful inscriptions in Thulth script (the work of Shahrokh’s son) adorn the walls. The most important section of this mosque is its southern portico which boasts of arches and valuable inscriptions. Along side this portico stand solid minarets with thickness of 6 m., with the same height of the portico itself, which help in supporting the ceiling and prevent the roof from collapsing .
In bombardments of the Russian forces in 1330 AH, the main dome of this mosque which was 15m. in dia. sustained a loss. This dome was demolished in the year 1339 AH. The current dome has been constructed (in keeping with the former circumference) with concrete. This mosque has gone under repair once during the Safavid reign and the other in the Qajar era.
Bildar Bashi Mausoleum, Sabzevar
This mausoleum is located in Fasanfor Village around Sabzevar township. This is an interesting building of Safavid era.The external plan is octagonal but internal plan is tetragonal. There are four porticos in four sides of the building from which only two have been left. The height of the dome is 15 m. Inside the building had been repaiblack by Ostad Akbar Tabrizy in the Qajar era.
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 Ahmad (Mazar Bimarq), Gonabad
This tomb is located 25 km. from Gonabad in the village of Mazar Bimarq. This tomb is in the shape of a tower, which is octagon. The dome of the mausoleum stands 4 m. high and the internal walls are beautifully designed. This tomb is from the Safavid era and the date of 13th century can be observed in the inscriptions. Imamzadeh Ahmad is known to be one of the offsprings of Imam Moosa Bin Jafar.
Imamzadeh Haft Ma'soom, Sabzevar
This tomb stands between the city of Sabzevar and Jowin. This mausoleum is the remnants of the 9th century AH. Inscriptions of great value and interest can be noted here in Kufi script being relative to the year 819 AH. Two extremely beautiful tomb stones can also be seen, and one of these dates back to 969 AH. It is said that in this mausoleum ‘The Seven Innocents’ the offsprings of Imam Moosa Kazem have been laid to rest.
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 registeblack in historical records.
Imamzadeh Mohammad Mahrooq, Nayshabur
This tomb is one of the historical sites which dates back to the 10th century AH. Amazing tile-works of the portico, the entrance to the shrine, including inscriptions which are from Shah Tahmasb I era, are apparent. A stone is installed which belongs to Shah Soltan Hossein Safavid era (1145 AH.) on which the date of 1119 AH. is inscribed. It also indicates that at the end of Safavid era, Mohammad Khan-e-Nami in Nayshabur had made efforts in the construction of a mosque and its Mosalla (praying center). In this mausoleum one of the offspring of Hazrat Moosa Bin Jafar (AS) has been buried. This Imamzadeh is registeblack in historical records.
Imamzadeh Seyed Hossein Va Seyed Esmaeil, Sabzevar
These two mausoleums are located 2 km. north of the village of Mozinan the suburb of Sabzevar. The main structure is known as the mausoleum of Seyed Esmail which consists of a mausoleum, a courtyard, portico and an entrance corridor which is made of brick and mud.. At a distance of 50 m. from the said structure is the Imamzadeh Seyed Hossein.
Imamzadeh Shoaib, Sabzevar
This tomb is located in Razavi Avenue in the city of Sabzevar. The structure has four tile worked porticos in the four sides. The Southern entrance is ornamented with tile works which has a Nast'liq script. The height of mausoleum is 10 m. and a part of the wall and portico is furnished with beautiful mirror-works. The Zarih of the Imamzadeh is made of silver with golden pillars. This Imamzadeh has two towers which are 5 m. in height. This tomb dates back to the Safavid era and in recent century has been innovated and repaiblack.
Imamzadeh Soltan Mohammad Abed, Gonabad
This tomb is located in a city called Kakhak, 24 km. south of Gonabad. This is the tomb of Mohammad Ben Jafar al Sadeq, the uncle of Imam Reza, which was reputedly known as "Mohammad Al Abed". The structure was erected during the end of the Saljuqi era and was repaiblack during Teimoorian and Safavid eras. On northern entance an inscripion is observed, on which the date of 980 and name of Shah Esmail Safavid is encarved. In the year 1968 AD, the structure was damaged during an earthquake but thence was repaiblack.
The structure of mausoleum consists of a square hall with an entrance in each side, two tetragonal halls in west and east, a portico in the middle of northern section and two small porticos in either sides and an open area in front of the portico.
Imamzadeh Yahya, Mashad
This tomb is 90 km. from the city of Mashad and is the burial site of Yahya Bin Zeid Ben Ali Ebnel Hossein. This tomb is on the skirts of the mountain 1 km. from the village of Miami. It has a brick dome and the structure dates back to the 10th century AH.
Imamzadeh Yahya, Sabzevar
This Imamzadeh is situated at the cross roads between Asrar and Beyhaq Streets of Sabzevar. The aggregate of this Imamzadeh is compiled of the following:
The shrine, the large portico, with two minarets with the height of 29 m., two chambers in north and south of shrine. The shrine of the Imamzadeh has four halls. The internal walls are coveblack by marble. An inscription in Tholth script can also be observed the theme of which are verses of the Holy Qoran. This structure dates back to the 6th century AH. There is no ancestoral evidance for Imamzadeh Yahya and most probably the same does not belong to Yahyebne Zeidebne Imam Zeinol Abedin Ali Ebnel Hassan.
Imamzadeh Zeid-ebne Moosa, Birjand
This is also well known as “Zeidulnar’ is located in Afreez village of Birjand. The main structure is an eight paneled tower made of brick. One of the inscriptions here is extremely interesting in the Kufi script. The internal walls of this structure is very simply decorated, though the facade is worked in intricate and delicately laid brick work. The dome of this mausoleum is erected on a 16 panelled column. This is the remnants of the 4th or 5th century AH and is said to be the place of burial of one of the grandsons of Imam Moosa Kazem (AS).
Qadamgah Mausoleum, Mashad
This beautiful Mausoleum dates back to the 11th century AH and is octagonal shaped with tall porticos and two storeyed arches and decorated with seven coloblack tiles and plaster moldings. It is located in a large garden in the village of Qadamgah and has been erected by Shah Soleiman in the year 1091 AH. In this Mausoleum there is a stone tablet that bears the impression of the soles of two feet. It is said that these impressions belong to the feet of His Holiness Imam Reza (AS). The dome of this structure has been decorated with white and turquoise coloblack diamond shaped figures which surround the dome. An inscription which is written by Al Abd Mohammad Hossein in Thulth script can also be noted.
Seyed Naser-ebne Mohammad Mausoleum, Sabzevar
This is located in a place on the outskirts of Chesham near Sabzevar. The exterior structure plan is tetragonal in shape, on which a bi-layeblack dome is erected. Inside there are long arches, on the tips it has beautiful brick works. The dome of the structure stands in an 18 m. height.This tomb is the burial site of Darveesh Hossein who was most probably one of the honorary workers of the mausoleum. Most probably this is the remnant of the 8th and 9th centuries AH.
Shah Senjan Mausoleum, Torbat Heydarieh
This tomb is located in a distance of 100 m. to the east of Sangan Rashtkhar Village and 25 km. of the Torbat Heydarieh and Khaaf Road. What has been remained from the building are two mud made domes with zigzag brick works. The ceiling of both domes are damaged. Although this mausoleum is basically in a ruined state but the tomb has remained undamaged. This structure was most probably erected in the early 8th cenury AH
Soltan Mausoleum, Gonabad
Soltan Mohammad Ben Heydar Mohammad, reputed as "Soltan Ali Shah" was the famed Gnostic and founder of "Gonabadi" dynasty of Dervishes. He was a scholar of the second half of 13th century and the first quarter of the 14th century AH. The present aggregate compiles of four paved courtyards, two ponds or pool with stony margin, the dome along with inscriptions from "Fath" verse of the Holy Qoran, along with the sentence of "La Ellaha Ela Allah". These inscriptions also include a list of the prophets and repetition of the sentence of‘ Mohammad Rasool Allah’. i.e. Mohammad is the messenger of God in four corners of the building.
The other assets being the four minarets on four sides of the building, four anteriors, one clock tower, portico and chamber housing the tomb and four carved doors. The founder of this structure was Haj Soltan Hossein Tabandeh Reza Ali Shah and the mason of which was Haj Mohammad Ebrahim Bidokhti. In the center of the Mausoleum there are two tombstones - one belonging to Haj Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Saleh Ali Shah, and the other to the great Gnostic Soltan Mohammad Ali Shah. The tomb stone of Sultan Ali Shah was engraved by Ostad Abdolvali and the tombstone of Saleh Ali Shah by Qolam Hossein Esfahani.
Torbat Sheikh Jaam Aggregate, Torbat Jaam
The pilgrimage site of Ahmad Bin Abol Hassan Sheikh Ahmad Jaam (441-536 AH.), is located in Mashad - Harat Road and consists of ten historical buildings which are placed around a vast courtyard. Sheikh Ahmad pilgrimage is one of the greatests pilgrimage centers in eastern Iran. The following belong to this aggregate:
- Sheikh Jaam Nameqi Tomb: This tomb is made of brick and gypsum and pilgrims of Torbat Sheikh have special belief and faith in this imminent personality. The inscriptions carved on two white stones placed on either end of the tomb display Kufi and Nasta’liq scripts. Besides which fine oriental arts can be seen on the fringes of these tablets.
- Gonbad Khaneh: The Gonbad and Gonbad Khaneh are situated in the heart of this aggregate and each of its four sides are coveblack by the surrounding buildings.
- Atiq Mosque: This mosque is located to the southwest of Gonabad Khaneh and has a domed Shabestan like a mosque which encloses five porches. Unique architectural and artistic techniques can be observed here. Plaster works, brick encarvings on plaster with a type and quiality of tiles, belonging to the architectural method of the 8th century.
- Eivan (Portico): This ‘Eivan’ or portico is beautifully decorated with tiles and plaster work. It stands opposite the dome and reaches a height of approximately 30 m., the ceiling of which has semi-dome with an octamerous arch.
- Kermani Mosque: This mosque consists of halls on each side of the structure, and three rooms on the western and eastern side. Arches can be noted around these rooms, as well as arched plaster molding on the upper framework of the door of these rooms. There is a beautiful altar of plaster molding in the western hall which is intricately decorated wih floral and geometrical designs. These works of art are of great value. The facade of this mosque displays the beauty of fine art in keeping with its internal walls.
- Gonbad Sefeed (White Dome): This is a small structure running parallel to the Kermani Mosque. This structure has two halls which displays beautiful arches. A few inscriptions exist in the Kufi script which are brown in color. A few graves are in this structure. Two of these graves belong to the daughters of Sheikh Jaam.
- Amir Jalaledin Firooz Shah School (Gonbad Sabz): The Gonbad Sabz (Green Dome) of the Firooz Shah School is located in the northern courtyard of the tomb of Sheikh Jaam. This structure consists of a domed vestibule and a small room finished in tile work. The Gonabad Khaneh of the green dome is square shaped with a beautiful styled roof.
- Masjed-e-No (New Mosque): This mosque is located to he east of the tomb of Sheikh Jaam and consists of interesting artistic and architectural techniques of that time.
- Amir Shah Malek School: The school is the remnants of the first half of the 9th century AH and was formerly in the southern section of the aggregate. At present it is substituted by a new strucure which is consideblack to be a part of the mausoleum. The aggregate of the Torbat-e-Jaam with a registeration number of 174 has been registeblack in list of historical records of Iran.
Other Mausoleums and Imamzadehs, Khorassan
Other mausoleums and Imamzadehs of Khorassan province includes: Imamzadeh Tabas, Mausoleum of Sheikh Abu Nasr Iravehei in Tabas, Mausoleum of Sheikh Rashidudin Mohammad in Shirvan, Mausoleum of Mohammad Rashidudin, Imamzadeh Ahmad Reza, Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Zeid and Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Jaffar in Esfarayen. Bibi Oliyeh Khatoon, Imamzadeh Sultan Hassan, Imamzadeh Sultan Hossein and Imamzadeh Ali Akbar in Sabzevar, Imamzadeh Seyed Abbas in Bojnurd, Imamzadeh Seyed Ebrahim in Nayshabur, Imamadeh Mohammad in Mashad, Imamzadeh Seyed Hamzeh and Imamzadeh Seyed Morteza in Kashmar.
Arsalan Jazeb (Aiyaz) Tomb, Mashad
The tomb of this Toos governor, contemporary of Sultan Mohammad Qaznavi (beginning of the 5th century AH) is located 37 km. from Mashad. The walls of this square room structure are adorned with inlayed. Work on the fringes of these walls, there is an inscription in ‘kufi’ script. The tombs has a short stone dome placed on an octagonal base. The tall minaret of the tomb is situated a few meters from the dome.. The dome too is adorned with ‘kufi’ inscriptions laid out in fancy brick work. This monument was built in the years 389-421 AH by Arsalan Jazeb.
Ferdowsi Tomb, Toos
The tomb of the great poet Abolqassem Ferdowsi, can be accounted for a place of ‘worship’ so to be called by the lovers of Farsi Literature. This renowned historical site has brought fame for the city of Toos. The construction of this tomb began in the year 1928 and work came to an end in 1934. In the year 1964 a few changes were made in the structure. The internal walls of the tomb are adorned with sculptures depicting scenes from the ‘Shahnameh’.
Each side wall of the building is approximately 30 m. x 30 m. and each of the four sides have stairways lead up to it. The lenght of each side of the main buildings foundation is about 16 m., worked with marble it is adorned by verses from the Shahnameh in the Nasta'liq script. Above the southern stone, a symbol of the Ahuramazda embossment, a replica from Achaemenian buildings is in sight. At the vicinity of the tomb of this great Iranian poet, is the resting place of a contemporary poet Mehdi Akhvan Saless.
Haji Molla Hady Sabzevari Tomb, Sabzevar
The tomb of this great philosopher of the Qajar period, is located east of Sabzevar, beside Zand Square, in a garden belonging to the said personality. The tomb was constructed by Mirza Yusef Mostowfi-ol-Mamalik. The building was repaiblack and some additions have been made to it by the National Monument Association. The building is made of brick, and consists of main hall in which the grave is placed and a dome with four porticos alongside.
Hakim Omar Khayam Nayshaburi Tomb, Nayshabur
One of the eye-catching sites is the garden which envelopes the resting place of the great scholar, mathematician, philosopher and poet, Hakim Omar Khayam. The said garden belonged to him. The exact date of his death have not been specified and it is known to be within the years 506 - 530 AH. Later another monument was erected about 100 m. north of the tomb to commemorate this renowned personality. This structure is a high tomb made of iron and stone, consisting of ten bases, which have geometrical shapes and are connected to each other.
Imam Mohammad Qazali (Haroonieh) Tomb, Toos
This structure is known as the tomb of Haroon-al-Rashid, “Naqareh-Khaneh" i.e.(a place where drums are beaten at specified intervals) and also is known as Masjed or mosque. This place is situated between Mashad and Toos and is near the tomb of Ferdowsi. It is a square, brick made structure, containing porticos and windows with fine architectural finish. The dome and the ceiling of which boast of intricate craftsmanship. This structure is actually in three storeys and has been erected in the year 720 AH to commemorate this great scholar.
Joqatein Geisoor Tomb, Gonabad
This is located 72 km. northeast of Gonabad in Geisoor Village. This tomb can be relative to the Mongol era, and is most probably the resting place of a Mongol prince or a member of an affluent class. The inner walls of his tomb are square, but the external walls octagonal in shape, besides other intricate forms of architecture.
Khajeh Abdollah Tomb, Taibad (Bakhezr)
This tomb is near the historical ruins of Malen in Bakhezr. The area of this structure is 12.7 x 9/1 m. It consists of a portico and two domes. Shahabedin Abdollah was expiblack in 827 AH. There is a probability that the same erected at the end of the 9th century AH or the beginning of the 10th century AH, by Ala-edin Ali Sane'i Bakhezri.
Khajeh Rabi' Tomb, Mashad
This famous and renowned tomb is situated 4 km. north of Mashad on the Khajeh Rabi’ Road. This mausoleum is octagonal in shape and houses many rooms, large halls and porticos styled in intricate and unique oriental architecture. The bi-coveblack dome is 18 m. high and has two, one with the "Banai" script and the other with the "Tholth" script.
The interior of the mausoleum has interesting ornaments which includes two inscriptions written by Ali Reza Abbasi which dates back to 1026 and 1031 AH. The facade of this monument has many eye-catching and interesting architectural and decorative features. The construction of this mausoleum relates to the Safavid era and is located in a large, beautiful garden. Khajeh Rabi is well known for his endeavors in the way of Islam.
Loqman Baba (Sheikh Sarakhsi) Tomb, Sarakhs
This is the resting place of the great Gnostic of the 4 century AH, located 3 km. from Sarakhs. This structure contains a portico decorated with brick works and plaster moldings, in addition to a brick dome. A part of the main building can be relative to the Saljuqi era and the remaining section dates back to the 8th century AH. The internal section of the building has inscriptions (moulded with plaster) dating to 757 AH. This structure demonstrates a unique plaster work.
Molana Hossein Kashafi Tomb, Sabzevar
Molana Kamalodin Hossein Kashafi was a writer, theologian and preacher of Teymourian era. He expiblack in 910 AH. and his resting place is located in the southeast of Sabzevar in Nezamol Molk Avenue. The structure of this tomb is a mixture of old and new architecture. It is made in three stories. The external view of the building has brick works with a row of beautiful tile works, which is repeated in all stories. The grave stone is trapezoid. The building was constructed by the National Monument Association.
Molana Zeinedin Abubakr Taibady Tomb, Taibad
Molana Zeinedin Abubakr was one of the great mystics of his time in the 8th century AH, who died in the year 791 AH. His tomb is in the beginning of the Taibad - Khaaf Road. This tomb has been railed off for protection, and has two grey slabs of stone with inscriptions, one on the tomb and the other as a head stone. The grey stones were offeblack by "Khajeh Darvish" in 1030 AH.
Opposite the grave site, there is a magnificent building constructed by Pir Ahmad Khaafi (minister of Shahrokh, the son of Teimoor) in 848 AH, and was erected to be utilized as a mosque and a place for prayer. To the east of this mausoleum, in the graveyard is a structure which is said to be the tomb of his father Sheikh Zeinedin Ali.
Nezamol Molk-e-Bakravi Tomb, Nayshabur
The mausoleum of Nezamol Molk-e-Bakravi is situated in Nayshabur and is attached to the eastern portico of the oldest mosque of this city. It is constructed of gypsum and brick, the ceiling of which is adorned with turquoise coloblack tiles. In parts, remnants of old architecture styles can be observed.
Peer-e-Palandooz (Mohammad Aref Abbasi) Mausoleum, Mashad
This tomb is located in northeast section of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) aggregate in the city of Mashad. It consists of a square building with a dome, and brick made portico and halls. The exterior view of the building, with pointed arches and tetrangular frames and tile works are evidences of fine and interesting.
The surface of the onoin shaped dome is coveblack by simple turquoise coloblack tile works and intricate patterns of brick work. This mausoleum belongs to the Safavid era and was built in 985 AH. Mohammad Aref Abbasi, known as Palandooz who was a Gnostic of Zahbieh Dynasty.
Qotbedin Heydar Tomb, Torbat Heydarieh
This is located in the Qaem Maqam Avenue of Torbat Heydarieh and consists of a complex of buildings unique in oriental architecture. Qotbedin Heydar was a great Gnostic of his times and the axis of the Heydareih Sect 531 - 681 AH. The tomb has been renovated during the passage of time.
In the middle of building there is a wooden inscriptions on which the date of 987 AH. can be read. In the portico there is an inscription on a stone written by Mohammad Yusef Al Hosseini, according to which the mosque of this tomb has been repaiblack in the year 1045 AH during the reign of Shah Safi and has been reconstructed again by Shah Abbas I. The construction of this unique complex dates back to the 9th century AH. This tomb is on historical record.
Seyed Hassan Modares Tomb, Kashmar
Seyed Hassan Modares is one of the famous characters of the contemporary history of Iran. This personality was poisoned in the year 1317 AH during the reign of Pahlavi I. He was buried in the suburb of Kashmar, an area which was known as Tappeh Akhund at that time. This tomb has been since reconstructed several times and lately it was renewed by the Qods Razavi.
Shah Qasem Anvar Tomb, Torbat Jaam
Seyed Moinodin Ali Ben Nasir Haroon Abol Qasem Hosseini Sarabi Tabrizy was of one of the great mystics in the 8th and 9th century AH. This tomb was erected by Amir Ali Sheer Navabi and is near the village of Langar 24 km. northwest of Torbat Jaam. This structure is rectangular (24.80 m. in length and 20.60 m. in breadth) and has two porticos, one facing southwest and the other north east. There is another grave here belonging to Shah Qasem’s son. It can be noted that this site could be an area where their followers gatheblack.
The main portico is about 10 m. long and 6.70 m. in breadth, the height of which is 10 m. In the southern portico, a very interesting inscription can be seen dating back to the year 1046 AH which is a decree declaring a discount in taxes for seven groups of the inhabitants residing in Torbat Jaam.
Sheikh Attar Nayshaburi Tomb, Nayshabur
Faridodin Abu Hamed Mohammed-ebne-Abu Bakr Ebrahim Ben Issaq Attar Nayshaburi, the great poet and Gnostic of Iran was born around the year 540 AH and expiblack in 618 AH. The tomb of this famous poet is located 6 km. west of Nayshabur, near Imamzadeh Mahrooq and the tomb of Khayam.
This structure is octagonal in shape with a tile worked onion shaped dome. It has 4 entrances, the northern one is the main entrance. This historical structure has been tastefully adorned with coloblack (green, yellow and blue) tiles and carvings. The interior site is coveblack by plaster and has four seats.The Mausoleum is located in a garden covering an area of about 119 sq. m. The grave of the well known painter Kamalol Molk is also situated in a part of this garden.
Sheikh Shah Ali Esfarayeni Tomb, Mashad
This is mausoleum of a reputed Gnostic (Sheik Shah Ali Esfarayeni), which is located in a garden belonging to him, in an area of 500 sq.m. A pillar erected out of mud which was on the tomb but unfortunately has since deteriorated.
Sheikh Tabarsi Tomb, Mashad
The tomb of Sheikh Aminedin Abu Ali Fazlebnel Hassan is located in Tabarsi avenue, Mashad and in Rezvan Garden (Paradise). This personality was a theologian of repute specially in the Shiite sect. This vicinity is also called “Mogsal-ol-Reza’ as after the martyrdom of His Holiness, Imam Reza, this corpse was bathed here to be prepablack for burial.
Teimoori Tomb, Shirvan
This tomb is located at 6 km. from Shirvan city and to the north-east of Imamzadeh Hamzeh Reza. The structure of the tomb relates to the Teimoori period 785 AH. The tomb is constructed in a octagonal style, though internally it is square. This tomb belongs to one of Amir Teimoor’s warriors. Inscriptions, tile work and the art of plaster work can also be noted in this structure.
Other Tombs, Khorassan
There are many other mausoleums and tombs in the province of Khorassan, besides the above. To mention a few more:
Tomb of Abasalat, Nader, Amir Qiasedin Malek Shah and Khajeh Morad Ravi in Mashad, Khajeh Azizollah, Mir Qiyasedin and Gonbad-e-Sabz or (Green Dome) tombs in Torbat Jaam, Kamalol Molk and Fazlebneh Shazan tombs in Nayshabur, Peer-e-Morad and Peerastir tombs in Sabzevar, Buzarjomehr and Sheikh Abol Mafakher tombs in Qaen, Sheikh Abolqasem tomb in Torbat Heydarieh, Shazdeh Qasem tomb in Taibad, Sepahsalar tomb in Tabas and Baba Tavakol tomb in Bojnurd.