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 Golestan

Main Townships: Gorgan, Bandar Gaz, Bandar Turkaman, Gonbad Kavoos, etc. Main Attractions: Caspian Sea Shore, Golestan National Park, Aq Qala Bridge, Gonbad Qaboos, Turkaman Tribes, etc.


Golestan

Townships, Golestan

Ali Abad

The township of Ali Abad is situated in south of the province and is limited by Semnan province in the south, Gonbad Kavoos at the north and Gorgan at the north and west. Ali Abad is at a distance of 45 km. from Gorgan and 420 km. from Tehran. Its climate is a Caspian type or Khazari in the foothills and plains and in the heights and mountains is a mountainous temperate type with cold, long winters and moderate summers.

In the past Ali Abad was a village of Katoul in the northeastern Alborz. This village was given due attention because of Ali Mohammad Khan settlement in the original Mazandaran - Mashad route and the fertility of the earth. It expanded and was named Ali Abad. The forest park of Kaboodwall is near this town.

Bandar Gaz

Bandar Gaz is situated in the south eastern fringes of the Gulf of Gorgan and is at a distance of 20 km. south of Bandar Turkaman and 48 km. from Gorgan. This port before the construction of Bandar Turkaman was the most important commercial port in west of Mazandarn, Semnan and Khorassan. Bandar Gaz became an industrial center due to its location in the commercial high way in north-west of Iran. The oil-extraction, rice-grinding and cotton purifying factories were established, in this town. This coastal town has interesting natural beauty and its wetlands, groves and wildlife are famous.

Bandar Turkaman

This township is situated to the west of Gorgan and limited to the Caspian Sea in the west. Its neighbor is the Republic of Turkmenistan in the north. Its southern part till Gorganroud, has a temperate and damp climate and its northern part due to proximity to the southern desert of Turkmenistan and remoteness from Alborz Mountains, have an almost dry and desert like climate. The distance from Bandar Turkaman and Gorgan is 35 km.

The name of Turkaman, for the first time was referred to in a Chinese dictionary of 8th AD. It is also known that Turkaman was the name of a yellow skin nation with a Turkish dialect who used to live in the north of "Isig Goel" lake in north Mongolia, about a thousand years back.

On the victory of the Arab muslims in the Turk territory, along with some of these people called Qazian-e-Islam attacked other territories. A group of these Turkamans resided at the west and the south and later on some of these groups migrated to different eastern and the southeastern regions of the Caspian Sea.

The Saljuki government was the most important Turkish government and its formation was the biggest source of change in the Islamic civilization and Iran. Saljuq Ebne Daqayeq was one of the Turkamans chieftains. In the 10th century AD. the Qaz tribes that were ancestors of the Turkamans assaulted Russia and Iran.

In the 16th century AD., the Turkamans took possession of all the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea to Gorgan. After Teimoor, the Turkamans dynasties such as the Qara Qoyounlou and Aq Qoyounlou formed powerful governments who governed in the west and north of Iran respectively. Later on they ruled in central and south Iran.

To prevent the invasion of Turkamans and Ozbaks, Shah Abbas made the Kurd warriors emigrate from the western parts to this region, and formed five provinces for the Kurds from the frontiers of Astar Abad till Chenaran. But imigration of Kurds did not prevent the Turkaman assaults which savage continued. Due to inter-clan battles from one hand and the horrible savagely invasions of Bokhara and Kheiveh Khans (rulers), the Turkaman regions became turmoil. The above conflicts and the pressures of the Russian Empire increased the Turkamans immigration to the banks of the Gorgan River. The Qajar Dynasty came to power with the aid of the Turkaman tribes.

In 1276 AH. , coinciding with the Marv war, the Turkamans with the aid of ruler of Kheiveh defeated the Qajar Army, and this territory, remained under the Turkaman domination. During constitution the Turkamans opposed the constitutional government and plundered cities and villages who supported the government. But after the victory of the constitutional government, the Turkamans returned to their regions. After land reforms in 1962, specific groups of Turkamans, began cultivation and the others went to cities and some Turkaman villages moved to cities like Bandar Turkaman. The present Bandar Turkaman was constructed in 1927 during the reign of Pahlavi I, and coinciding with the beginning of the railway network. Today it has expanded and became an interesting town with tourism attractions.

Gonbad Kavoos

The township of Gonbad Kavoos is the biggest township of this province regarding the area. This township is neighbors with Turkmenistan in the north and is limited by Khorassan province in the east, Minoo Dasht and Ali Abad at the south, Gorgan and Bandar Turkaman in the west. Its center is the beautiful town of Gonbad Kavoos and its distance from ancient Jorjan is 3 km.

Its climate in the southern heights is temperate and at the foot a mountain and the southern plain is temperate and humid, but at the north of Gorgan it changes to a semi-arid and dry type. The name of this town is related to Qabous Ebne Voshmgir, one of the Al-e-Ziar rulers. Jorjan was destroyed by Teimoorian and Mongol attacks, the city of Gonbad was made next to it. In 1937 it was named Gonbad Kavoos. It's original plan was executed in the early Pahlavi period and is example of a new city of Iran.

Gorgan

The township of Gorgan is situated in the southwest of the province and its neighbors are: Semnan province from south, Kord Kooy and Bandar Turkaman from west, Ali Abad and Gonbad Kavoos from east, and from north it is limited to Gonbad Kavoos. The center of province of Golestan. The distance between Gorgan and Tehran is 397 km. and has a temperate climate. Gorgan (or Jorjan) was important city in the 4th century AH. specially at the time of Shamsolmaali Qabous Ebne Voshmgir. But from the 4th century lost its importance and was destroyed in the Mongol attack.

Gorgan (Jorjan) before Islam, was one of the important provinces of Iran that almost had independence but in certain periods was a part of greater Khorassan. Due to the Mongol and Teimoorian attacks, Jorjan was destroyed. This town was known as Astar Abad till the end of the Qajar dynasty. Astar Abad was named Darolmomenin in the Safavid era. At the time of Nader Shah due to the Turkamans attack, a rampart was made around it. After that in the Qajarieh dynasty, it changed to a new and modern town. In recent times it has rapidly expanded.

Kord Kooy

The township of Kord Kooy is situated at the west of province and neighbors Mazandaran province in the west. In the north, this township is limited by the Caspian Sea and Bandar Turkaman. Gorgan is placed at the east, and Semnan province at the south. Its old name was Tamisheh which was also designated to the western part of Gorgan. At the end of Teimoorian dynasty and early Safavid era, a tribe from Kurdestan immigrated to this region, thus at first it was named as "Kord Mahaleh" and later on Kord Kooy.

Minoo Dasht

The township of Minoo Dasht is situated in the east of the province and is limited by Semnan province in the east. Gonbad Kavoos exists at the northwest and to its south is the province of Semnan. Its center is Minoo Dasht, located 98 km. from Gorgan. In Minoo Dasht the climate is a temperate and mountainous type at heights and in plains is temperate and semi-humid. The old name of Minoo Dasht was Hajilar and was constructed by a group of immigrant tribes of Azarbayjan, during the Safavid period. At the same time another group of tribes from Fars had immigrated to this region. Modern Minoo Dasht is a flourishing town and is expanding.

Protected Zones, Golestan

Golestan National Park, Gorgan

The Golestan National Park is the first Iranian National Park that is situated in the jurisdiction of Golestan, Semnan and Khorassan provinces. This park because of its natural values like verdant and virgin forest and different species of flora and fauna is one of the famous areas in Iran and the world. This park has been a protected area since 1957 under the name of "Almeh" and "Yashki" and in 1976, these two parts combined and became the Golestan National Park with 91,890 hectares in area.

This park is formed of slightly sloping hills and high calcareous rocks. Its climate is very damp and in some places dry. Some important areas around the Golestan National Park are: Loweh, Dasht, Takhteh Iran, Yan Bolaq, Gildaq and the Qorkhoud protected areas. The most important animals of the Golestan National Park are: Rabbit, tiger, golden eagle, wolf, fox, panther, bear, sable wild cat, wild goat, wild pig (bore), gazelle, ram, deer, venison, kinds of snake, kinds of fish, black dall, delijeh, pray birds etc. Most important plants of this park are: fig, mulberry, wild pear, walnut, raspberry, barberry, different medicinal plants etc.

Jahan Nama Protected Zone, Gorgan

This area is situated in the southern heights of Gorgan and the southeast of Kord Kooy. In 1973, it was claimed as a protected place with 30,650 hectares in area. This region was a recreational area for people of Gorgan and its nearby villages. Some important regions like Torkat, Chalestan, Cholqoleh, Aq Reza, Chakel Geda, Landeh Kooh, Talou, Khoshdasti, Landou and Maqzi, are around this protected area. The most important varieties of wildlife are: wild goat, wild sheep, vension, panther, wolf, beer, owl, eagle, shoulca, weasel, and porcupine and its important plants are:

Rosh, Azad, Barberry, Sorkhdar, Kolahe Mir Hassan, Bolandmaza Namdar, Borage Cowslipe, Ras, and Darmaneh.

The most important rivers and springs of this protected place are:

Sefid Rood, Tarkan, Mahzi, Chaar Baq, Ziyarat, Marsang, Sbumargah, Shahpasand, Haji Abad, Gachian, Mord Cheshmeh, Vara, Khosh Dasti, Kalichal, Qormehtou, Pazeebon.

Ancient relics of the said area are:

water tank, ancient center of Kamarsarak and Jelingbling, Imamzadeh Razi and Marzieh, and the tower western of Radkan.

Towers, Golestan

Gonbad Qaboos Tower, Gonbad Kavoos

The same is a majestic structure made of brick, with special technicalities and affects of art, related to the 4th century AH. This structure which is located on a hillock amidst the grand park of Gonbad Kavoos city, is the tomb of Shams-ol-Mali Qaboos Ebne Voshmgir Ziyari (the ruler of the times in Gorgan and a famed scholar as well).

The tower is a fortified building, constructed by strong elements, and consists of beautiful ornamental works in proportionate lines adorned with harmony. The said structure consists of three parts - foundation, the main building and the dome which is conical, rising to an elevation of 55m. The actual structure rests on a round base, 2 m of which is above the ground, and the rest lies as an underground base.

The tower is artistically designed with ten triangular patterns at regular intervals. Two simple epigraphs in the cuneiform embossment script can be observed on the construction dating to 397 AH. The tower has been constructed of red brick, but this color has changed to a golden yellow, under effect of sun rays. The conical dome reaches a height of 18 m. with a plain, polished and a steep gradient surface. Vaulted arches can be noted at the entrance of the tower and this adornment dates to the works of art in the early Islamic period. The Gonbad Kavoos Tower was built in the year 397 AH. and is on historical record in Iran.

Radkan Qarbi (Western Radkan) Tower, Kord Kooy

This tower is located near the Radkan village, 24 km. south of Kord Kooy and 54 km. to the southwest of Gorgan. The same is situated on a strategic hillock. Constructed on simple lines, this brick structure rises to a height of 35m. It does display artistic affects and with two Kufic inscriptions on which the name of the founder and date of construction (407-411 AH. ) can be noted.

The dome is bi-coated and conical in shape. The internal design of Radkan tower is cicular with simple design. The whole structure has been built of bricks similar to that of the Gonbad Qaboos Tower, and internally the architecture is also simple. It is the resting abode of one of the ancient commanders.