Thursday, June 26, 2008

Golestan is one of the green provinces in northeast Iran

Golestan
A Tourist Haven
By Sadeq Dehqan
Golestan is one of the green provinces in northeast Iran . Turkmenistan lies on the north and the Caspian Sea to its west.
The capital of the province is Gorgan, which has always been an important city throughout history.
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Background
Most parts of the province have mild climatic conditions. However, the Gorgan Plain, due to its proximity to Turkmenistan ’s desert and low altitude, has a semi-arid climate.
Chalouei Shah Kouh is one of the most important summits of the province with a height of 3,750 meters.
The main rangelands are in the Gorgan Plain, which make it suitable for livestock breeding and affiliated industries.
Golestan is one of the economic hubs of the country, especially in agriculture.

Ethnic Diversity
People from different ethnic backgrounds live in this province. Its inhabitants speak languages such as Persian, Mazandarani, Katooli and Turkmani.
The residents of Gorgan mainly speak Persian. Mazandarani is spoken in the western villages and cities (Kordkooy, Bandar Gaz and Nokondeh). People residing near Aliabad speak Katooli while Turkmani is spoken in the eastern and northern regions.
The province of Golestan is host to one of the oldest nomadic tribes of northeastern Iran known as Turkmans who organize horse races in spring and autumn. Races are also held during a wedding, birth of a child and other festive occasions.
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Natural Attractions
Golestan National Park is the largest and most attractive the country.
The province has beautiful shores, forests, farms and gardens. It also boasts of natural attractions like mountains, sea, waterfalls, rivers and spas as well as fauna.
Given its ecotourism, historical and cultural attractions, the province has a special status nationwide. Most residents of the province are Shiite, but the residents of Gonbad and Gorgan are mostly Sunni.
Natural attractions of the province include Gomishan Wetland, Miyan-Kaleh Wildlife Refuge, the waterfalls of Lou, Shirabad, Baran Kouh, Ziyarat and Kaboodval, Deland Forest Park, Ashuradeh Island and Jahan-Nama Protected Zone.
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Historical Allure
The most important monuments of the province are the Grand Mosque, Mausoleum of Makhtoom Qoli Faragholi, Imamzadeh Roshan, Aqa Qola Bridge, Imamzadeh Noor (Es’haq), the Old Bazaar, Imamzadeh Hendijan, Radkan Tower, Tourang Hill, Gorgan and Gonbad Friday markets, Eskandari Dam, Maran Castle, Shahin Palace, Golshan Mosque, Agha Mohammad Khan Palace, Sardar Seminary, Imam Hassan Askari (AS) Mosque, Darulshafa Theological School, Karim Abshar mosque and theological school and Gorgan Museum.
Souvenirs of the province include jajim, handicrafts, caviar, carpets, Turkman rugs and Posht-e Zik (a delicacy).
Diverse natural and historical attractions along with its residents’ way of life and Turkman traditions make Golestan a tourist haven for all seasons.
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