Golestan Province

Vahid Pourtajrishi  6/29/2014

General Information


Covering an area of 22,000 square kilometers, Golestan province is Located southeast of the Caspian Sea. It is Limited northward by Turkmenistan, southward by Semnan province, eastward by Northern Khorasan province and westward by the province of Mazandaran. There are three areas of mountain, foothill and plane and it has a Mediterranean and desert climate. Pirgerdkooh is the tallest mountain in the province and Galdin, Shahkooh, Zarivan and Khajeh-Qanbar are the other important mountains in the Golestan. This area enjoys an agricultural product such as wheat, cotton, oil seeds, grains, tobacco, rice, etc. Archaelogical surveys indicated that, owing to its favorable environmental conditions, Golestan province was one the most important residences of human beings in pre-historic, historic and Islamic periods. More than 20 tribes (Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, Turkmen, Baluch, Caucasian, Sistani …) live in Golestan province. The most important souvenirs of Golestan province are carpets, rugs, Turkmen cushion covers, Turkmen needlework, and jajims of mountainous area of Gorgan, the village handicrafts, fish and caviar. Gorgan, Aliabad Katoul, Ramian, Azad-shahr, Gonbad Kavos, Minou-dasht, Galikesh, Kalaleh, Maraveh Tappeh, Gomishan, Agh-ghala, Turkmen and Bandargaz are the cities of Golestan province. The best Iranian Caviar is obtained from sturgeon fish caught in locations close to the Miankaleh Bay and Gorgan Gulf. Vast plains in the north of the province provide a fertile land for agricultural and dairy produce. The area is also renowned for its biodiversity such that it already has four Ramsar Convention wetlands, one national park, and one

wildlife sanctuary and a protected area.

The Golestan Province is covered by nearly 400,000 hectares of forests, which is 18% of its total land area. Rangelands consist around 51% of the land with the remaining 31% being used for agricultural activities or developed as residential areas. Most of the forests are mixed hardwoods except some small-scattered patches of native or planted conifers. Fagus orientalis (Beech tree), Carpinus betulus, Quercus castenifolia (Oak), Alnus subcordata (Elm) and Acer spp (Maple) are the main broadleaf spices.


Taxus bacuta (Yew) and Biota orientalis are the most important and unique native conifer species that grow in the small patches in Shirinroudbar Basin. These two species are recognized as endangered with their habitats being protected for more than 30 years. Pastures and rangelands are found above the forest zones in mountains and in some parts of the Gorgan and Turkman Plain. The horticulture practice has increased dramatically over the past two decades because of expansion of related industrial activities with regard to olive fruit and oil production.

At least 9000 plant species are found in the region. A varied range of moist, semi-dry, dry and salt-tolerant species compose the vegetation cover of the province. Rivers and streams are originated from some 39 catchments distributed across the Province. Three main rivers with permanent water flow are named Atrak, Gorganrood, and Gharasu. These rivers have important roles in agricultural development where four major dams regulate their water resources and improve the efficiency of water usage that ultimately enhance economic development in the region.

The Golestan Province boasts one of the most diverse collections of habitats in the country. This is mostly a reflection of the fact that the area is composed of both rugged terrain in the form of mountains in the southern part and vast plains in the north. The microclimatic differences brought about by this situation and other factors have led to the diversity of habitats. These in turn have affected the diversity of flora and fauna inhabiting those habitats. Brown bear, wolf, fox, and leopard of the carnivores, red deer, fallow deer and roe deer of the large herbivores can be cited from among a list of regionally and internationally important fauna species living in the area. In order to protect the precious floral and faunal assets of the Province along with their habitats, a series of protected areas have been delimited and managed by the Iran Department of Environment. These include Golestan National Park in the east of the Province, Khosh-Yeilagh Wildlife Sanctuary in the south-east and Jahan Nama Protected Area in the south of the Province. Besides, of the 18 internationally recognised RAMSAR Wetlands of Iran, four fall in the Province. The Ala Gol, Adji Gol and Ulma Gol, all in the north, and Miankaleh Peninsula in the northwest of the Province harbour many important migratory and resident species of birds, while affecting their surrounding environments and providing food and water for the farmers.

Lakes in the Golestan Province have important influence on economic development of the region and the daily life of local people. Some of the lakes are classified as the resources of fresh water and in the others, brackish water creates unique ecosystems. The Gorgan Gulf covering around 400 square kilometers is one of the surface water resources in the region located in the southwest of the Golestan Province. The unique ecosystem of the Gorgan Gulf has crucial impact on habitat of cartilaginous fish and many migratory birds in the region. 

Most people in Golestan Province live in rural areas pursuing various agricultural activities. Livestock grazing, animal husbandry, aquaculture, silkworm reproduction, poultry farming, horticulture, apiculture, forestry and handicraft making are the main activities undertaken by the farmers. Around 570,000 hectares of the Province has been allocated for farming, 38.5% of which is irrigated and the rest is rain-fed. Wheat, cotton and sunflower comprise the main products. The main industrial activities revolve around food products, pulp and wood, fabric, chemical and pharmaceutical products, metallurgy, electric and electronic products.

 Historical Graveyard & Mausoleum of Khaled-Nabi


Located 55 Km northeast of Kaled-e Nabi is Limited eastward by Baba-Shamalak mountain range and north, south and westward by Hezar-Darreh district. Erected on a hill, nearby the mausoleum, the graveyard features numerous standing grave-stones with unique and special shapes and decorations.


 Kavus Tower


Located north of Gonbad-e-Kavoos City, 3 km away from the ancient city of Jorjan, the center of the Ziyar dynasty, this tower is a memorable relic from the Islamic period. Erected on a hill with a length of 15 meters, it dates back to 397 A.H. This elegant tower is the burial place of Shams-Ol-Ma’ali Qaboos-e-Ebn-e-Voshmgir. Built more than 70 meters above earth level, it is 55 meters high. Two bands of brick inscriptions in simple Kufic script bearing the name of its commissioner and the date of construction adorn the tomb tower.


   Torang Tappe


This is one of the richest and largest ancient hills of Golestan province 25 Kilometers northeast of Gorgan. Archeological studies show the civilization on this hill dates back to five thousand years ago.

Naharkhoran Forest

This region has always been an attraction for the people of Gorgan, the tourists and the nature lovers and it provides them with all sorts of resort facilities such as hotels and restaurants.

  Radkan Tower

This tower is located near the Radkan village, 24 Km south of KordKooy 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 35 m. It does display artistic affects and with two Kufic inscriptions on which the name of the founder and date of construction (407-411 A.H.) can be noted. The dome is bicoated and conical in shape. The internal design of Radkan tower is circular 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.

  Ashuradeh Island

The island is the only island of Caspian Sea in Gorgan golf, it lies 25 km away from Gorgan city and is one of the most attractive sites of Golestan province with a temperate, humid weather. This island is a perfect habitat for different kinds of local and migrating birds. Visiting the port and the facilities of Bandar Turkman, the beaches of Ashuradeh Island and hunting fish for caviar are among the common recreational activities of natives of the region.

Shirabad Wtarefall


The island is the only island of Caspian Sea in Gorgan golf, it lies 25 km away from Gorgan city and is one of the most attractive sites of Golestan province with a temperate, humid weather. This island is a perfect habitat for different kinds of local and migrating birds. Visiting the port and the facilities of Bandar Turkman, the beaches of Ashuradeh Island and hunting fish for caviar are among the common recreational activities of natives of the region.


 Kaboudwal Waterfall

This Waterfall is situated 5 Km to the south of Aliabad city and in the slopes of the Alborz mountain in a forested area. There is a suitable tourist camping for the people who have come to visit there. It is the largest full-mass waterfall in Iran and its water is potable. There is also museum of natural history in this camping.

  The Baazars of Golestan Province

The bazaars of Golestan province are subdivided into permanent, weekly and daily ones. The most important permanent bazaar is Na’l-Bandan. The weekly bazaars were held in Agh-ghala and Bandar-e Turkmen in the past, and nowadays following them, the daily bazaars are flourishing in several cities of the province.

  The Historical Wall of Gorgan

Made of brick and mud brick, the historical wall of Gorgan is one of the most important relics in the area. With a length of 200 kilometers, it was erected from Gorgan plain, on the Zav peak standing east of Golestan province and extended westward, until Gomishan city, across the Caspian Sea. This great wall includes 40 castles having square or rectangular plans. Excavations carried in it indicate that it dates back to the Sassanid period.

  Museum of Golestan Province



There are 7 important museums in Golestan province, including Gorgan palace Museum, Gorgan Handicrafts Museum, Gorgan Museum in Gorgan city, Museum of Natural History and Museum of Anthropology in Aliabad-e Katoul city, Museum of Handicrafts and Traditional Arts in Minoudasht city, Museum of Handicrafts and Traditional Arts in Gomishan city.






  National Park Golestan



Covering an area of 91,895 hectares, it is located 150 Km east of Gorgan. Regarded as the first national park of Iran., it enjoys varied environmental regions such as the forest and steppe, and the most beautiful natural views. So it is one of the most important tourist attractions of Golestan province. Due to its virgin living areas of plants and animals, the natural ecosystems and the genetics variations, this park is considered as the natural heritage and studied by scholars.


 Public Forest Alang-Darreh

Located 3 Km southwest of Gorgon, on a thick forest foothill, this park has unique trees, and a river flows in it



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