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Minoudasht, the Bride of Golestan

Monday, March 30, 2009

Javad Arab-Ameri

 
 
 
 

Minoudasht is one of the eastern cities known as the bride of the northern Golestan province. This area has been known invariably as the Green Plain, Plain of Heaven, Plain of Minoo and presently Minoudasht.

The city is located 98 km from Gorgan along Tehran-Mashhad Road. It extends over 7 square kilometers and has a population of about 32,000. The city is bordered by Semnan and Khorasan provinces to the south, Galikesh to the east, Azadshahr to the west and Gonbad Kavoos to the north. It also a 126-km border with Turkmenistan.

Situated at an altitude of 901 meters, its highlands linked to the eastern Alborz mountain-range. The terrain is mainly mountainous and plains. The mountainous sections of the city are connected to Bojnourd’s highlands via the heights of Golestan National Park in the east. The plains, situated in the central and western parts of the city, are small and fertile.

Most of its inhabitants reside in the plains, which experience mild and semi-humid weather. Rainfalls are more in mountainous areas and less in the plains. Chehel-Chay and Narmab rivers supply water to the city.

Historicity

Commenting on the historical precedence of the region, the head of Minoudasht’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, Alireza Hesarnavi, says the city of Minoudasht was separated from Gonbad Kavoos in 1989.

It consists of a central region and Galikesh as well as six rural areas (Chehel-Chay, Qal’eh-Qafeh, Kouhsarat, Qaravolan, Nilkouh and Yenqaq) and 143 villages.  “The oldest name attributed to the city is ’Kaboud Jameh’. Later, the city was called ’Hajilar’. Based on credible sources, Hajilars are part of Graylu tribe, which by itself was part of the tribe known as Kaboud Jameh. In fact, Graylus and Hajilars were groups of Azerbaijan’s migrating tribes that moved to the area during the Safavid period;” he said.

Referring to the city’s population, Hesarnavi said the population of the region includes tribes of Qezelbash, Fars, Tat, Turk, Turkmen, Baluchi and also Kurdestan’s Kurdish tribes.

“The last three tribes are Sunnis and the rest are Shiites. People of the area speak various dialects such as Turkish, Sistani, Baluchi and so on. Qezelbash tribes constitute the main section of the population who were brought to the region during the Safavid rule to uphold its security. The Tat tribe lives in the mountainous region of Minoudasht,” he said.

Historical Sites

Makhtoum Qoli Mausoleum

The mausoleum of this renowned Turkmen poet is located in Aq Toqay Village, some 60 km from Marz Pol. It is the most important tourist attraction of the area.
Makhtoum Qoli was one of the literary Turkmen personalities with a lofty status in the literature and arts of Turkmenistan.

Maran Castle

This castle is another important tourist attraction of the region. Based on a historical account, Maran Castle was built by the Arsacides monarch, Tirdad.

Suleiman Bouqeh Castle

This castle is located three kilometers from the eastern section of Tarseh Village in Galikesh. It is situated in a forest region on top of a mountain called Bouqotu, which is 2,000 meters above sea-level. The only access road to the summit of this mount is through high cliffs and rocky areas of Tarseh Village and the western side of the castle.

Khaled Nabi Historical-Cultural Complex

This complex is situated in a mountainous region some 90 km northeast of Gonbad Kavoos, 55 km northeast of Kalaleh and 6 km of Gachisu Village on top of Gogjehdagh Mount. The complex consists of three holy shrines of Khaled Nabi, Alam Baba and Choupan Ata, a large cemetery, a valley called Panjshir and Khezrkhandan Spring.

Dasht Halqeh

The historical-cultural site of Dasht Halqeh is in essence a city belonging to the Arsacides era, which was renovated during the Sassanid and Islamic periods. The city is situated 12 km west of Minoudasht.

Most residents of Minoudasht are farmers or livestock breeders. Other important activities of Minoudasht include rice cultivation, flour production and cotton factories. Agro products of the district include fruits, rice, grain, wheat, barley, peanuts, soya and tobacco.

Hand-woven carpets and Turkmen rugs as well as silk cloth and needlework are the main handicrafts of the area.

The district of Minoudasht is a historical and ancient area, and its people are very religious and devoted. The area has many imamzadehs and holy shrines, all of which are revered by the regional people and visited by the admirers of the infallible household of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Among these religious sites, one could mention Imamzadeh Jafar, Imamzadeh Es’haq (Qalami Village), Imamzadeh Moussa (Bazgir Village), Qezel-Imam Tomb (Qareh Cheshmeh Village), and the tombs of Sakineh Khatoun, Pir, Jafar, Baba Takiya, Bibi Halimeh and Seyyed Hassan Nabi.

Recreational and Tourism Sites

Golestan Nat’l Park

Situated on Mashhad Road, it is the first national park of Iran, which appeals to all visitors.

Luh Waterfall

It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls of the country. It is located 20 km from Galikesh and 5 km from Mashhad-Golestan main road near a village called Luh. Due to its location near Golestan Forest Park, the waterfall is of special tourism value.

Baqerabad Forest

It is located 10 km from Minoudasht. Every day, it hosts many tourists who visit its pristine natural resources.

Cheragh Tappeh

It is one of the high hills visited by many people for exercising and recreational activities. Tourists watch sunset from the top of the hill, which offers a magnificent view.

Every year a paraglider and parachute festival is held on Cheragh Tappeh. Many domestic and foreign tourists visit this area during Norouz (the Iranian New Year starting March 21) holidays.

Minoudasht welcomes all visitors and promises them a fruitful stay.

Source: http://www.iran-daily.com/1387/3359/html/iranica.htm

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