The province was put as part of Region upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014
Golestān was split off from the province of Mazandaran in 1997. It has a population of 1.7 million (2011)and an area of 20,380 km². The province is divided into the following twelve counties : Aliabad County, Aqqala County, Azadshahr County, Bandar-e Gaz County, Gonbad-e Qabus County, Gorgan County, Kalaleh County, Kordkuy County, Maraveh Tappeh County, Minudasht County, Ramian County, and Torkaman County. Present-day Gorgan was called Esterabad until 1937.
Human settlements in this area date back to 10 000 BCE. Evidence of the ancient city of Jorjan can still be seen near the current city of Gonbad-e Kavus. It was an important city of Persia located on the Silk Road.
Under the Achaemenid Iran, it seems to have been administered as a sub-province of Parthia and is not named separately in the provincial lists of Darius and Xerxes. The Hyrcanians, however, under the leadership of Megapanus, are mentioned by Herodotus in his list of Xerxes’ army during the invasion of Greece.
The Buwayhid and Ziyarid dynasties of Persia were from this region. They were known for the revival of pre-Islamic Persian culture. For example, Buwayhid leaders entitled themselves as Shâhanshâh literally king of kings, a term used by Sassanid rulers.
The world’s tallest brick tower stands in this province. It is the famous Gonbad-e Qabus, built by a famous Amir of this region.
Golestān enjoys mild weather and a temperate climate most of the year. Geographically, it is divided into two sections: The plains, and the mountains of the Alborz range. In the eastern Alborz section, the direction of mountains faces northeast and gradually decreases in height. The highest point of the province is Shavar, with a height of 3,945 meters.
Golestan National Park:
Golestan National Park in northern Iran is faced with the construction of a road through the forest, allegedly for the ease of traffic for villagers and woodmen but at the expense of losing the only national park in Iran throughout which a range of different climates (humid near the Caspian Sea and desert farther south) is spread.
Golestān National Park is Iran’s biggest national park which spans three provinces, Golestan, Mazandaran and North Khorasan. Surprisingly, the authorities ignore repeated calls by experts to construct such roads around, instead of through, the forests, which in this way would no longer threaten the animal and plant life.
he 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.
Geographical Position, Golestan:
The province of Golestan with an area of 20,380.7 square km., is in the southeast of the Caspian Sea. On the basis of the last divisions of the country in 1996, the townships of the Golestan province are:
Bandar Turkaman, Bandar Gaz, Ali Abad, Kord Kooy, Gorgan, Gonbad Kavoos and Minoo Dasht. The center of Golestan province is Gorgan. The population of the province was 1.4 million in 1996, of which 41.3% were urban dwellers and 58.2 percent resided in rural areas and the other 0.5 percent were non residents.
Golestan province is divided into two sections, being the plain and mountainous parts, in the direction of Alborz Mountains, surrounding the shore and Caspian plain like an elevated wall. The ground slope reduces from the heights to the plains towards the Caspian Sea. In the southern and eastern plains of the Caspian Sea, influenced by the movements of earth and local winds, sandy hills have formed and a natural shallow dam has been created between the plain and sea. In the eastern Alborz, the direction of mountains is towards the northeast and gradually reduces in height. Its southern mountains are Abar Kooh Mountains and its highest summit being Shavar, 3,945m. in elevation. The northern range is Shahkooh which confronts the plain of Gorgan like a wall. It’s highest peak being Pirgard.
Climate, Golestan :
In accordance with certain factors such as geographical location, influenced by the latitude and geographical elevation; the Alborz Mountain Ranges, its distance from the sea, the desert areas south of Turkmenistan, local winds and forest density, brings about a variable climate. In the northeast of the province, particularly to the east of the Caspian Sea and the distance between Gorgan Rood till the borders of Turkmenistan, due to non-influential affects of the Caspian Sea, decrease in the elevation of the eastern Alborz, the extension of the coastal plain and its proximity with the Qareh Qoum and Qezel Loun of Central Asia, a warm and dry climate is experienced. Where as this changes to a semi desert type in areas further off.
The annual rainfall is scarce in this area and due to this, the affect of the heat is overpowering. Thus bringing about a vast difference not only between daily maximum and minimum temperatures, but also seasonal differences, that is between the hottest and coldest month too. In the southwestern sector of the province, due to the presence of heights, such as in the cities of Kollaleh and Minoo Dasht, other changes in the climate are experienced and with the change of temperature, a moderate and humid climate prevails.
History and Culture, Golestan :
The history of human settlements in the territory of Gorgan dates to a millennium BC. The evidences of the ancient city of Jorjan are near the current city of Gorgan. This was one of the important cities of Iran, located on the Silk Road. The Gorgan of today was known as Astar Abad, one of the archaic cities of Iran. The Turkamans reside in the north of the province, particularly in the cities of Gonbad and Bandar Turkaman. Other communities such as the Baluch, Turks, Afqans and Armenians also reside in this area, and have preserved their traditions and rituals.