Some 410 kilometers to the east of Tehran, half-way between the capital and Mashhad, and at the junction with the Gorgan road, this halting-place (with more than 202,000 inhabitants) has, in modern times, replaced the historic town of Bastam situated in the hills a few kilometers to the north.
From the north, it is surrounded by the Alborz Mountain Chain, and from the south by the Salty Desert. The river of Tash, after crossing this town, reaches the Salty Desert. The weather on the mountainous areas is cold and it is to somewhat temperate in other parts of the city.
The town of Shahrood has a really short history. It was just a village before Fath-Ali Shah Qajar with two old castles and a small farm named “Shabdary”. But all surrounding areas, such as Biarjomand, Miami and Bastam have longer history.
The old town of Bastam is located 6 kilometers north to the town of Shahrood. Its pre-Islamic history is not clear, but to some historians, it was built during Shapour II period (310-379 AC). During the Abbasid period, it was the second, following Damghan, greener and larger area in the Qomis state. It was visited by Nasser Khosrow Qubadiani, the great Iranian poet in 438 AH, and mentioned by him as the center of the Qomis state. But Bastam declined by the Mongols’ attack, and Shahrood developed instead. The town of Shahrood is located on the main road between Tehran and the east of Iran toward the state of Khurasan and its regional capital Mashhad.
The most interesting historical places and buildings of the district of Shahrood are as followings:
The Saljuki Mosque which is located in Bastam, and only a part of its wall as well as one minaret remained to this day. Its construction belongs to the year 514 AH.
The Monastery of Bayazeed Bastami which includes an interesting building with a dome is made of brick in the 8th century, then reconstructed in the 13th century AH.
hThe Village of Kharaqan which is located 12 kilometers far from Bastam. It was a famous village during the 7th and the 8th centuries AH. The tomb of Abul-Hassan Ali Kharaqani, who is one of the most famous Arefs of the Sufi group of the 5th century AH, is located in this village. The brick building with its dome belongs to the 5th century AH.
The Byar Castle which is located on the south-eastern area of Bastam, and is near to the desert edge of Byarjomand. This castle has an old mosque and an old wall with three gates.