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Mashhad

Second Largest City in IRAN ‐ It is located 850 kilometres (530 mi) east of Tehran ‐This northeastern city of Iran is the capital of Khorasan Razavi province. Mashhad one of the largest holy cities in the world and notably known as the resting place of the Imam Reza.Its population was 2,427,316 at the 2006 population census. historically is also known as the city of Ferdowsi,the great Persian poet of Shahnameh,which is considered to be the Persian national epic. Also the famous contemporary poet of Iran Mehdi Akhavan-Sales,and Mohammad-Reza Shajarian,the traditional Iranian singer and composer were born in the city.

Annually,Mashhad and its surrounding countryside have over 20 million pilgrims and tourists from around Iran and the world. Thus,the province of Khorasan is a major religious,cultural,social,and economic center of the country. In the past,Khorasan was a crossroad for the Silk Road and presently,all major air,rail,and roadway connect Mashhad to the rest of the nation as well as the world.
 

Climate

The city is located at 36.20º North latitude and 59.35º East longitude,in the valley of the Kashaf River near Turkmenistan,between the two mountain ranges of Binalood and Hezar-masjed. The city benefits from the proximity of the mountains,having cool winters,pleasant springs,mild summers,and beautiful autumns. It is only about 250 km (160 mi) from Ashgabat,Turkmenistan.

Mashhad has a steppe climate with warm summers and cold winters and low precipitation figures all year round. Almost all precipitation falls during the winter and during early spring. During the coldest days of the year precipitation falls in the form of snow. Summers are warm with average temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86.0 degrees Fahrenheit). However,real extremes in temperatures such as temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) are uncommon. Winters may be extremely cold. The coldest temperature on record is -28 degrees Celsius (-18.4 degrees Fahrenheit). However,during the winter average temperatures are just above freezing point.

Check out Mashhad forecast in Accuweather

 

 

 

Economy

Numerous large and medium industrial parks are situated throughout the proince,the largest being in Mashhad. The main industries range from mining,such as precious turquoise stone,marble,granite,cement,ceramic tiles,textiles,leather,copper,metals,wood,carpets,fruit,food products,especially canned goods,and the most valuable being high quality saffron,which dominates about 90% of the total world production.(See section on Local Souvenirs of Mashhad). Furthermore,based on the annual rate of pilgrims visiting this city the Mashhad economy is said to be service economy. Statistically
50 percent of the Iran’s hotel capacity lies in this region. 

 

Public transport 
 

bus service

Like the other modern cities,Mashhad has a complete and compact system of public transport bus service. You can travel to every point of city with a very low cost using this service. The bus stops almost can be found in nearest place to your home or office. The old paper tickets have replaced with an smart card (Man Cart). The BRT lines have a great part in this transportation service and many of large street in town are limited for an efficient use of these lines.

 

Urban rail line

Mashhad benefits from urban rail line to transfer millions of people a day. It is the second rapid transit system in Iran that saves times for civil trips as well as energy and cost. The Mashhad Urban Railway operates its single line from 6:30 to 21:30 daily. The first line is active right now and second line is currently under construction.

 

Bus and Train traveling

Traveling from and to Mashhad by bus and train is alternative way for those who are interested to get experience from natural landscapes,towns,villages and even historical places while they are traveling on the way. The Imam Reza (PUH) Bus Terminus of Mashad is located at countryside to access easily to main input and output roads of city and is the biggest station to traffic of buses. This terminus has area of 8.600 mm and daily 2000 buses enters and exits. The ticket reservations is possible by Internet Reservation and The modern VIP buses also give the passengers the most comfort environment to rest and watch the beautiful views.

The central train station of Mashhad provides a safety and comfortable way for travelers to trip between Mashhad and their town. Tehran is the most important origin of passengers of train to mashhad and so the high class trains are on the move in this line. In the future,the government has some plan to build a transrapid line between Tehran and Mashhad.

At summer and the end of year many of people who want to visit the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PUH) invaded Mashhad through bus and train. Most of them come to Mashhad from the big city of Iran.

 

 Air  

The Mashhad International Airport,(Shahid Hashemi Nezhad Airport) as the heart of air transportations handles approximately 170 to 240 air flights a day from the city to other domestic cities or countries. 22000 passengers in average,uses of internal and international air services while about of 20% of them are international passengers.

There are 34 domestic and 20 international flight routes from and to Mashhad and 17 internal airlines and 10 international airlines transport the passengers in both ways.


 

 

In addition of domestic flights to big and important cities (Tehran.Isfahan,Shiraz,Bandar abbas …) Iranian airlines has international flights including:

Iran Air (flight to/from Bahrain,Beirut,Dammam,Kuwait)

Mahan Air (flight to/from Baghdad,Bahrain,Kuwait,Najaf)

Aseman Air (flights to Bishkek,Dushanbe and Kabul)

Zagros Airlines (flights to Bahrain,Basra,Kuwait)

Meraj Airlines (flights to Kuwait,Najaf,Baghdad)

Ata Airlines (flights to Bahrain,Kuwait)

these airways carries tourists and pilgrims to Mashhad and vice versa. Some airline such as Kish air flies only to Kish.

 

Practical Information

Iranian Currency

Please note that the official name of Iran’s currency is the Rial; however,in the streets it is referred to as the Toman and the last digit of the Rial is dropped. For example,1,000,000 Rial is 100,000 Toman or 10,000 Rial is 1,000 Toman.



International Telephone Calls

SIM cards can be easily purchased at the airport,in the hotel store or at practically any supermarket and shopping center. SIM cards are available at fairly reasonable prices.

 

 

 

 Water

Tap water is safe to drink. Take care to only drink from public fountains designated for human consumption. Moreover,domestic and foreign bottled water is readily available in all grocery stores and restaurants for a nominal fee.

 

 

 

 Emergency Numbers:

 

Police: 110

Fire Station: 125

Ambulance: 115

Road Police: 3400391

Holy Shrine: 2002402

Airport Information: 199

Foreign Ministry: 8431053-5

Accident Service of Police: 197

Taxi Services: 133/ 1829/ 1830

Product and Service Inspection Office: 124

 

Souvenirs

Mashhad is a city that suits the taste of everyone. There is a variety of shopping centers and traditional bazaars selling traditional and religious items; in addition to trendy clothing,household items,and high tech goods.

Perhaps the most popular souvenir of Mashhad is saffron. It is sold in traditional measurements called mesghal.

Other popular items are precious turquoise stones and semi-precious stones,as well as silver and 18 karat gold jewelry.

Foodstuffs include traditional-handmade rock candy (nabat),zeresk (barberries),mixed-hand roasted nuts and seeds (ajeel),dried sour cherries,plums,peaches and golden raisins and fruit rolls.

Traditional stone carving and wood cutouts reflecting Iran’s ancient culture and religious background are popular items to buy as well.

Carpets and kilims are another popular purchase.

Prayer beads made from semi-precious stones,glass,wood,and plastic,in various sizes and colors are perhaps the most popular.

 

The Countryside of Mashhad

 

Shandiz and Torghabeh

These two country towns are perhaps the most popular places to visit after the Holy Shrine,especially during the warm seasons. A very popular local dish of these towns are their garden restaurants that serve Shish-leek kebab,which is six barbequed tender lions served with fresh tandoori bread and/or hot steamed rice; it is definitely a must-try.

 

 

 

Torghabeh

A mountainous area with many orchards is located 16 km to the southwest of Mashhad far from the crowded city. The population has been dispersed among the vallies full of trees. this lovely town is popular for its natural scenery,trekking trails and traditional and modern garden restaurants. Hand-woven baskets,wooden works and carpets are the best souvenirs of the region.

 

Shandiz

This town is located also in the mountains some 38 km southwest of Mashhad,and just like Torghabeh it has wonderful gardens,springs,trekking trails and traditional and modern garden restaurants.