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Iran Provinces, Golestan Province

Golestan Province (استان گلستان) is located in the north-east of the country, south of the Caspian Sea (دریای خزر) with Gorgan (گرگان) as capital. Golestan was split off from the province of Mazandaran (مازندران) in 1997. It has an area of 20,380 km².
It has a 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 (البرز) 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.

The Turkmens reside in the north of the province, a plain called Turkmen Sahra (ترکمن صحرا), this former nomadic people live in this area from 15th century, main cities of whom is Gonbad-e Kavus (گنبد کاووس) and Bandar Torkaman (بندر ترکمن). In the recent decades has seen a huge migration to this province, especially from Zabol (زابل) northest city of Sistan and Baluchestan (سیستان و بلوچستان). They are a sizable minority at cities such as Gorgan, Ali Abad, Kalaleh and many of eastern townships. Other ethnic groups such as Azerbaijanis, Baluchs, Kazakhs, Qezelbashs, Kurds, Georgians, and Armenians also reside in this area, and have preserved their traditions and rituals.

Golestan counties
Golestan counties (Shahrestan) are: Aliabad-e Katul, Azadshahr, Bandar-e Torkaman, Kalaleh, Gorgan, Gonbad Kavoos, Kordkooy, Galikesh, Minoodasht, Ramiyan, Bandar-e Gaz, Agh Ghala

The folk music of Turkmen appears in Bakhshi and Baghshi rhythms. A two string lute called Dotār is widely used to create those rhythms. There is a local dance called Jazjar. Common handicrafts of the province include carpet weaving, silk weaving, needle works, felt making, etc. Based on archeological findings in the ancient hill of Torang Tappe, the civilization in the province dates back to 3000 BC.

Photo by Tikke Sang

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Gonbad Qabus, Photo by Mitra Mirshahidi

Magtymguly Pyragy Tomb – آرامگاه مختومقلی فراغی
Aktokay village, Marave Tappe, Golestan
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