M ashhad (mah-shahd) - Meaning: "place of martyrdom"
Country: Iran
Population: 2,500,000 +
Mashhad is the capital, the largest city, and center of commerce and industry in Khorasan province.
Major Sites: Imam Reza Shrine Complex, Nader Shah Park & Mausoleum, Ferdowsi University, Ferdowsi Park & Mausoleum, Khwajeh Rabih Mausoleum, Gombade Sabz Mausoleum, Kooh Sanghi, Kooka, Akhlamad, Jaghargh, ...
Khorasan's Major Cities: Mashhad, Neyshabur (Nishapur), Sabzavar, Ghoochan, Bojnord, Birjand, Kashmar, Torbat Heeydarieh, Torbat Jaam, Ferdous, Ghaaen, Darghaz, Shirvan, Esfrayen, ...

MASHHAD (Mash-Had) is located between two mountain ranges of Binalood and hezarmasjed, 900 Kilometers east of Tehran. In the year 823 Ad., after the martyrdom of Imam Reza (Muslim Shi'a 8th Imam, Saint) in a place around Toos named "Sanabad" which was called MASHHAD-e-Reza (place of martyrdom), the main nucleus of today MASHAD appeared. Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi built a mausoleum opposite to the Shrine and in 13th century AD., due to destruction of Toos city by Mongols, MASHHAD developed and so many people migrated to this city.

At the first, the Toos area was the residence of non-Aryan tribes and some parts of it was conquered by Arabs in the period of Caliph Osman and was annexed to Islam territory in the time of Caliph Omar.

Toos was amongst the first cities which was subject to destructive Mongol onslaught and. like other cities of Khorasan, was completely ruined.

Toos, due to its specific and sensitive conditions, in the period of Teymoorian and Ilkhanan, was passed on from hand to hand between different governors and people were massacred. Finally, in 1438 AD. Shahrokh, the son of Amir Taymoor, took the throne as monarch. Afterhis reign on, Toos had been paid special attention causing its expansion and development. Since second half of 15th century AD. this city was commemorated as suburb of MASHAD. There have been remained some ruins of old Toos, but new Toos Due to existence of the tomb of "Ferdowsi" the great Iranian poet, has its own reputation and importance. However, today MASHAD has unbreakable tie with the history of the old Toos and annually hosts hundreds of thousand of pilgrims and visitors.

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