Climate : Warm
OldName : South Khorasan
Area : 953385
Population : 662534
South Khorasan Province is a province located in eastern Iran. Birjand is the center of the province. The other major cities are Ferdows, Tabas and Qaen.
This new province, is but the old Quhistan which was included into greater Khorasan in the Iranian administrative planning. However, historically Qohistan forms a separate entity, with a distinct culture, history, environment and ecology.
South Khorasan ...see more is one the three provinces that were created after the division of Khorasan in 2004. While at the beginning, the newly created "South Khorasan" included only Birjand County and some new counties detached from that county (i.e. Nehbandan, Darmian and Sarbisheh), in subsequent years, all northern and western cities and territories of the old Quhistan (such as Qaen, Ferdows and Tabas) have been annexed into the South Khorasan. South Khorasan Province consists of 11 counties: Birjand, Ferdows, Tabas, Qaen, Nehbandan, Darmian, Sarbisheh, Boshruyeh, Sarayan, Zirkouh and Khusf.
In the past, Birjand was a small part of a region which called Ghohestan. Ghohestan, was a part of old Khorasan which now is named South Khorasan Province. The main cities of Ghohestan, were Toon (now Ferdows) and Qaen. Birjand grew in recent centuries especially during Qajar dynasty and found its important role in this region.
Greater Khorasan has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties and governments in its territory throughout history. Various tribes of the Arabs, Turks, Kurds , Mongols, Turkemen and Afghans brought changes to the region time and time again.
Ancient geographers of Iran divided Iran ("Iran-Shahr") into eight segments of which the most flourishing and largest was the territory of Greater Khorasan. Esfarayen, among other cities of the province, was one of the focal points for residence of the Aryan tribes after entering Iran.
During the Qajar period, Britain supported the Afghans to protect their East India Company. Herat was thus separated from Persia, and Nasser-al-Din Shah was unable to defeat the British to take back Herat. Finally, the Paris Treaty was concluded in 1903 and Iran was compelled not to challenge the British for Herat and other parts of what is today Afghanistan.
Finally Khorasan was divided into two parts: the eastern part, which was the most densely populated region came under British occupation, and the other western section remained part of Iran.
Khorasan was the largest province of Iran until it was divided into three provinces on September 29, 2004. The provinces approved by the parliament of Iran (on May 18, 2004) and the Council of Guardians (on May 29, 2004) were Razavi Khorasan, North Khorasan, and South Khorasan.
The major ethnic groups in this region are the Persians. South Khorasan is known for its famous rugs as well as its saffron, barberry which are produced in almost all parts of the province.
South Khorasan has many historical and natural attractions, but besides these, South Khorasan encompasses various religious buildings and places of pilgrimage as well.
The Cultural Heritage of Iran lists 1179 sites of historical and cultural significance in all three provinces of Khorasan.
Reference : wikipedia.org