Geographical Position, Golestan
The province of Golestan with an area of 20,380.7 square km., is in the southeast of the Caspian Sea. On the basis of the last divisions of the country in 1996, the townships of the Golestan province are:
Bandar Turkaman, Bandar Gaz, Ali Abad, Kord Kooy, Gorgan, Gonbad Kavoos and Minoo Dasht. The center of Golestan province is Gorgan. The population of the province was 1.4 million in 1996, of which 41.3% were urban dwellers and 58.2 percent resided in rural areas and the other 0.5 percent were non residents.
Golestan province is divided into two sections, being the plain and mountainous parts, in the direction of Alborz Mountains, surrounding the shore and Caspian plain like an elevated wall. The ground slope reduces from the heights to the plains towards the Caspian Sea. In the southern and eastern plains of the Caspian Sea, influenced by the movements of earth and local winds, sandy hills have formed and a natural shallow dam has been created between the plain and sea. In the eastern Alborz, the direction of mountains is towards the northeast and gradually reduces in height. Its southern mountains are Abar Kooh Mountains and its highest summit being Shavar, 3,945m. in elevation. The northern range is Shahkooh which confronts the plain of Gorgan like a wall. It's highest peak being Pirgard, reaching a height of 3,204 m.
In accordance with certain factors such as geographical location, influenced by the latitude and geographical elevation; the Alborz Mountain Ranges, its distance from the sea, the desert areas south of Turkmenistan, local winds and forest density, brings about a variable climate. In the northeast of the province, particularly to the east of the Caspian Sea and the distance between Gorgan Rood till the borders of Turkmenistan, due to non-influential affects of the Caspian Sea, decrease in the elevation of the eastern Alborz, the extension of the coastal plain and its proximity with the Qareh Qoum and Qezel Loun of Central Asia, a warm and dry climate is experienced. Where as this changes to a semi desert type in areas further off.
The annual rainfall is scarce in this area and due to this, the affect of the heat is overpowering. Thus bringing about a vast difference not only between daily maximum and minimum temperatures, but also seasonal differences, that is between the hottest and coldest month too. In the southwestern sector of the province, due to the presence of heights, such as in the cities of Kollaleh and Minoo Dasht, other changes in the climate are experienced and with the change of temperature, a moderate and humid climate prevails.
History and Culture, Golestan
The history of human settlements in the territory of Gorgan dates to a millennium BC. The evidences of the ancient city of Jorjan are near the current city of Gorgan. This was one of the important cities of Iran, located on the Silk Road. The Gorgan of today was known as Astar Abad, one of the archaic cities of Iran. The Turkamans reside in the north of the province, particularly in the cities of Gonbad and Bandar Turkaman. Other communities such as the Baluch, Turks, Afqans and Armenians also reside in this area, and have preserved their traditions and rituals.