Land of forests and deserts, Little continent
The second most populated city in Semnan Province, Shahroud borders Damghan in the east, Sabzevar and Bardaskan in the west and Gorgan in the north. Shahroud sits between the cities of Tehran and Mashhad and is approximately 500 kilometers from each. Shahroud has cold desert climate and experiences hot summers and cool winters.
Based on excavations of historical sites around the city, it is believed that the establishment of Shahroud was in the 1st millennium BC. Some experts believe the city has been mentioned in Avestan text (sacred Zoroastrian scripture) and was once home to one of the ancient holy fires. In the Parthian era (247 BC–224 CE), Shahroud along with Damghan became one of the important cities in the historical Qumis Province (modern day Semnan Province).
Today, the people of Shahroud speak a dialect of the Persian language close to the Middle Persian spoken in ancient Iran.
One of the top tourist attractions of Shahroud is perhaps the Shahroud Museum where everything from archeological finds datable to the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th millennia BC to items with anthropological significance, showcasing the history of professions, customs, costumes and jewelry of Shahroud are on display.
The Qajar era (1785-1925) Shahroud Bazaar, mausoleum of 11th century mystic Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Kharaqan, Bayazid Bastami Complex, Ilkhanid era (1256–1335) Kashaneh Tower and Pahlavi era (1925-1979) Yaghmaei House, which has the city’s only wind tower, are among the historical attractions of the city.
Shahroud is known for its natural diversity. By traveling 45 kilometers to the north one will reach the heavenly Abr Forest, which is one the top natural wonders of Iran with its waves of clouds and millions of years of history, and traveling 45 kilometers to the south will take travelers to the Chah Jaam Desert where its inhabitants raise camels and have date palm orchards.
Some of Shahroud’s other natural attractions include seven-color Mojen Spring, which has therapeutic properties for skin diseases, Mojen Waterfall, Abarsaj Ice Waterfall, Dareh Bala Village, and Khar Turan National Park.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Tak Polo- A rice dish made with grape leaves, soy sauce and dried lime powder and served with boneless fried chicken.
- Qeysi or Gheysi- Dried apricot which is a naturally sweet and healthy snack.
- Halva- A sweet made with rice flour, honey, grape syrup and walnut.