Mazandaran province with an area of 23842 square kilometers is the 18th largest province of Iran. The northern border of this province is surrounded by the coastal strip of the Caspian Sea, while from other directions, it is neighboring Gilan, Golestan, Semnan, Tehran, Qazvin, and Alborz provinces.
In Mazandaran, including 22 counties and Sari city as its center, common languages are Tabari (a Mazandarani dialect) and Farsi. The Alborz mountain ranges comprising Mount Damavand as the highest peak of the Iranian Plateau with the height of 5,671 meters, cover the southern margin of Mazandaran.
The Alborz Mountain is of particular interest to domestic and foreign climbers. Geographically, it keeps the Mazandaran’s climate temperate and humid as it avoids like a dam the entry of humidity of the Caspian Sea to the central parts of the country. This has also created vast jungles, rivers, and wetlands across the province.
Historically, two very old and powerful tribes lived on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea: Tapours and Amardi, from which the names of Tabarestan and Amol city are driven. During the Parthian Dynasty (247 B.C.- 224 A.D.) and by the order of the king Phraates I, Amardi tribe moved to Khar (current Varamin city) from the Mazandaran area and Tapours tribe took control of the area that belonged to them originally.
Later, the area fell to the hands of the Sasanian rulers (224-651) and in some periods after the advent of Islam, non-local conquerors from different dynasties took control of Mazandaran or some parts of it. These dynasties include Tahirid (821-873), Saffarid (861-1003), Samanid (819-999), Ziyarid (930-1090), Ghaznavid (977-1186), Seljuk (1037-1194), Khwarazmian (1077-1231), Mongols (1206-1368), Sarbadar (1337-1381), and Timurid (1370-1507). During the Safavid era (1501-1736), Shah Ismail I sent a troop to Mazandaran but the definitive capture of the area happened by Shah Abbas I. Upon his order, the royal palace and complex of Safi Abad were built in present Behshahr city. At the time of its construction, the palace was called Ashraf.
The coastal cities such as Chalus, Ramsar, Nour, Nowshahr, Babolsar, and Mahmud Abad, jungle areas around Ramsar, Nour and Damavand Mount and summit, Badab Soort Spring, Alimestan Jungle, Babol Palace, Veresk Bridge, Fereydunkenar Wetland, and Nima Youshij House (poet) are the main attractions of the province.
Also, the historical garden of Abbas Abad near Behshahr has been registered as the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Among the local handicrafts of Mazandaran province, we can mention woodcarving, Moaragh (a kind of woodwork), mosaic, Bamboo, and mat weaving, Kilim, Jajim, tablecloth, the bedcover, scarf, socks, knife, and plate. A variety of jam and syrup especially orange blossom jam, raspberries, sour cherries, oranges, and pickles are among the common souvenirs of Mazandaran. Native foods often include a mixture of rice, fish, and vegetables.
Finally, Nima Youshij (poet- father of Iran’s modern poetry) and Manouchehr Sotoudeh (contemporary geographer and scholar) are among the famous figures of Mazandaran province.