Northeastern Iran, capital of Khorasan province in the Kashaf Rud Valley, near Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. One of the largest cities in Iran, it is an important transportation, commercial, manufacturing and religious center situated in a productive agricultural region. The burial place and shrine of Imam Reza (pbuh) regarded by Shiite Muslims as one of Iran’s holiest places, draws many tourists and pilgrims every year. The grave of the Caliph Harun ar-Rashid also is in the shrine. The ruins of the ancient city of Tus are nearby.
Mashad gained prominence as a religious center in the 9th century.