Mashhad, also spelled Mashad or Meshed, city, capital of Khorāsān-e Razavī ostān (province), northeastern Iran. It is located in the Kashaf River valley at an elevation of about 1,000 metres. As the burial place of ʿAlī al-Riḍā, the eighth imam in Twelver Shiʿism (Ithnā ʿAshariyyah), Mashhad is an important pilgrimage site. Also, as the easternmost of Iran’s major cities, it is a hub for trade with the countries that border Iran to the east. Mashhad has the second largest population in Iran—after Tehrān, the national capital. Tourists and pilgrims add to the number of people in the city.
This city consists of three districts “Markazi”, “Ahmad Abad” and “Razavi”, three cities and 11 rural districts. Mashhad is considered as the 2nd biggest and the populous city of Iran after Tehran due to it is religious, industry and economic conditions. Mashhad is known as the most important attraction for the passengers who are willing to visit Imam Reza holy shrine (8th Shia Imam), the biggest holy shrine in Iran.
As one of the most magnificent religious places in Iran, Astan Qods Razavi is the symbol of Mashahd where the Islamic art and religion are linked to each other. Located along the Silk Road, it is the economic capital and the intercontinental commercial center in the Central Asia. Mashhad economic activities are dependent on the services, industry and agriculture; however, it is focused on a services-based economy due to the presence of the passengers and pilgrims who travel to there. About 40 percent of Mashhad industry is relied on the food, metal and handicraft industry. Most of Mashhad people are of Iranian Aryan race, although many Kurds, Turks and Arabs live there. Mashhad residents speak in Persian Language, Mashhadi accent and they are the followers of Ja’afari Shia.
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