Before the provincial divisions and the formation of Bojnurd, and even long ago, Khorasan was always referred to by “the great”, because it has almost always been the largest province and border between Iran and non-Iranians.
The Transoxiana region, now home to countries such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan has played a major role in Iran’s history, from mythology to historical facts, from the Turanians invasion to the Mongols. North Khorasan (Bojnurd) has been a special region.
During the reign of mad kings such as the Qajar House, Iran lost most of its territory following successive treaties concluded with the intervention of colonists such as Britain and France and in their favor.
One of these contracts, which ironically had nothing to do with France or Britain, was in the hands of Russian forces, known as the Treaty of Akhal. The region of North Khorasan at that time was immersed in such muddy water that the weak Qajar dynasty could not get a good fish out of it and as a result of the advance of the Russians, lost a large part of the territory of Khorasan forever.
Today, the smallest part of that great Khorasan, with Bojnurd as its capital, is one of the provinces that borders Turkmenistan in the north. It reaches Golestan province from the west, Khorasan Razavi in the west and south, and Semnan province in the southwest.
Bojnurd is considered ethnically and regionally diverse and is one of the provinces that has accepted many Kurds. Plus, Turkish and Turkmen ethnic groups live together with the Persians that are mostly Sunni.
One of the aspects of the identity of Bojnurd or North Khorasan, in general, is the local music which its musicians and includes a complete collection of poetry and literature of Iran and Khorasan and registered in the UNESCO World Intangible Heritage.
The instrument of the formwork is the Dutar, which is sung with a sad melody and is usually a romantic narration of mourning, hardships, and the beauty and bitterness of love. It is also rich in poetry, music, and vocals. Quchan, Shirvan, and Bojnurd are the origins and continuators of this type of music.
The capital of North Khorasan province, Bojnurd, has been the cradle of Iranian and Islamic civilizations since ancient times. This region of Iran is known for its colors and designs of different ethnicities and instruments, and songs.
Some of the musicians of North Khorasan province are the people who moved from one place to another which cause the transfer and spread of music in different areas. Therefore, it can be said the continuation of the movement of these groups has caused the persistence of a kind of music in northern Khorasan and the cities of Quchan and Bojnurd.
Geographically, Bojnurd is located between several mountain ranges, and with an altitude of 1070 meters above sea level, it is almost a mountainous city with wide plains with juicy rivers. Bojnurd is generally a green city with a suitable climate, and because it is not industrial, it is among the cities with a healthy climate, but unfortunately, due to its location on the faults of the surrounding mountains, it is considered an earthquake-prone area.
Bojnurd has cold and wet winters and hot and dry summers. A large part of Bojnurd city is located in the Atrak river valley and is affected by the air mass of the Caspian Sea. This mass is moist and naturally causes the plants to be green and fertile in spring and summer.
Sardar Mofakham House is the largest and most significant architectural work of the Qajar period in North Khorasan province, which was built in the northeast of Bojnurd.
Sardar Mofakham House was built in the years 1300 AH, at the same time with the rule of Nasser al-Din and by the order of Yar Mohammad Khan Shadloo or Sardar Mofakham, and was the residence of his family and the reception of government guests and political figures.
It is said that the construction plan of the mansion was designed by Mirza Mehdi Khan Shaghaghi, the first professor of Iranian architects trained in “Farang” which means (abroad), whose architecture is one of the Sepahsalar school in Tehran.
Most of the decorations of Sardar Mofakham House are concentrated on the south side of the building and include various types of tiles. The entire facade of the south side, from the top of the octagonal columns of the lower floor porch to the second-floor ceiling, and even the stems of the upper porch columns are decorated with mosaic tiles and seven-color tiles in brick dimensions.
Hussainiya Jajarmi is one of the late Qajar buildings in Bojnurd of North Khorasan province, which was built by Master Gholamreza Bana Yazdi.
This building is an example of the traditional architecture of the central courtyard type, which is a kind of introverted architecture in which all the doors, windows, and skylights facing the courtyard open.
The various parts of this building are decorated with architectural arrays such as Muqarnas, plastering, brickwork, and inscriptions. At the top of the wall, there is an inscription in Nasta’liq script in which an excerpt from the composition of the famous verse of Mohtasham Kashani in the lament of the martyrs of Karbala is plastered.
In Bojnurd a natural and yet mythical landscape you could enjoy is Besh Qardash which means five brothers in Turkish.
The history of this place dates back to long before the Khorasan region was settled. At least in public stories or oral literature, before Islam during the Parthian and Sassanid eras, this place was a place of worship for Zoroastrian leaders.
Two ancient traditions that may be able to distinguish Bojnurd from other parts of Iran, could be the “Chokheh” wrestling and the other is music and instruments such as Dohl, Sorna, and Dutar. Which we have talked about then in the lines above but as we Persians say, listening to it could not be compared to reading about it! So, come and listen to Bojnurd.