Mashhad the capital of Razavi Khorasan province, in the northeast of Iran, is the second most populous city of Iran after the capital, Tehran. Khorasan formally been the starting point of the Silk Road from the east to the west of Iran. The great Khorasan being much larger than it is today. Included large parts of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Literally the word Khorasan means place in which the sun is rises and Mashhad means the place of martyrdom of Imam Reza, peace be upon him. Imam Reza is honored in Shi'a Islam as the eight in the line of 12 Imams and to whom today's huge shrine complex is dedicated. Mashhad is known as the holiest city of Iran with more than 20 million pilgrims a year. Another important attractions of the city is Ferdowsi mausoleum (c. 940–1020) in which rests the great Persian poet, Abu'l-Qasim Ferdowsi Toosi, author of the longest book of epic literature in the world. His fantastic book Shahnameh (book of the kings) is the Persian equivalent of the Odyssey, Homer's Masterpiece.
The most important attractions of Mashhad are: The Complex of Holy Shrine, old city of Toos and Mausoleum of Ferdowsi, country sides of Shandiz and Torghabe, Great Museum of Khorasan, Bazaar Reza, Daroughe House.