Gonabad (also Romanized as Gonābād; also known as Gūnābād; formerly Janābaz) is a city and capital of Gonabad County, in Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 36,367, in 10,389 families. Jūymand is an affluent northern district/suburb of Gonabad.

It is mostly well-known for its qanats, also known as kareez. It is one of the most important producers of saffron in Iran. Other agricultural products include: Grape, Pistachio and pomegranate.

Some of the longest and oldest Qanats of the world are located in Gonabad. Qanats of Uroune, Moun, Chahak and Shirin as registered in world heritage site (administered by UNESCO) are among these Qanats.

They contain 427 water wells with a length of 33113 meters and have been constructed based on different sciences like physics, geology and hydraulics and made it possible for the inhabitants to live in such a dry land with low rainfall.

Geographical location

The geographical position of Gonabad city with an area of 5902 km2 is 58 ° 41 ° longitude, 34 ° 21 ° longitude latitude.

The neighboring cities of this city are in the north, Faizabad and Bajestan, in the west, Ferdows and Bajestan, in the east, Khaf and south, Qaen. The average elevation of this area is 1105 m from the open sea level.

Its center is Gonabad, and is located 260 kilometers from Mashhad. Based on the latest divisions of the country, it has 2 sections called central, Kakhk, 3 cities, 4 districts and about 125 settlements.


Aknowlege about names

There are a number of different things about the name of this city, some of which are:
That Gon means Goblin, and Gonabad has been told by Gonabad that the excavation of Qanats was not the work of ordinary people. It means that the sum of domes, because in the old city of Gonabad, all the houses were built in the form of a dome.

The fact that Gonabad was originally Gon abad, and in the Turkish language it means the sun, since, according to ancient astrology, the quadrant is divided into seven climates, and the fourth climate is attributed to the sun, and Gonabad is in the same climate. It is famous for Gonabad, which means the sun is rising.

It is originally called Gavan abad (Gavan=Astragalus), and it is said that it is a plant that goes a lot in the deserts of Gonabad, henceforth it is called Gavan abad, which has changed to Gonabad due to the plentiful use of it.

The central part of the city in the past, is called Juymend . The city has four qanats: Qasabeh Qanat, Deh Qanat, Aliabad Qanat and Husseinabad Qanat, and maybe it’s called Juymend, that is, the owner of the gutters. The deepest Qanats in the Khorasan area are located in this area.


Historical background

The remaining evidence, including ancient sites, indicates the establishment and human life of prehistoric times in this area. Therefore, Gonabad is one of the oldest Iranian cities in the earth, which was also considered by the rulers during the Achaemenid period due to its location in the strategic region.

The Qanats of Gonabad, which some attribute to Bahman (Esfandiyar’s son) , are indicative of the prosperity of the area in the ancient period. On the other hand, in the Shahnameh stories, Gonabad has been the epic battlefield of mythology.
This city was at the height of Islam, called “Janaabad”, to the era of Islamic civilization and has been based on the writings of historians and geographers and has been of particular importance. Many times in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, they refer to Gonabad or Janaabad and considered this place in the wars of Turan and Iran. According to Shahnameh, “Piran Vise” was Afrasiyab’s minister, and is now buried in Gonabad.

Among other things, the passage of Naser Khosrow from the mountainous part of Kakhk and the village of Kalat and the foothills of the Ghohestan mountains to Qaen mountains, which has many pistachio trees, has been mentioned in its travel report.

In the history of Hafez Ebro, Khorasan was divided into twelve provinces in the 8th and 9th centuries AH, Gonabad was the center of Ghohestan province.