Gonabad city with an area of about 105801 Kms is located in 58°, 4l’01’E longitude and 34°, 21’10’N latitude. The neighboring cities are Torbat-e Heydarieh and Kashmar in the north, Ferdows and Bajestan in the west, Khaf and Roshtkhar in the east and Ghaen in the south. The average height of the city from the open sea level is 1105 meters. Its center, Gonabad, is 265 kilometers away from Mashhad (the center of Khorasan Razavi province) and according to the last divisions of the country; it has 3 districts called central, Kakhk and Beydokht - 7 rural districts and 224 residential villages.
The remaining evidence and relics such as hills and ancient yards show the prehistorically human establishment and social life in this area. Therefore, Gonabad is among the ancient Iranian cities which was cherished by the Achaemenid governors, for it was located at the intersection of strategic ways and roads. The subterranean canal of Gonabad which is attributed to Bahman, the son of Esfandyar who is the son of Lohrasb, by some people is a sign of flourishing condition in this area in the ancient periods. Also, Gonabad has been a battle field in the mythical dynasty in Shah-Nameh (Ferdowsi’s the greatest work) and some of its districts are mentioned in this epic. This town was formerly called Jonabad or Jenabad in early Islam; and according to the historians and geographers’ notes, it has enjoyed a special importance and honor.
The Qasabeh Qanat of Gonabad
The Qanat-e Qasabeh in Gonabad has attracted many historians and researchers as one of the wonderful man-made phenomena in the history and also as the symbol of the man and nature`s compatibility. The Qanat springs form the middle lands of eastern Gonabad, a place called “Borj Ali Zamen”, in sediments and it is formed of seven linked canals. According to the recent studies, the length of the Qanat is 33113 meters and the number of its wells is more than 470; and the depth of the mother well is about 280 to 300 meters. Naser Khosrow Ghobabadiani is the first one who described the Qanat in his travel account and mentioned its depth 700 meters and its length 24 kilometers and attributed it to KeyKhosrow.
Qasabeh ‘qanat’ (karez) one of the deepest wills ever to be dug by man. The 33-Km karez shines as the embodiment of the art and craft of the man in this land. This brilliant feat of historical importance requires the officials’ hands to be immediately come to global attention by being listed in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Program. The qanat is a heritage from the Aryan times which shines in this chapter of history in the Land of the Sun.
Gonabad Great Mosque
One of the valuable buildings of Kharazmshahiams period in Khorasan Province is Gonabad great mosque which is located in the eastern part of this town. The great mosque has two porticos with ornamental portals, courtyard, northern and southern porticos, porch and 3 columned Shabestan (part of a mosque designed for sleeping or nocturnal prayers).
The earthenware of Mend enjoys an ancient history and value among the crafts and handicrafts of Gonabad. The archeological studies suggest that the art was common in this area at least from 3000 years B.C. The various kinds of scattered earthenware in the ancient area and the civilization layers from the archeological searches prove this fact.
Soltan Mohammad Abed’s Tomb
This shrine is located 24 Kilometers away from southern Gonabad close to Kakhak town. According to the historical evidence, he is Imam Reza’s brother who entered Kborasan with his followers after Imam’s martyrdom to fight against enemies. He was finally killed by Abbasid soldiers in Kakhak district.
Gonabad museum is located on the eastern district next to the great Mosque. Eastern north dormitory is selected as the place of museum where one can find strong columns and many arcs and an altar decorated with plaster that belongs to Ghajar period. One of the specifications of museum is another historical altar that has been discovered during the archeological explorations. Also, this altar has plaster decoration and beautiful frieze belonging to Ilkhannid period.