Mashhad (Persian: مشهد from Arabic: مشهد Mashhad English: The Place of Martyrdom) is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located 850 kilometres (530 mi) east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. It was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv in the East.
Now Mashhad is notably known as the resting place of the Imam Reza. A shrine was later built there to commemorate the Imam, which in turn gave rise to increasing demographic development.
Mashhad is also known as the city of Ferdowsi, the Iranian poet of Shahnameh, which is considered to be the national epic of Iran.