The township of Behshahr is to the east of MAZANDARAN province and to the north of which is the Caspian Sea. This region experiences a temperate and humid climate with the city of Behshahr as its center, located 326 km. from Tehran. This city nestles in the northern skirts of the Alborz Mountains.
This territory was formerly known as Kharguran, and was erected under the orders of Shah Abbas. Thence known as Ashraf-ol-Belad. Shah Abbas was responsible for bringing a large number of Georgians to this territory in order to create a settlement. Thereby in this city, various tribes or clans such as , the Georgians, Talesh, Lankaran and Taat live. This region today besides the natural landscape has historical relics too.
In 1832 David Brewster wrote in The Edinburgh Encyclopædia that "Ashraff is celebrated as the favourite residence of Shah Abbas, and enjoys the only good harbour on the southern side of the Caspian".
Prior to the arrival of Shah Abbas I Ashraf was a village of no distinction. The location took the fancy of Abbas I who made it an imperial residence in 1613 and he commissioned the construction of a palace and gardens. The heyday of the town was from that time until the middle of the 18th century. At the time that Sir Thomas Herbert visited the palace in 1628 there were about 2,000 families living in the town that at that time contained at least 300 public bath houses. However the town was the scene of both internal disorder and external threats (it was repeatedly sacked by Turkomans), so although it was still a significant town in 1727 when the peace of concluded the Ottoman - Persian War (1722–1727), the town was gradually abandoned. Jonas Hanway visited the town in 1744 when it was in a state of decay, and by 1812 when Sir William Ouseley visited there the palace was in ruins. By 1860 Ashraf was no more than a large village of 845 houses with between eight and ten thousand inhabitants.
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