Gorgan (Persian: گرگان, Caspian: Vergen) is the capital of the Golestan Province, Iran. It is approximately 400 km from Tehran. It had an estimated population of 241,177 in 2005.
Some 150km east of Gorgan is the Golestan National Park. The city has a regional airport and several universities. Gorgan International Airport was opened in September 2005.
The city was named Hyrcania
in ancient Greek
records, which comes from Pahlavi Varkâna
-- "Land of the Wolfs". Although modern Gorgan is only a city and county (sharing the same name), ancient Hyrcania was the name of a greater region on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea
(encompassing all of the present day Golestan province, as well as some eastern parts of the Mazandaran
province, and some southern parts of the present day Republic of Turkmenistan
). In modern times and until 1937 the city used to be known as Astarabad
Geography and climate
The wide Dasht-e-Gorgan (the Plains of Gorgan) are located north of the city of Gorgan and is geographically bounded by 37°00' - 37°30' north latitude and 54°00' - 54°30' east longitude and covers an area of about 1,700 square kilometres.
In general, Golestan has a moderate and humid climate known as "the moderate Caspian climate." The effective factors behind such a climate are: Alborz mountain range, direction of the mountains, height of the area, neighborhood to the sea, vegetation surface, local winds, altitude and weather fronts. As a result of the above factors, three different climates exist in the region: plain moderate, mountainous, and semi-arid. Gorgan valley has a semi-arid climate. The average annual temperature is 18.2 degrees Celsius and the annual rainfall is 556 mm.
The name "Hyrcania" is the ancient Greek
record of the local name in Old Persian name Varkâna
. At the time of Sasanids Gorgan appeared as the name of a city, province capital, and a province.
Hyrcania became part of the Persian empire during the reign of Cyrus the Great (559-530 BC) - the first emperor the first Persian empire dynasty - or Cambyses (530-522 BC). It was conquered by Arabs in 8th century and by Mongols in 13th century.
Gorgan (and in general, Golestan province), has a world famous carpet and rug industry, made by Turkmans. The patterns of these carpets are derived from the ancient Persian city of Boxârâ (Bukhara
)which is now located in the Central Asian Republic of Tajikestan. Jajim carpets are also crafted in this province.
Notables from Gorgan
- Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Musician.
- Hojjatollah Shakiba, Artist (painter).
- Ramezan Ali Rashidi or Dr. Ali Rashidi, (b. 1935) Economist, University Professor.
- Hossein Ali Heravi, (1918-1993), Hafezologist, Writer.
- Mahmood Akhavan-Mahdavi, Expert on Repairing & Correcting Persian Manuscripts; Writer & Researcher on Gorgan Contemporary History,
- Mohammad Mohammadi or Dr. Mohammad Mohammadi Gorgani, Human Rights Activist, Former Majles MP from Gorgan, University Professor.
- Mohammad Hossein Kabir or Hossein Kabir, (b. 1957) Human Rights, Political & Social Activist, Orator, Journalist, High School Teacher.
- Maryam Zandi, Photographer.
- Ali Reza Sookhtehsaraey, World Wrestling Champion.
- Abdonnasser Mohaimeni, (b. 1957), Freelance Journalist, Translator, Interpretor & Teacher of English Language.
- Rahmatollah Rajaee, journalist, writer, researcher and teacher of culture & history.
- Assadollah Maatoofi, (b. 1957) writer, researcher and teacher of culture & history.
- Abolfazl Tirandaz, (M.Sc. in Wood & Paper Industries), Researcher & Chief of Gorgan Technical & Vocational Training Center.
- Abbas Ali Zamani, (b. 1977) Chemist (PhD Candidate in Analytical Chemistry)
- Abdol Ghayoom Ebrahimi, (also may be written as Abdol Gh. Ebrahimi or Abdolqayyoom Ebrahimi), (b. 1932 Gorgan, Iran), holder of Doctorate in plant pathology, retired professor of Gorgan (Golestan) Agricultural & Natural Resources University, also founder of Gorgan Branch of Islamic Azad University.
- Fakhreddin Asaad Gorgani, or Fakhraddin Gorgani, poet & composer of great romance, Vis and Ramin.
- Gorgani, Zayn al-Din Isma‘il ibn, royal physician
- Gorgani, Abu Saeed, astronomer and mathematician
- Gorgani, Rustam, physician
- Masihi Gorgani, Avicenna's master
- Abd-al-Qaher Jorjani, Grammarian and literary theorist.
- Abu Solayk Gorgani, Poet.
- Fazlallah Astarabadi, founder of Hurufism
- Mirza Mehdi Khan Astarabadi, Nader Shah's Chief Minister
- Mir Damad
- Abolqassem Fendereski, or better khnown as Mirfendereski
- Other people from Gorgan ...
Colleges and universities
Governors General (Ostandars) of the Golestan Province
- Yahya Mahmoodzadeh is the current, (April 2008), governor general of Golestan province. He has been in office since April 2007 to present, i.e. April 2008.
Previous governors general
Other governors general of the province prior to Mr Y. Mahmoodzadeh, and since the foundation of the province (Feb. 1998), and in the order of taking office, have been as follows:
- 1- Seyyed Ebrahim Derazgissoo.
- 2- Ali Asghar Ahmadi.
- 3- Hadi Pazhoohesh-Jahromi (Acting Governor General for 5 months).
- 4- Mohammad Hashem Mohaymeni (or Mohaimeni).
- 5- Ali Mohammad Shaeri.
- 6- Reza Anjom-Shoaa (Acting Governor General for 4 months).