Gorgan or Jurjan, town (1991 pop. 162,468), N Iran, E of the Caspian Sea. The surrounding region yields abundant grain and has extensive forests and marshes. Items of trade include carpets. The surrounding area, the ancient Hyrcania, was captured by the Arabs (716) and conquered by the Mongols (13th cent.). Aga Muhammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty, was born there, and the town flourished (c.1800) with the rise of the dynasty. It was formerly called Astrabad or Asterabad.

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, Hyrcani or Hyrcana 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

Contemporary figures

Historical figures

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).


External links

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