CountryIran Population274,438 (2006) Area1,700 km2
Colleges and UniversitiesGorgan University, Islamic Azad University of Gorgan
Gorgan (Persian: ?, also Romanized as Gorgan and Gurgan; Caspian: Wergen; formerly, Esterabad or Astarabad (Persian: ?, also Romanized as Asterabad), is the capital of Golestan Province, Iran. It lies approximately 400 km (250 mi) to the north east of Tehran, some 30 km (19 mi) away from the Caspian Sea. In the 2006 census, its population was 269,226, in 73,702 families.
Some 150 km (93 mi) east of Gorgan is the Golestan National Park. The city has a regional airport and several universities. Gorgan Airport was opened in September 2005.
Geography and climate
The wide Dasht-e Gorgan (Plains of Gorgan) are located north of the city and geographically bounded by 37°00 - 37°30 north latitude and 54°00 - 54°30 east longitude, covering an area of about 1,700 square kilometres (660 sq mi).
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 °C (64.8 °F) and the annual rainfall is 600 millimetres (24 in).
The name Hyrcania is the ancient Greek equivalent of the local name in Old Persian, Varkana. The Sanskrit word for "wolf", Vrka (???) may be a cognate. The capital of Hyrcania was Zadracarta, the largest city and site of the "royal palace" of Hyrcania.According to Arrian, this was the largest city of Hyrcania. The term signifies, " the yellow city "; and it was given to it from the great number of oranges, lemons, and other fruit trees which grew in the outskirts of that city. At the time of the Sassanids,Gorgan appeared as the name of a city, province capital, and province.
Hyrcania became part of the Persian empire during the reign of Cyrus the Great (559-530 BC) - the first emperor of the first Persian imperial dynasty, the Achaemenids - or his successor Cambyses (530-522 BC). It maintained its independence as a Zoroastrian state even after Persia was conquered by Arabs in 8th century and by Mongols in the 13th century.
Gorgan (as well as the whole Golestan province) has a world-famous carpet and rug industry, made by Turkmen. The patterns of these carpets are derived from the ancient Persian city of Bukhara, which is now in Uzbekistan. Jajim carpets are also crafted in this province.