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The record is made up of 1 volume (349 folios). It was created in 1914. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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employed in watching the distant fields; in winter a small thatched cabin
on the outskirts of some village shelters them and their families. They
rarely marry Persian women, but their women, if pretty, are occasionally
taken by Persians. From their appearance and costume there can be
but litle doubt of their Indian origin. Captain Napier was unable to trace
any traditions amongst them of their origin. They speak the Mazandarani
dialect. From its situation Ashraf should be unhealthy; it is enclosed in
a hollow of the mountains formed by a projecting spur on which stands the
castle of Safiabad. Fever, however, is not more prevalent than in the other
towns of the province. Cholera appears frequently, and is much dreaded.
During the last thirty years the town has experienced a revival, owing to trade
which has sprung up with Russia.
The famous garden of the Chehil Situn (forty pillars), constructed by
Shah ’Abbas at the close of the sixteenth century is now entirely neglect
ed, the building, fountains, and raised stone terraces being in ruins. Its
natural beauties are perhaps unequalled. The building of the place and the
laying out of the gardens by ’Abbas I. was begun in 1612, and completed in
1627, it was destroyed by Afghans in 1723, rebuilt by Nadir Shah in 1731,
but was again in ruins in 1743. It is backed by lofty wooded spurs ; to the
north is a fine view over the blue bay of Ashurada. Several springs rising
under the hill-slope flow through it. The Cyprus trees are of gigantic growth,
and several of them are covered with massive wreaths of wild vine, orange
and citron trees grow in wild luxuriance; their fruit is left to fall and literally
covers the ground, as every h >use in the town is provided with its own
gardens or groups of orange trees. The old palace of Safiabad built by
Shah Safi (1628-1642) for one of his daughters, has been replaced by a new
building in the European style, with fine rooms. It is decorated outside
without taste in the Persian style, but commands a fine view of the bay
and plain. It is already, even before completion, falling to ruin. Though
now of little note, Ashraf should, some day, be the centre of one of the
most important agricultural districts in Persia. There is a Persian Govern
ment telegraph oifice here.— (Khanikoff; Pushchin; Napier; Schindler, 1910.)
A village of 15 houses, 14J miles west of Kazvln on the road to Zinjan
via Girishkin.— (Schindler .)
A village, 10 miles east of Damghan, to the right of the road to Shah-
rud.— (Schindler.)
A palace and garden | mile north of Tehran.— (Schindler.)
A division of the Sufi sect.— (Malcolm.)
A village of 15 houses about 69 miles from Kirmanshah, on the Tabriz
road.— (Napier.)

About this item


The item is Volume II of the four-volume Gazetteer of Persia (1914 edition).

The volume comprises the north-western portion of Persia, bounded on the west by the Turco-Persian frontier; on the north by the Russo-Persian frontier and Caspian Sea; on the east by a line joining Barfarush, Damghan, and Yazd; and on the south by a line joining Yazd, Isfahan, and Khanikin.

The gazetteer includes entries on human settlements (towns, villages, provinces, and districts); communications (roads, bridges, halting places, caravan camping places, springs, and cisterns); tribes and religious sects; and physical features (rivers, streams, valleys, mountains and passes). Entries include information on history, geography, climate, population, ethnography, resources, trade, and agriculture.

Information sources are provided at the end of each gazetteer entry, in the form of an author or source’s surname, italicised and bracketed.

A Note (folio 4) makes reference to a map at the end of the volume; this is not present, but an identical map may be found in IOR/L/MIL/17/15/4/1 (folio 636) and IOR/L/MIL/17/15/4/2 (folio 491).

Printed at the Government of India Monotype Press, Simla, 1914.

Extent and format
1 volume (349 folios)

The volume contains a list of authorities (folio 6) and a glossary (folios 343-349).

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at inside back cover with 351; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. Pagination: the volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'GAZETTEER OF PERSIA. VOLUME II' [‎31v] (67/706), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/3/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 10 December 2019]

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