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The record is made up of 1 volume (396 folios). It was created in 1910. 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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and receive a nominal pay of £1 a year. A rough approximation of the
population of the province is given by Mr. Holmes, who visited it in 1843,
at 83,000.
The dress of the people of Astarabad is the same as that of the Mazandar-
anls, and most of them speak both Persian and Turkish. Besides the
native peasantry, there are about 100 families from Kara Pagh settled here
and called Maqsudlis, and from 100 to 120 families of Baluchis. Of the
Kajar tribe, there are now only about 500 families—400 in the town and
100 among the villages ; the rest are scattered all over Persia, with the
various governors of provinces who have been chosen from this tribe.
The climate of Astarabad is unwholesome, being excessively hot in sum
mer and damp and often cold in winter. The people have a pale and
haggard appearance ; and such a thing as a rosy cheek is not to be seen in
the province. The roads of the province are partly good, partly swampy
and difficult. Astarabad possesses many torrents, which in the autumn
become either dry or mere rivulets, but can boast of only one river—the
Kara Su. The Gurgan and the Atrak are in a territory in a measure
subject to Persia and under the government of this province, but can hardly
be said to belong to it geographically. There are fine sturgeon fisheries
at the mouths of all these streams, and also in the Bay of Astarabad.
The agricultural products of Astarabad are rice,* barley, wheat, cotton,
and sesame. Several kinds of “ kirbas,” a native manufacture of cotton,
are made, and a considerable quantity of soap. The mountainous districts
are rich in mineral products, especially iron ; coal is found in Shahkuh,
but the people do not understand how to work it properly.
The Russian trade with the Astarabad province is not very considerable.
Of the articles exported to Russia, the chief are cotton, walnut-wood, tim
ber, and sesamum oil; the two former are conveyed by ship to several
ports on the Caspian and to Astrakhan, whence they are taken up the Volga.
The Persian walnut is not of special value, and is subject to become worm-
eaten. Sesamum oil is exported to Astrakhan/, but it does not go beyond
this town, as it commands but little sale in Russia. The Turkomans sell
small quantities of carpets, fine felt, swan’s down, etc. The principal
imports from Russia are iron, copper, and porcelain utensils, samavars (tea-
urns), cast-iron articles, candles, sugar, etc. From Baku come kerosine and
salt, and from Chilikan Island naphtha and salt. Tea from India.
It is difficult to estimate the resources of the province with reference to
its capability for the support of a body of troops, as taxes are not here
levied on the produce as in other parts of Persia. The land tenure in this
Government is thus regulated : for rice lands, 5| kharudrs per qismat,
considered as rent, is paid to the landlord, be he a private individual or, as
in the case of khdlisa lands, the Shah. This rent amounts to 1J tons of
rice for 2'04 acres under rice cultivation. Khushk-i-ZuTat, that is, barley,
wheat, etc., pay as rent one-tenth part of the produce.
The saifi crops, that is, oil-seeds, cotton, lentils, and garden produce, pay
one-eighth of the produce.
* The crown lands in the Astarabad district yield 12,000 kharwars of rice per
n nnum, and the value of this is credited to the Government Treasury at the fixed rata
of 2 turmns per Astarabad kharwar (585lhs.).— [G. E. Y ate, 189k )

About this item


The item is Volume I of the four-volume Gazetteer of Persia (1910 edition).

The volume covers the provinces of Astarabad, Shahrud-Bustam, and Khorasan, or such part of them as lies within the following boundaries: on the north the Russo-Persian boundary; on the east the Perso-Afghan boundary; on the south and south-west, a line drawn from the Afghan boundary west through Gazik to Birjand, and the road from Birjand to Kirman, and from Kirman to Yazd; and on the west the road from Yazd to Damghan and thence to Ashraf.

The gazetteer includes entries on villages, towns, administrative divisions, districts, provinces, tribes, halting-places, religious sects, mountains, hills, streams, rivers, springs, wells, dams, passes, islands and bays. The entries provide details of latitude, longitude, and elevation for some places, and information on history, communications, agriculture, produce, population, health, water supply, topography, military intelligence, coastal features, ethnography, trade, economy, administration and political matters.

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

The volume contains an index map (from a later edition of the Gazetteer of Persia ), dated January 1917, on folio 397.

The volume also contains a glossary (folios 393-394); and note on weights and measures (folios 394v-395).

Prepared by the General Staff Headquarters, India.

Printed at the Government Monotype Press, India.

Extent and format
1 volume (396 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 398; 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 file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'GAZETTEER OF PERSIA. VOLUME I' [‎27v] (59/820), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/2/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 11 November 2019]

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