Skip to item: of 504
Information about this record Back to top
Open in Universal viewer
Open in Mirador IIIF viewer

‘Gazetteer of Kermanshah.’ [‎122v] (249/504)

This item is part of

The record is made up of 1 volume (249 folios). It was created in 1907. 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.


This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.

Apply page layout

Mr. Presce in 1899* wrote:
neighbourhood is agriculture.
« The great industry o£ Kermanshah and it§
u 10 The people are chiefly employed in tilling
their fields. Wheat and barley used to be found in great abundance and
also extraordinarily cheap; as for instance, in 1875 wheat was at 8 krans
a kharvar (about 7s. a tout), but it went up to 25 krans (1£ s. .) a on
in 1885, and in 1897, when I was at Kermanshah, it was at^oO krans and
even then it was cheaper than elsewhere in Persia. The winter or 1
98 was a very dry one, and a general failure of the grain crop?, was t m
result, so that during the year there has been great scarcity, and m conse
quence, the price of grain rose to 125 krans a kharvar. r lhe total output
for the province, in a normal year, may be taken at 180,000 k bar vans
(80,000 tonsj), after supplying the needs of a population of about 850,000
Mr. H. J. Whigham, in his article of July 11, 1902, in the “ Morning
Post," tells us that Kermanshah has been peculiarly favoured by nature
in many ways. ...... It stands in the very centre of the
richest grain country of Persia, and, perhaps, of the whole East, for the
simple reason, that among the mountains of Kmrdistan, the winter snows
and spring rains are so plentifidj as to preclude in most years the necessity of
irrination, which is a sin6 qua non in most parts of Mesopotamia, and
Persia. At the same time, the mountains are not a hindrance to agiicuituie,
because they form well defined ridges, between which the valleys aie broad,
level and exceedingly fertile. Where nature has been so liberal, man has
done nothing to reap the benefit, and communications are so deficient in
Persia, that it is impossible to get an abundance of grain, even to the com
paratively local markets of Teheran on the one hand, and of Bagdad on the
other. When I was in Kermanshah, the prospects of the coming harvest
were so good, that wheat was actually selling for 8 krans a kharvar
and barley for 10 krams. A kran is at present worth about
and a kharvar is equal to 650 lbs. A simple calculation, therefore,
will show that the price of wheat was a little over 7d. per cwt., and of
barley just 9r/. per cwt. These figures are not unique, though they
are certainly unusually low. At the same time the prices in Bagdad, only
220 miles away, were six times as great. At Sultanabad I found already a
considerable difference, wheat fetching about 25. per cwt., while at
Teheran the price was multiplied twelve times, that is to say, wheat and
barley were standing at 12 tomans a kharvar (95. a cwt.).
“ Though Teheran is but 330 miles from Kermansbab, it cost at least twelve
times what the grain is worth on the spot,do transport it over that distance;
for which a railway freight could not be more than Id. a cwt., or the
equivalent of the local price, and might easily be a good deal less. It is
not difficult, therefore, to understand that during the great famine in
Teheran, when wheat had to be imported from Russia at enormous cost,
the grain was actually lying rotting in the fields of Kurdistan. To add
to the absurdity of the situation an embargo has been placed on the export
of cereals, so that up to last year the Kermanshah farmers might not send
* Diplomatic and Consular Report No. 2260, Isfahan and District, 1897-99.
t But in 1875 1£ was worth 27 krans, consequently, if 1£. = 27 krans, and8krans = l
kharvar, and 1 kharvar = 650 lbs. and 2,240 lbs. = l ton, 1 ton = l£. Os. 5d.
X 180,000 kharvars = 62,100 tons, not 80,000 tons. The unity of weight in Kcnnaushah i#
the Mann Tabrizi; consequently, 1 kharvar ** 649 lbs.

About this item


Gazetteer of the province of Kermanshah, Persia [Iran], compiled by Hyacinth Louis Rabino, Vice-Consul at Resht [Rasht] at the time of the gazetteer’s publication in 1907, and who had been Acting Consul at Kermanshah during 1904 and 1905. The gazetteer, which is marked for official use only, was issued by the Division of the Chief of the Staff of the Government of India, and published at the Government Central Printing Office, Simla [Shimla]. At the front of the volume is an introduction by Lieutenant-Colonel Wilfrid Malleson, Acting Quartermaster General for Intelligence, dated 22 March 1907, and a preface by the author, dated 24 June 1904, with notes on the transliteration system used (folios 4-5).

The gazetteer includes five appendices, numbered I to V, as follows:

  • appendix I, a translation from the French original of a description of the road from Kermanshah to Mendali [Mandalī], via Harunabad [Eslāmābād-e Gharb] and Gilan [Sarāb-e Gīlān], as recorded in a journal by Leon Leleux, Inspector General of Customs at Kermanshah;
  • II, a translation from the Persian original of a description of the villages in the immediate vicinity of the caravanserai of Mahidasht, written by the Mirza of Customs at Mahidasht;
  • III, a vocabulary of terms;
  • IV, a list of the principal roads from Baghdad to Teheran via Kermanshah, with distances given in miles and farsakhs;
  • V, a list of the notables of Kermanshah.

The gazetteer contains extensive extracts from a range of sources, including: an earlier, unspecified gazetteer, published in 1885; various works on Persia by British Government officials (including Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, the Viceroy of India George Nathaniel Curzon, Captain George Campbell Napier); published works by a number of scholars and explorers of Persia (notably Trevor Chichele Plowden, Jacques De Morgan, Henry James Whigham, and James Baillie Fraser); reports from other sources, including Leleux, and the Mirza of Customs at Mahidasht.

Some of the appendices’ pages appear to have been mixed up. Included among them are: a genealogical table of the princes of Kermanshah (f 239); and hierarchical tables listing the chiefs of the principal tribes of the province of Kermanshah (ff 244-245).

Extent and format
1 volume (249 folios)

The gazetteer’s entries are arranged alphabetically. An index at the front of the volume (folios 6-45) lists entries alphabetically, taking into account variations in the spelling of names. This index refers to the volume’s original pagination sequence.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 250; 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
View the complete information for this record

Use and share this item

Share this item
Cite this item in your research

‘Gazetteer of Kermanshah.’ [‎122v] (249/504), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/19, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 27 January 2020]

Link to this item
Embed this item

Copy and paste the code below into your web page where you would like to embed the image.

<meta charset="utf-8"><a href="">‘Gazetteer of Kermanshah.’ [&lrm;122v] (249/504)</a>
<a href="">
	<img src="!280,240/0/default.jpg" alt="" />
IIIF details

This record has a IIIF manifest available as follows. If you have a compatible viewer you can drag the icon to load it. in Universal viewerOpen in Mirador viewerMore options for embedding images

Use and reuse
Download this image