ĀẔARŠAHR (or DEHḴᵛĀRAQĀN; in the local Azeri Turkish: Toḵargān), a town and a district (baḵš) of the šahrestān of Tabrīz, bounded on the north and east by the district of Oskū, on the south by the sub-district (dehestān) of Sarājū, and on the west by Lake Urmia (Razmārā, Farhang IV, p. 226). The old name Dehḵᵛāraqān was changed to Āẕaršahr in the early Pahlavi period, only to be officially reinstated later (M. J. Maškūr, Naẓar-ī be tārīḵ-e Āḏarbāyjān, Tehran, 1349 Š./1971, p. 27). It comprises four sub-districts with forty-eight villages: Āẕaršahr (19 villages, 1,787 households, 10,229 inhabitants), Šīrāmīn (9 villages, 1,336 households, 7,139 inhabitants), Gāvgān (19 villages, 2,188 households, 12,042 inhabitants), and Mamaqān (1 village, 1,427 households, 7,290 inhabitants) (ibid., pp. 434, 509, 519). The eastern part of the Āẕaršahr district is mountainous, reaching up to the slopes of Sahand-kūh (3,722 m/12,211 ft), and enjoys a salubrious climate. The western part is flat land extending along the eastern shore of Lake Urmia, where the summers tend to be hot. Irrigation for the district’s numerous farms and gardens is provided by the Dehḵᵛāraqān and Īška (Bārīk) rivers, as well as underground channels (qanāts), natural springs, and deep wells.
The administrative center of the district is the town of Āẕaršahr, situated at 45° 85’ 39" east longitude and 37° 46’ 15" north latitude at an elevation of 1,468 m/4,816 ft above sea level. It stands on the main highway from Tabrīz to Marāḡa, lying some 54 km southwest of Tabrīz. According to the 1345 Š./1966 census (Ḵoṣūṣīyat-e asāsī-e šahrhā-ye Īrān, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971), the population of the town numbers 15,318 persons, the majority of whom are engaged in agriculture and small businesses.
Āẕaršahr is an old town, referred to by early sources as Dāḵarraqān (Ṭabarī, III, p. 1380; Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 181, 190, 194; Ebn Ḥawqal, pp. 333, 336, 345; tr. Kramers, pp. 326, 329, 339; Ebn Ḵordāḏbeh, p. 120; Moqaddasī, pp. 51, 374), Ḵarraqān (Moqaddasī, p. 383), and Deh al-Ḵarraqān (Qodāma b. Jaʿfar, BGA, p. 213). Both Ḥodūd al-ʿālam (tr. Minorsky, p. 143) and Moqaddasī (p. 374) mention it as a part of Armenia although it lay only two stages from Marāḡa and only nine leagues to the southwest of Tabrīz, both of them historically and geographically parts of Azerbaijan. Yāqūt (II, p. 636) calls it Deh-Naḵīrjān and derives the name from that of Naḵīrjān, the treasurer of Ḵosrow (II?). Ḥamdallāh Mostawfī (mid-8th/14th century), who calls it Dehḵᵛāraqān (Dehḵᵛārakān in Rašīd-al-dīn Fażlallah’s Tārīḵ-emobārak-e Ḡāzānī, ed. K. Yahn, London, 1940, p. 94), refers to it as a small town with eight dependent villages and speaks of the abundance of its gardens and grape-arbors, and extols the excellent grains, cotton, and fruits produced there. The people of Āẕaršahr were fair-complexioned and belonged to the Shafiʿite sect of Sunni Islam; its total revenue assessment was 23,600 dinars (Nozhat al-qolūb, p. 86).
The district of Āẕaršahr contains a number of monuments and sites of historical interest, the most important being Tappa-ye Pīr-e Qaṭrān, Tappa-ye Moṣallā, the cemetery of Pīr-e Ḥayrān, the Čārsū and Rūmīān mosques, the Meḥrāb mosque of Āẕaršahr, the ancient cave and burial sites at Bādāmyār and Tūrāmīn, the mosque of Tūrāmīn, the Awlīāʾ mausoleum in the village of Qāżī Jahān, the mausoleum of Pīr-e Jāber, etc. (ʿA. ʿA. Kārang, Āṯār-e tārīḵī-e šahrestān-e Tabrīz I, Tabrīz, 1351 Š./1972, pp. 470-514).
See also Le Strange, Lands, p. 164.
Kayhān, Joḡrāfīā I, p. 80; II, p. 155; III, pp. 119, 156, 157.
Markwart, Ērānšahr, p. 24.
(ʿA. ʿA. Kārang)
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
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Vol. III, Fasc. 2, pp. 190-191