1. The name of a small town in northern Fārs province, lying to the northeast of the chaîne magistrale of the Zagros at an altitude of 2,011 m/6,200 ft in 52°40 ′ east longitude and 31°11 ′ north latitude. It is on the easterly (formally the winter, now the all-weather) main Isfahan-Shiraz highway, 204 km from the former and 280 km from the latter city. A branch road from the highway, leaving it at Abarqūh, connects Ābāda with Yazd. In earlier times, the town was sometimes called Ābāda-ye Eqlīd to distinguish it from the more southerly Ābāda-ye Ṭašk (see 2, below); in the Ḥodūd al-ʿālam (tr. Minorsky, p. 129; cf. p. 380) Eqlīd is described as a town in the mountain zone and is called Kelīd (perhaps from kelīd, “key,” implying that the town was the key to Fārs by the route approaching it from the north). In the early 6th/12th century, Ebn al-Balḵī, followed two centuries later by Ḥamdallāh Mostawfī, mentions that Ābāda-ye Eqlīd and other places of the district belonged to the sardsīr or cold regions of Persia and that cereals were grown there but not fruit (Ebn al-Balḵī, p. 123, and tr. in JRAS 1912, pp. 21-22; Mostawfī, Nozhat al-qolūb, text, p. 125, tr., p. 123).

Ābāda has played virtually no part on the wider stage of Persian history. When the English scholar E. G. Browne passed through it in 1888, he was impressed by the pleasant orchards and gardens; it serverd as a telegraph station and had a significant community of Bahaʾis (A Year Amongst the Persians, Cambridge, 1926, pp. 253-54). At present the town forms the northernmost district (šahrestān) of Fārs. The province of Isfahan lies to the north; that of Yazd is on the north and east. Shiraz district is to the south and the west, and Behbehān district also lies to the west. The territory of Ābāda is drained by the rivers of Īzadḵᵛāst, Šādkām, Kor, and Bavvānāt. In the 1345 Š./1966 census, the district had a population of 137,941 (mostly sedentary). The people are largely Shiʿite and Persian-speaking, but some speakers of Lorī and Turkish are found on the fringes of the Baḵtīārī country. The population of the town itself was 15,888 in 1966 and 23,383 in 1355 Š./1976. The district also includes the towns of Eqlīd, Abarqūh, and Ṣoḡād. Local agricultural products (cultivated largely by means of qanāt irrigation) include wheat, oats, cotton, sesame, castor oil, leeks, and fruits and nuts. Notable handicrafts are woodcarving and carpet and rug weaving.


See also Fasāʾī, Fārsnāma, p. 168.

Le Strange, Lands, pp. 282, 284.

Kayhān, Joḡrāfīā II, p. 223.

Razmārā, Farhang VII, p. 2.


2. A medieval town near the northern shore of Lake Baḵtegān in Fārs (thus to the south of Ābāda-ye Eqlīd). It was also known as Qarya ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān in medieval times and subsequently as Ābāda-ye Ṭašk. Situated on the Eṣṭaḵr-Sīrǰan summer road, it was of considerable importance in the early Islamic period. The Ḥodūd al-ʿālam describes it as a caravan stage in the general region between Eṣṭaḵr and Kermān (tr. Minorsky, p. 129). According to the medieval geographers, it had a strong citadel and fine houses, with large cisterns for storing an intermittent water supply. Grain and grapes were grown, and Mostafwī recorded its revenue as 25,000 dinars (Nozhat al-qolūb, text, p. 123, tr., p. 121).


See also Ebn al-Balḵī, p. 129; tr. in JRAS 1912, p. 30.

Fasāʾī, Fārsnāma, p. 170. Le Strange, Lands, p. 279. Schwarz, Iran, p. 23.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 13, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 1, p. 51

Cite this entry:

C. E. Bosworth, “ĀBĀDA,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, I/1, p. 51, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abada.