BORĀZJĀN, town and county (šahrestān) in modern Bushehr Province in southern Iran. Historically, it is part of of Fārs. The name may be derived from Borāza, the father of Mehr-Narseh, vizier (bozorj-farmaḏār) of Bahrām V (Ṭabarī, I, p. 866; Nöldeke, Geschichte der Perser, p. 106 n. 2).
The county is bordered in the north by the lands of the Līravī tribe and the Kūhgīlūya, in the south by Tangestān, in the west by the Angālī district and the Rūd-Ḥella, in the east by the districts of Kamārej, Dehlī, and Bonū which belong to the county of Kāzerūn (Farāšbandī, p. 11). It comprises the town of Borāzjān and eleven subdistricts (dehestān) with 131 villages and hamlets (Razmārā, Farhang VII, pp. 24-25). Its length, from the river of Fāryāb to the village of Zīārat, is given as ten farsaḵs (ca. 60 km) and its breadth, from Ḵašam Jatt to Bovayra, as six farsaḵs (ca. 6 km) by Fasāʾī (II, p. 206).
The county has a warm, humid climate. In summer the heat is sultry (šarjī) during the day but bearable at night. In winter the temperatures are moderate, seldom falling below 8°C. The rainfall is very low; it occurs in the form of short downpours from mid-autumn through the winter. Two unsubstantial rivers traverse the county: the Dālakī river, whose water is brackish, and the river of Šāpūr. The county’s water supplies are obtained from these two rivers and from two sets of qanāts and deep wells. The chief products of the local agriculture are dates and date syrup, various grains, and tobacco; those of the handicrafts which the people still pursue are ʿabās, felts, gelīms (short-napped rugs), mats and baskets of plaited palm-fronds, and earthenware pots. The people, mostly of local origin, speak Fārsī and are Shiʿite.
The town of Borāzjān lies at lat 29°17’ N, long 51°14’ E (Razmārā, VII, p. 25), southwest of Kāzerūn and northeast of Būšehr, in a relatively fertile expanse of plain 62 m above sea level. It owes most of its importance to its position on the Shiraz-Būšehr route. The distances by the old road are 67 km to Būšehr, 105 km to Kāzerūn, and 226 km to Shiraz (Farrāšbandī, 1336, p. 6). The construction of the new Shiraz-Būšehr highway (a remarkable feat of civil engineering, with many cuttings, tunnels, and bridges) and the modernization of the port of Būšehr in the early 1350s Š./1970s greatly increased the traffic and therewith Borāzjān’s importance.
The present town came into being in the late 12th/18th century. At the end of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s reign it had 750 houses and was the center for 19 populated villages. The town’s population rose to 9,866 in 1330 Š./1951 (Razmārā, VII, p. 25) and was returned as 20,307 in the census of Ābān, 1345 Š./November, 1966. According to the latest census, taken in 1365 Š./1986, the town’s population is now 64,144, and the total population of the county is 169,741 (information supplied by the Statistics Office of the governorate of Borāzjān).
The town is dominated by Mount Gīsakān at about two farsaḵs (12 km) to the east (Farrāšbandī, p. 30); not far from the shrine of Šāhzāda Ebrāhīm, about 14 km away, remains of an ancient town can be seen (Farrāšbandī, p. 225). In recent years excavators have found other remains in the immediate vicinity of the present town (Sarfaraz, pp. 22-25).
In the center of Borāzjān stands a castle-like caravanserai, built in 1288/1871-72 by Mošīr-al-Molk Šīrāzī at a cost of more than 40,000 tomans (Fasāʾī, II, p. 206). In the words of Forṣat-al-Dawla Šīrāzī (p. 366), “looking over it was like touring a city. It had two stories, and the rooms around the courtyard were built entirely of stone and plaster.” In the Pahlavi period this caravanserai, which local people call the dež (castle), was assigned to the police because of its position on one side of the town’s central square. The rooms around the courtyard were turned into prison cells and at times, mainly during the second half of Moḥammad-Reżā Shah Pahlavī’s reign, were used to house political prisoners (including Mahdī Bāzargān and Ayatollah Maḥmūd Ṭālaqānī).
Borāzjān, with its central location in the Būšehr-Daštestān region, has figured in history. In 1273/1857 the town was the scene of a battle between invading British and Indian troops and tribal levies from Daštī and Tangestān (Fasāʾī, I, pp. 316-18; Ḵormūjī, p. 204; Hedāyat, X, pp. 723, 728, 735-47; Waqāyeʿ-e ettefāqīya, p. 318; Polak, II, pp. 28-31, Pers. tr. pp. 284-89; Sykes, History of Persia II, p. 350). During World War I the German agent Wilhelm Wassmuss based his activities at Borāzjān (Farrāšbandī, 1359, pp. 113f.). Later the British and Indian troops built a light railway from Būšehr to Borāzjān, which was dismantled when they left in 1339/1921.
There are two villages by the name Borāzjān, in Fārs, one in the rural district of Bavānāt and one in the district of Arbaʿa, south of Fīrūzābād.
A.-M. Farrāšbandī, Tārīḵ o joḡrāfīā-ye Borāzjān, Shiraz, 1336 Š./1957.
Idem, Tārīḵča-ye ḥezb-e demūkrāt-e Fārs, Tehran, 1359 Š./1980.
Fasāʾī, pp. 172, 219.
Forṣat-al-Dawla Šīrāzī, Āṯār-e ʿAjam, litho., Bombay, 1354/1935, pp. 366-69.
M.-J. Ḵormūjī, Ḥaqāʾeq al-aḵbār-e nāṣerī, ed. Ḥ. Ḵadīvjam, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965, p. 204.
Waqāyeʿ-e ettefāqīya 318, Rabīʿ II, 1273/1857.
J. Polak, Persien, das Land und seine Bewohner, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1865; Pers. tr. K. Jahāndārī, Safar-nāma-ye Pūlāk, Tehran, 1361 Š./1972.
A. Sarfaraz, “Borazjan, Survey of Excavations,” Iran 11, 1973, pp. 188-89.
Idem, “Un pavillon de l’époque de Cyrus le Grand à Borazdjan,” Bastan Chenassi 7-8, 1971, pp. 22-25.
(ʿAlī-Akbar Saʿīdī Sīrjānī)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
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Vol. IV, Fasc. 4, pp. 367-368