BORŪJERD (or Barūjerd), town and šahrestān in the province of Lorestān in western Iran. Situated along the highway between Tehran and the oil province of Ḵūzestān and located halfway between Hamadān and Kermānšāh (now Bāḵtarān), Borūjerd has always been a road and railway junction of great strategic importance.
Little is known about the origins and the early development of Borūjerd, which is mentioned in Saljuq times. The great mosque dates from the Mongol period. The town became an important military center in the 12th/18th century and, together with the newly founded towns of Arāk and Malāyer (formerly Dawlatābād), was turned into a large garrison by the Qajar rulers during their drive to appease the western provinces, especially the nomadic Lor. The population of Borūjerd at the end of the 13th/19th century is reported to have been about 22,000 inhabitants. In recent years it has grown to more than 100,000 (101,345 in 1976).
Borūjerd was originally laid out in four quarters and was furnished with two bāzārs, a number of mosques, and several madrasas and caravansaries. The city walls and moat have now disappeared, however, and the central parts of the old quarters have been reshaped. As the administrative center of šahrestān, Borūjerd has a garrison and is a center of trade and local industry, mostly devoted to processing the agricultural produce of the surrounding villages and districts.
The šahrestān of Borūjerd, which is situated on a high plateau on the eastern edge of the Zagros range, is a major agricultural area. It covers an area of only 2,641 km2 and has a rural population of 104,444 (1976); the average population density for the whole district (including Borūjerd and the town of Dorūd) amounts to 88.4 per km2. Owing to favorable topographic and climatic conditions, the plains are devoted to cultivation of grain. Wherever irrigation is possible (by means of qanāts, wells, diversion of water of streams), cotton, melons, grapes, and fruit trees (especially almonds) are grown. The hills of the šahrestān and the Zagros promontories are extensively used as pasture by both nomads and peasants. Production of wool forms the basis for carpet manufacturing, which is a typical cottage industry in many villages. The town of Borūjerd serves both as the local outlet for all kinds of rural produce and as the main service center for the rural hinterland.
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Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
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Vol. IV, Fasc. 4, pp. 375-376