GOLPĀYAGĀN (or GOLPĀYEGĀN), a šahrestān (county) and town located in Isfahan province, bordered on the east by the county of Barḵᵛār and Meyma, on the south by Ḵᵛānsār county, on the north by the counties of Maḥallāt and Ḵomeyn (Central province), and on the west by Aligudarz county (province of Lorestān). It comprises three rural districts and two towns, namely, Guged and Golpāyagān (Wezārat-e kešvar, p. 7; Markaz-e āmār-e Irān, 1370a). In 1991 the county had a population of 79,686 people, of whom 45,756 lived in urban areas (Markaz-e āmār ,1993, p. 10).
The most important river of the region—the Golpāyagān or Qebla River—runs through the county, irrigating Ḵomeyn, Delijān, and Maḥallāt, before eventually emptying into the Gāvḵuni salt swamp near Isfahan. A dam 57 m high has been constructed on this river at Aḵteḵᵛān, located 18 km from Golpāyagān (Wezārat-e defāʿ, p. 214; Razmārā, Farhang VI ,pp. 316-17). Irrigation in the area is by qanāt ,well, and spring waters. Agricultural products include wheat, barley, sugar beet, cotton, grains, and various kinds of fruits. Animal husbandry is also practiced. The region has stands of mountain-almond, wild fig, and barberry, as well as wild thyme, London rocket seed (ḵākši), milk-vetch, bugloss, and gum-tragacanth plants. The wolf, fox, jackal, and rabbit are among the wild animals found in the surrounding areas. There are also gold, silver, and gypsum deposits. (Wezārat-e defāʿ, pp. 215-16; Wezārat-e maʿāden wa felezzāt, pp. 36, 55).
Handicrafts include carpet-weaving, giva (cotton-shoe ;q.v.) production, and wood-carving (Wezārat-e jehād -esāzandagi, p. 255; Razmārā, Farhang VI ,pp. 316-17).
Several historical monuments are located in this county: a congregational mosque (jāmeʿ); a minaret from the Saljuq period; the shrine of Emāmzāda Abu’l-Fotuḥ, a descendant of Imam Musā al-Kāẓem from the 10th/16th century; the Sarāvar mosque from the 9th-10th/15th-16th centuries; the shrine of Emāmzāda Sayyed Sādāt from the 8th/14th century; and theHafdah Tan shrine from the 11th/17th century (Meškāti, pp. 64-67; Rafiʿi Mehrābādi, pp. 895-96, 898-901).
The town of Golpāyagān, at an altitude of 1,825 m, is located 187 km northwest of Isfahan and 101 km southeast of Arāk (q.v.). It had a population of 38,563 in 1991. Its temperature fluctuates between +37° and -10° Celsius. Its average annual rainfall is 300 mm (Wezārat-e defāʿ, pp. 218-19; Wezārat-e rāh wa tarābari, pp. 119-20).
Historically, the name of the town has been recorded as Karbāyagān (Eṣṭaḵri, p. 198, n. c); Jarbāḏaqān (Moqaddasi, p. 402); Darbāyagān (Abu’l-Fedā, Taqwim, p. 419); and Golbādagān (Nozhat al-qolub, ed. Le Strange, p. 68). According to Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi (p. 95) and Qāżi Aḥmad Ḡaffāri (p. 30), the town of Golpāyagān was built by the daughter of Bahman (q.v.), Samra, also known as Homāy. The county’s rural areas were devastated in the earthquake of 715/1316 (Ambraseys and Melville, tr., p. 147). According to Mostawfi (Nozhat al-qolub, ed. Le Strange, p. 68), in 740/1339-40 Golpāyagān had some fifty villages, yielding the annual revenue of 42,000 dinars to the state. In 1237/1821-22, Golpāyagān had some 2,000 households (Širvāni, p. 707). According to Eugène Aubin (tr. p. 321), its population in 1324-25/1906-7 was 12,000 to 15,000.
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Originally Published: December 15, 2001
Last Updated: February 14, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 1, pp. 97-98