KABIR-KUH, one of the long ranges of the Zagros mountains, lying between Iran’s two western provinces of Loristan and Ilām. Covering an area of 9,500 km², Kabir-kuh stretches 175 km in length and between 45-80 km in width (Jaʿfari, III, p. 978). Like all of Iran’s southwestern mountains, Kabir-kuh extends from northwest to southeast, with its western slopes decreasing in altitude as it stretches westwards to the Mesopotamian lowlands (Petrov, p. 157). The Kabir-kuh range consists of a large number of mountains, including Siāh-kuh, Dinār-kuh, Samand, Anārān, Sar-meydān, Kamar-sefid, and Bivara. Its highest peak is 2,790 m, 18 km to the west of the village Arkwāz (Jaʿfari, I, p. 422; III, p. 978). Kabir-kuh, which runs parallel to the right bank of the Saymara river, which becomes Karḵe when joined with the Kaškān river some distance before reaching the province of Khuzestan, divides the mountainous region in western Iran into two regions generally referred to as Piš-kuh and Pošt-kuh, the latter virtually coinciding with Ilām (Jaʿfari, III, p. 254). The Saymara river runs along Kabir-kuh from Sirvān to Qalʿa Reżā. The mountain is the source of numerous rivers, none of which reaches the Tigris in Iraq, including the Čangula, Ābfarāvard, Gurāb, Talḵāb, Tāšmurt, Ābhaliva, Ābdānān, Doyrej, and many others.

The sandstone and limestone formations of the Kabir-kuh include occurrences of marble and deposits of minerals such as coal and copper. There are a number of caves in Kabir-kuh, the most notable of them being the ʿAmāra cave (Maʿrefat, p. 231). A large number of villages and towns are located along the slopes of Kabir-kuh, the most important of them being: Sar-kuh, Pir Moḥammad, Timā, ʿAliābād, Čamkabud, Gurān, Kušk, Bahrām-ḵāni and Ganja, all situated on the eastern and northeastern slopes. The annual precipitation rate is 500-800 mm in the northern heights of Kabir-kuh, to the east of the city of Marivān; about 300 mm in central parts; and 200-300 mm in southern parts. The mean annual temperature ranges from 10 to 15̊ in the northern areas, and between 15 and 25̊ in the central and southern parts (Keyhān, I, p. 75; Jaʿfari, I, p. 422, 424; II, p. 391; III, p. 978; for a map of part of the region, see ILAM i. GEOGRAPHY; for that of Kabir-kuh, see Jaʿfari, I, p. 422).



ʿAbbās Jaʿfari, Gitāšenāsi-e irān, 3 vols., I, Kuhhā-ye Irān; II, Rudhā va rud-nāma-ye Irān; III, Dāʾerat-al-maʾāref-e joḡrāfiāʾi-e Irān, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1999-2005.

Masʿud Keyhān, Joḡrāfiā-ye mofaṣṣal-e Irān, 3 vols., Tehran, 1931.

Aḥmad Maʿrefat, Kuhhā va ḡārhā-ye Irān, Tehran, 1973.

Mikhail Platonovich Petrov, Mošaḵḵaṣāt-e joḡrāfiā-ye Irān (fiziko-geograficheskiĭ ocherk), tr. Ḥosayn Golgolāb, Tehran, 1957.

(Majdodin Keyvani)

Originally Published: September 15, 2009

Last Updated: April 19, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 3, pp. 273-274