The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Map showing Mazandaran in Iran

Mazandaran (مازندران in Persian) is a province in northern Iran, bordering the Caspian Sea in the north. Mazandaran or Mazenderan was a part of the Persian province of Hyrcania.

The name is from Old Persian "mahs Indra" (Great/Big Indra, a vedic god).



Mazandaran changed hands often early in its history (Russia...) and was incorporated into the Persian Empire by Shah Abbas I in 1596. It was formerly a part of the greater province of Taparestan or Tabaristan. Two famous 9th-century Persian scholars from Tabaristan, were both commonly called "al-Tabari" (simply "from Tabaristan"). For two hundred years, Tabaristan maintained an existence independent of the Umayyad Caliphate which supplanted the Persian Empire in the early seventh century, but was temporarily absorbed into the Abbasid Caliphate until a separate state in the same territory broke loose as the Alid Emirate, under a descendant of Ali, and protected by the neighbouring Saffarid Emirate to the southeast. A similarly-situated state arose as the Ziyarid Emirate a century later.


Sari is the capital; other cities include Babol, Amol. Gorgan also used to be a part of Mazandaran until recently, but now it is the capital city of the new Iranian province of Golestan (1997).

It is traversed by the Alborz Mountains, which run parallel to the Caspian Sea and divide the province into many isolated valleys.


Rice, grain, fruits, cotton, tea, tobacco, sugarcane, and silk are produced in the lowland strip along the Caspian shore. Oil wealth has stimulated industries in food processing, cement, textiles, cotton, and fishing (caviar).


Mazanderani or Tabari is by some considered a language in its own right, by others subsumed among the many regional dialects of Persian. Mazandarani belongs to the northwestern branch of the Iranian languages.

External links

Last updated: 05-10-2005 12:25:51
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04