|• Governor of Gorgan|
|• Total||1,700 km (656 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,350 m (4,429 ft)|
|• Density||158.4/km (410.4/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||IDST (UTC+4:30)|
|Gorgan at GEOnet Names Server|
Gorgan (Persian: گرگان, also Romanized as Gorgān and Gūrgān; Caspian: Vergen; formerly, Astarabad (Persian: اَستِر آباد, also Romanized as Asterābād), is the capital of Golestan Province, Iran. It lies approximately 400 km (250 mi) to the north east of Tehran, some 30 km (19 mi) away from the Caspian Sea. At the 2006 census, its population was 269,226, in 73,702 families.
Some 150 km (93 mi) east of Gorgan is the . The city has a regional airport and several universities. Gorgan Airport was opened in September 2005.
The city was named Hyrcania, Hyrcani or Hyrcana in ancient Greek records, which comes from Pahlavi Varkâna -- "Land of the Wolves". Although modern Gorgan is only a city and county (sharing the same name), ancient Hyrcania was the name of a greater region on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea (encompassing all of the present day Golestan province, as well as some eastern parts of the Mazandaran province, and some southern parts of the present day Republic of Turkmenistan). In modern times and until 1937 the city used to be known as Astarabad.
Geography and climate
Gorgan (as well as the whole Golestan province) has a world-famous carpet and rug industry, made by Turkmen. The patterns of these carpets are derived from the ancient Persian city of Bukhara, which is now in Uzbekistan. Jajim carpets are also crafted in this province.
Colleges and universities
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