In the Avesta, reference is made to seven karshvar (karšvrə < Modern Persian keshvar), climes or zones, organizing the world map into a seven-storied ziggurat representing the cosmic mountain. The world is referred to as the haft keshvar. The word has also been translated as "region", "state" or "continent".
The Avesta describes the karshvar as superimposed concentric circles one above the other, with increasing size. These are separated by waters, mountains or forests.
The story of the creation of these seven regions is told in Bundahishn when "rain first fell upon the earth". Man lives in the karshvar Hvaniratha. Hvaniratha is believed to be "central one" and whose size was as large as all others together.The karshvar Hvaniratha is where "peak of Hara" (Alburz) had "grown from the roots of Elburz mountains".
Sufi traditions postulate an eighth clime, the "heavenly Earth" or "cosmic North".
In Theosophy, according to H. P. Blavatsky (The Devil's Own, 1891), Ahura is interpreted as a generic name for the sevenfold Deity, the Ruler of the Seven Worlds, and Hvaniratha is the middle plane (the fourth of seven), corresponding to Earth.
- Warner, Marina; Fernández-Armesto, Felipe (2004). World of myths. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70607-3. p.95.
- Boyce, M. (1984). Textual sources for the study of Zoroastrianism. Manchester University Press ND. ISBN 0-7190-1064-0. p. 11.
- W. Eilers (1985). "Alborz i. the name Alborz". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Vol. 1. "The Harā appears in Yt. 15.7 in the image of a fortress “held together by iron clamps.” At what point the name of this mythic primeval range came to be applied to the mountains we nowadays know as Alborz is an open question. To begin with, any huge chain of mountains was probably given the name “Alborz.” In the work of Ḥamdallāh Mostawfī (8th/14th century) the name is already established. The highest (volcanic) peak of the Caucasus is also called (with a sound metathesis) Elbrus (5,600 m., the same height as Damāvand). An obviously secondary derivation is found in the mountain name Alborz, near the village Pāznūya (from pā-zīnūya “at the foot of the pass”) in Jahrom, Fārs"