Alborz

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For other uses, see Alborz (disambiguation).
Mount Damavand, Iran's highest mountain is located in the Alborz mountain range.

Alborz (About this sound listen  Persian: البرز‎), also written as Alburz, Elburz or Elborz, is a mountain range in northern Iran stretching from the borders of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the northwest to the southern end of the Caspian Sea, and ending in the east at the borders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.[1] The highest mountain in West Asia, Mount Damavand, Amol, Mazandaran is located in the range.

The Alborz mountain range forms a barrier between the south Caspian and the Iranian plateau. It is only 60–130 km wide and consists of sedimentary series dating from Upper Devonian to Oligocene, prevalently Jurassic limestone over a granite core. Its higher elevations, in the Elburz Range forest steppe ecoregion, are arid with few trees, but its northern slopes, in the Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests ecoregion, are lush and forested.

Zoroastrians may identify the range with the dwelling place of the Peshyotan, and the Zoroastrian Ilm-e-Kshnoom sect identify Mount Davamand as the home of the Saheb-e-Dilan ('Masters of the Heart'). In his epic Shahnameh, the poet Ferdowsi speaks of the mountains "as though they lay in India."[2] This could reflect older usage, for numerous high peaks were given the name and some even reflect it to this day, for example, Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains, and Mount Elbariz (Albariz, Jebal Barez) in the Kerman area above the Strait of Hormuz. As recently as the 19th century, a peak in the northernmost range in the Hindu Kush system, just south of Balkh, was recorded as Mount Elburz in British army maps. All these names reflect the same Iranian language compound, and share an identification as the legendary mountain Harā Bərəzaitī of the Avesta.

Also due to its great snowy winters there are several ski resorts, some consider that a few of these are among the best in the world.[3] Some of most important ones are Dizin, Shemshak, Tochal, and Darband.

Etymology[edit]

Alborz Mountain range seen from Tehran

The name Elbrus is derived by metathesis from Alborz. The name Alborz is derived from that of Harā Barazaitī, a legendary mountain in the Avesta. Harā Barazaitī reflects Proto-Iranian *Harā Bṛzatī. *Bṛzatī is the feminine form of the adjective *bṛzant- "high", the ancestor of modern Persian boland (بلند) and Barz/Berazandeh, cognate with Sanskrit 'Brihat' (बृहत्). Harā may be interpreted as "watch" or "guard", from an Indo-European root *ser- "protect". In Middle Persian, Harā Barazaitī became Harborz, Modern Persian Alborz, which is cognate with Elbrus.[2]

Mounts, summits, alpine lakes and attractions[edit]

Map of central Alborz Peaks: 1 `Alam Kūh
  -25 to 500 m
  500 to 1500 m
  1500 to 2500 m
  2500 to 3500 m
  3500 to 4500 m
  4500 to 5671 m
2 Āzād Kūh 3 Damāvand
4 Do Berar 5 Do Khaharan
6 Ghal`eh Gardan 7 Gorg
8 Kholeno 9 Mehr Chal
10 Mīšīneh Marg 11 Naz
12 Shah Alborz 13 Sīālān
14 Tochal 15 Varavašt
Rivers: 0
1 Alamūt 2 Chālūs
3 Do Hezār 4 Harāz
5 Jājrūd 6 Karaj
7 Kojūr 8 Lār
9 Nūr 10 Sardāb
11 Seh Hazār 12 Shāh Rūd
Cities: 1 Āmol
2 Chālūs 3 Karaj
Other: D Dīzīn
E Emāmzādeh Hāšem K Kandovān Tunnel
* Latīān Dam ** Lār Dam


Sources[edit]

  • North, S.J.R., Guide to Biblical Iran, Rome 1956, p. 50

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muhammad Aurang Zeb Mughal (2013). "Caspian Sea." In Biomes & Ecosystems, vol. 2, Robert Warren Howarth (ed.). Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, pp. 431-433.
  2. ^ a b Encyclopedia, "Alborz", W. Eilers
  3. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/feb/24/iran.skiing


Cultural references[edit]

Mount Damavand is featured twice as an online multiplayer map in the game Battlefield 3. In the game it is featured in Damavand Peak and Alborz Mountains.

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 36°4′33″N 51°47′46″E / 36.07583°N 51.79611°E / 36.07583; 51.79611