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Esfarayen is located in Iran
Location of Esfarayen in Iran
Coordinates: 37°04′35″N 57°30′36″E / 37.07639°N 57.51000°E / 37.07639; 57.51000Coordinates: 37°04′35″N 57°30′36″E / 37.07639°N 57.51000°E / 37.07639; 57.51000
Country  Iran
Province North Khorasan
County Esfarayen County
Bakhsh Central
Population (2016 Census)
 • Total 59,490 [1]
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Website esfarayennews
Esfarayen at GEOnet Names Server

Esfarayen (Persian: اسفراین‎, also Romanized as Esfarāyen; formerly, Meyanābād, Mīānābād, and Mīyānābād)[2] is a city and capital of Esfarayen County, North Khorasan Province in Iran. At the 2011 census its population was 60,372, in 17,334 families.[3]

The largest ethnic groups of the Esfarayen city are Kurmanjs and Tats.[4][5]

Esfarayen is one of the focal points for residence of Aryan tribes after entering Iran.


According to the medieval Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi, the original name of Esfarayen was Asbarayin, which meant "the shield-bearers".


After the Islamic conquest of Persia, Esfarayen enjoyed a period of great prosperity,which came to an end with the fall of the Abbasid caliphate, when it fell victim to attacks and eventual destruction, although it was, eventually, rebuilt.

The city was in a completely ruinous state at the time of the ruler Ebrahim Afshar (the mid-eighteenth century).


Esfarayen is home to a Koshti Pahlevani (traditional Iranian wrestling) tournament called Bachokheh or Koshti Bachokheh. This tournament is held in the open air.