Zahedan

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Zahedan
زاهدان
City
Zahedan in one.png
Official seal of Zahedan
Zahedan is located in Iran
Zahedan
Zahedan
Coordinates: 29°29′47″N 60°51′46″E / 29.49639°N 60.86278°E / 29.49639; 60.86278Coordinates: 29°29′47″N 60°51′46″E / 29.49639°N 60.86278°E / 29.49639; 60.86278
Country Iran
ProvinceSistan and Baluchestan
CountyZahedan
BakhshCentral
Government
Elevation
1,352 m (4,436 ft)
Population
 (2016 Census)
 • Urban
587,730[1]
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4:30 (IRDT)
Area code(s)+98-54
ClimateBWh
Websitezahedan.ir

Zahedan (Balochi and Persian: About this soundزاهدان‎, Zâhedân [zɒːheˈd̪ɒːn])[a] is a city and capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran. At the 2016 census, its population was 587,730.[1]

Etymology[edit]

Zâhedân (زاهدان) is cognate with the plural of the Persian and Balochi zâhid (زاهد), meaning 'pious', itself cognate with the Arabic word and name.

Geography[edit]

Zahedan is connected by rail to nearby Pakistan and is near to Afghanistan. It is about 41 km (25 mi) south of the tripoint of the three countries and at an altitude of 1,352 m (4,436 ft) above sea level and 1,605 km (997 mi) from the Iranian capital of Tehran.

Climate[edit]

Zahedan has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is very low, and mostly falls in winter.

Climate data for Zahedan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.0
(80.6)
28.0
(82.4)
32.2
(90.0)
37.0
(98.6)
40.4
(104.7)
43.0
(109.4)
42.0
(107.6)
43.0
(109.4)
40.0
(104.0)
36.0
(96.8)
30.2
(86.4)
28.0
(82.4)
43.0
(109.4)
Average high °C (°F) 14.0
(57.2)
16.5
(61.7)
21.9
(71.4)
27.5
(81.5)
32.5
(90.5)
36.2
(97.2)
37.0
(98.6)
35.6
(96.1)
32.3
(90.1)
27.7
(81.9)
21.7
(71.1)
16.3
(61.3)
26.6
(79.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.4
(43.5)
9.2
(48.6)
14.5
(58.1)
20.0
(68.0)
24.7
(76.5)
28.3
(82.9)
29.3
(84.7)
27.1
(80.8)
22.7
(72.9)
17.8
(64.0)
11.9
(53.4)
7.9
(46.2)
18.3
(65.0)
Average low °C (°F) −0.5
(31.1)
2.5
(36.5)
7.4
(45.3)
12.1
(53.8)
15.9
(60.6)
18.6
(65.5)
19.8
(67.6)
17.2
(63.0)
12.4
(54.3)
8.1
(46.6)
3.1
(37.6)
0.5
(32.9)
9.8
(49.6)
Record low °C (°F) −22
(−8)
−14
(7)
−7
(19)
0.0
(32.0)
1.4
(34.5)
11.0
(51.8)
12.0
(53.6)
8.0
(46.4)
2.0
(35.6)
−4
(25)
−11
(12)
−16
(3)
−22
(−8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 19.3
(0.76)
21.1
(0.83)
13.6
(0.54)
9.5
(0.37)
3.9
(0.15)
0.4
(0.02)
0.8
(0.03)
0.9
(0.04)
0.2
(0.01)
1.8
(0.07)
3.4
(0.13)
7.2
(0.28)
82.1
(3.23)
Average rainy days 4.3 4.5 4.2 4.2 2.4 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.9 1.3 2.8 25.8
Average snowy days 0.7 0.4 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 1.5
Average relative humidity (%) 54 50 42 36 29 24 23 24 25 31 40 49 36
Mean monthly sunshine hours 208.8 199.3 221.2 235.2 296.2 310.2 317.9 324.5 305.4 290.2 245.6 215.2 3,169.7
Source: NOAA (1961–1990)[4]
Zahedan Municipality

Education[edit]

University of Sistan and Baluchestan's Amphitheater in Zahedan.

Zahedan is the home of the Islamic Azad University of Zahedan,[5] the Zahedan University of Medical Sciences[6] and the University of Sistan and Baluchestan. Besides, the largest Sunni seminary, Darululoom Zahedan, is located in Zahedan. There are some other religious Sunni schools in the city and the vicinity.

History, culture and demographics[edit]

Ali Ibn Abi Talib Mosque

The demographics of Zahedan's inhabitants are a mixture of majority ethnic Baloch who speak the Balochi language and minority of Persians, Yazdi and Khorasani. There are also small numbers of Kurds.[citation needed]

Zahedan lies east of the Dasht-e Loot desert. The city was part of the historic region of Baluchestan (Balochi: بلوچستان), situated today on the borders of southeastern Iran and southwestern Afghanistan.

Zahedan and the area of baluchestan has a very strong connection with Zoroastrianism and during Sassanid times Lake Hamun was one of two pilgrimage sites for followers of that religion. In Zoroastrian religion, the lake is the keeper of Zoroaster's seed and just before the final renovation of the world, three maidens will enter the lake, each then giving birth to the saoshyants who will be the saviours of mankind at the final renovation of the world.

Zahedan is a centre for Sunni Muslims in Baluchistan. The Makki mosque and its madrasa play an important role in Baluchistan's society. Shaikh Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi is the main and most influential religious and Sunni and baluch community leader in Iran that is heading Makki mosque and its institutions. Zahedan also has a Friday mosque for Shi'ite (Shia) and a Jame mosque, where many members of the community gather to worship on Fridays. A colorful bazaar, Rasouli Bazaar, can also be found in the city, where Baluchi and Pashtun traders intermingle. About 100 km (62 mi) south of Zahedan is an intermittently active volcano, Taftan, which rises abruptly 4,042 m (13,261 ft) from the surrounding plain.

Demographics[edit]

Although the surrounding area has many ancient sites, Zahedan itself developed mainly in the 20th century. Before being chosen as the provincial administrative center in the 1930s, Zahedan was a small village. Its population reached 17,500 by 1956 and increased more than fivefold to 93,000 by 1976. After 1980, large numbers of refugees fleeing the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan helped triple the population of Zahedan to more than 281,000 by 1986, a number which has since doubled again.

Etymology[edit]

Before the rise of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1923, the city of Zahedan was known as Dozz-aab. That name was in turn derived from the Balochi Dozd-aap, literally meaning "water thief". This is the name given to a sandy land formation that quickly swallows up any water that falls on it, be it rain or irrigation water.[7]

The name was changed to Zahedan by the Iranian Academy of Culture (the Farhangistan), set up during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi in the 1930s, which changed a myriad of toponyms in Iran. improbably, that the current name, Zahedan ("Sages," or "pious people" in Persian) was given to the city upon its visit by Reza Shah. It is believed that when Reza Shah visited the city he saw Sikhs in white robes living there and thus changed the name to Zahedan after the Sikhs who were considered Zahid (pious) by him.[8]

Street view, Zahedan

Sports[edit]

In April 2008 the 70 billion IRR (about 2.5 million USD) Zahedan Stadium was built with a seating capacity of 15,000 people. It was inaugurated on 18 April 2008 with a friendly football game between Honarmandan (Artists) versus a local team.

Economy[edit]

Zahedan is the main economic center of the region and home to many small- and medium-scale industries. Its main products include cotton textiles, woven and hand-knotted rugs, ceramics, processed foods, livestock feed, processed hides, milled rice, brick, reed mats and baskets.

Transport[edit]

Zahedan is served by Zahedan International Airport.

Highway 95 links Zahedan to Tehran and Mashhad in the north and the port of Bandar Chabahar on the Sea of Oman in the south, and Highway 84 to the Pakistani city of Quetta in the east and to Kerman in the west.

For decades the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge (Indian subcontinent system) railway exists from Zahedan station to/from Quetta's station in Pakistan, the Quetta–Taftan Railway Line. Beyond this, west, a standard gauge line was completed from Zahedan to Kerman linking the city with the rest of the Iranian rail network.[9] This flowed from a 18 May 2007 MOU for rail co-operation (of Pakistan and Iran) under which the line was to be completed by December 2008.[10] It completed with an opening ceremony on 19 June 2009.[11] This means Zahedan hosts the break of gauge between the Islamic Republic of Iran Railway's standard gauge tracks of the Trans-Iranian Railway and Pakistan Railway's broad gauge aforementioned.

Chabahar–Zahedan railway[edit]

Existing Iran railway network in 2015, Zahedan–Bam–Mirjaveh railway is already complete and operational

In May 2016, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to Iran, agreement was signed to develop two terminals and five berths at Port of Chabahar and to build a new railway between Chabahar and Zahedan, as part of North–South Transport Corridor, by Indian Railways's public sector unit Ircon International.[12] This proposal is under study and consideration, a via Kerman connection to the port of Chabahar.[12]

In July 2016, India began shipping US$150 million of tracks to Chabahar[13] to build the US$1.6 billion line, for which India pledged additional US$400 million and Iran has also allocated US$125 million in December 2016, thus taking the total allocation to US$575 million (out of US$1.6 billion needed) to the end of 2016.[14]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Could also be romanized as Zāhidān and Zaahedaan. Also known as Zâhedâne Yek. Formerly known as Dowzdâb (دوزداب), Dozdâb (دزداب) or Dozdâp (دزداپ), and renamed Zâhedân by Reza Shah Pahlavi during the late 1920s.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Statistical Center of Iran > Home". amar.org.ir.
  2. ^ Skrine, Clarmont (1962). World War in Iran. Constable & Company, Ltd. p. 68.
  3. ^ Zahedan can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3088799" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  4. ^ "Zahedan Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  5. ^ "دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی واحد زاهدان". iauzah.ac.ir.
  6. ^ "خانه". zaums.ac.ir.
  7. ^ "Sistan-Baluchestan; a natural paradise in Southeastern Iran". IRNA English. 13 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Iran's connection to India's Sikhs". NDTV.com.
  9. ^ Dr John Stubbs (1 January 2007). "Closing the gap from Bam to Zahedan". Railway Gazette International.
  10. ^ "Intelligence". Railway Gazette International. 1 July 2007.
  11. ^ "Zahedan | Railways of Afghanistan". andrewgrantham.co.uk.
  12. ^ a b "Chabahar port: India to build 500 km rail line on southern coast of Iran as part of transit corridor to Afghanistan". Daily News and Analysis. 23 May 2016.
  13. ^ "India to export USD 150 mn rails for Chabahar port next month". 16 June 2016.
  14. ^ "$125m for Chabahar-Zahedan Railroad". Financial Tribune. 24 December 2016.

External links[edit]