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Gorgan (Persian: گرگان, Caspian: Vergen) is the capital of the 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. It had an estimated population of 241,000 in 2005.[1] Some 150 km (93 mi) east of Gorgan is the Golestan National Park. 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

The wide Dasht-e-Gorgan (the Plains of Gorgan) are located north of the city of Gorgan and is geographically bounded by 37°00' - 37°30' north latitude and 54°00' - 54°30' east longitude and covers an area of about 1,700 square kilometres (660 sq mi).

In general, Golestan has a moderate and humid climate known as "the moderate Caspian climate." The effective factors behind such a climate are: Alborz mountain range, direction of the mountains, height of the area, neighborhood to the sea, vegetation surface, local winds, altitude and weather fronts. As a result of the above factors, three different climates exist in the region: plain moderate, mountainous, and semi-arid. Gorgan valley has a semi-arid climate. The average annual temperature is 18.2 °C (64.8 °F) and the annual rainfall is 556 millimetres (21.9 in).

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