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Saturday, 22-Apr-2006 11:31 Email | Share | Bookmark
The north of Iran

a traditional house
Pir e ali
Gilan (Persian: گیلان, locally known as Guilan) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran, known during ancient times as part of Hyrcania, with a population of approximately 2 million and an area of 14,700 sq. km. It lies just west of the province of Mazandaran, along the Caspian Sea. The center of the province is the city of Rasht. Other towns in the province include Astara, Astaneh-e Ashrafiyyeh, Rudsar, Langrud, Souma'eh Sara, Talesh, Fuman, Masouleh, and Lahijan.
The main harbor port of the province is Bandar-e Anzali (previously Bandar-e Pahlavi

Arabs never managed to conquer Gilan. Gilaks and Deylamites successfully repulsed any Arab attempt to occupy their land or to convert them to Islam.
In 9th and 10th centuries CE, Deylamites and later Gilaks gradually converted to a heretical sect of Shi'a Islam. It is worth noting that several Deylamite commanders and soldiers of fortune who were active in the military theatres of Iran and Mesopotamia were openly Zoroastrian (for example, Asfar Shiruyeh a warlord in central Iran, and Makan son of Kaki the warlord of Rayy) or were suspected of harboring pro-Zoroastrian (for example Mardavij) sentiments.
Buyids established the most successful of the Deylamite dynasties of Iran.
Turkish invasions of 10th and 11th centuries CE, which saw the rise of Ghaznavid and Seljuk dynasties, put an end to Deylamite states in Iran. From 11th century CE to the rise of Safavids, Gilan was ruled by local rulers who paid tribute to the dominant power south of the Alborz range, but ruled independently.

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