ARDAKĀN-E FĀRS, a small upland town of the ostān of Fārs (hence to be distinguished from the Ardakān-e Yazd), lying in 30° 16’ north latitude and 51° 59’ east longitude and situated at an altitude of 7,257 ft/2,212 m. It is thus within the southern Zagros region, one of high valleys and steep mountain ranges, connected now by a road to the provincial capital Shiraz, 60 miles/96 km to the southeast. To the northwest of Ardakān is the massif of the Kūh-e Barm-e Fīrūz, which rises to 12,050 ft/3,672 m, whilst the town itself is on the headwaters of the most easterly constituent of the Zohra river system which flows down to the Persian Gulf at Bandar-e Hendīān.
Ardakān has played little part in the history of Iran. It is not mentioned by the Arabic geographers nor by Ebn al-Balḵī and Ḥamdallāh Mostawfī, though the latter does record in his Nozhat al-qolūb (p. 128, tr. Le Strange, p. 127) the district to the southeast of Ardakān called Deh ʿAlī, modern Dālī, 5 farsakhs from Ardakān. The historical geographers of the Qajar period, such as Eʿtemād al-Salṭana’s Merʾāt al-boldān-e nāṣerī and Ḥasan Fasāʾī’s Fārs-nāma-ye nāṣerī, do give some information on the 19th-century town, when it was the center of a bolūk in the province of Fārs, bounded on the east by the bolūk of Kām Fīrūz and Bayżā and on the other sides by the lands of the Mamasanī nomads. It had about a thousand households then, with a water supply from the Šeš-Pīr and Ardakān rivers; its summer crops included wheat, barley, and, for export, ordinary beans and red beans, whilst it was also a transit-point for the clarified butter of Kūhgīlūya exported to Shiraz. Fasāʾī further lists various of the ʿolamāʾ from Ardakān, including a philosopher of some eminence from the later Safavid period, Mīrzā ʿAlī Reżāʾ Taǰallī.
Ardakān is at the present time the center of a baḵš of the same name within the šahrestān of Shiraz, and in ca. 1950 had a population of 5,240 Persian speakers; the rural hinterland, however, forms part of the summer pasture grounds (yaylāqs) of the Turkish Qašqāʾī nomads (q.v.).
Fārs-nāma-ye nāṣerī, Tehran, 1314/1896-7, II, pp. 172-73.
Dehḵodā, letter alef, col. 1774.
Admiralty handbook, Persia, London, 1945, pp. 67-68.
Razmārā, Farhang VII, pp. 8-9.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1986
Last Updated: August 11, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 4, p. 370