LAVĀSĀN, town and district located in the middle course of the river Jājrud in the northwest of Tehran. The district (baḵš), officially known as Lavāsānāt, constitutes, along with Rudbār-e Qaṣrān, the sub-province of Šemirān in the Tehran province. Lavāsānāt comprises two rural districts (dehestāns), Greater Lavāsān and Lesser Lavāsān—thus the plural form “Lavāsānāt.” The administrative center of Lavāsānāt is the town of Lavāsān, situated at lat 35.8° N, long 51.6° E, elev. 1,700 m.

The district of Lavāsānāt spreads approximately 600 km2, with the highest peak, Sarsiāhqār, standing 3,440 m tall in the central Alborz (Maḥmudiān, 2002, pp. 75-77). According to the decennial census of 1996, the population of Lavāsānāt was 8,079, which grew nearly threefold to 22,626 within a decade (Markaz-e āmār-e Irān). The district has 47 settlements, which were traditionally engaged in farming, but have mostly turned into summer resorts for the residents of Tehran in recent decades.  The natives of Lavāsānāt are of Caspian stock and the local vernacular is a blend of Persian and Caspian, approaching Māzandarāni in the southeastern villages of Irā and Veskāra (Borjian, p. 46). The village Lavāsān-e-bozorg, the seat of Greater Lavāsān, has an old mosque, with a carved wooden door and a pulpit from the Safavid period. There are several emāmzādas in Lavāsānāt, including Emāmzāda ʿAbd-Allāh in Jāʾej and Emāmzāda Moḥammad-Bāqer in Rudak, whose mausoleum was built by Fatḥ-ʿAli Shah Qajar (Karimān, 1978, I, p. 210; Moḥammad Mirzā, fol. 24). The seat of Lesser Lavāsān is the village Afja.

The town of Lavāsān is situated in the plain of Galandovak on the north bank of Jājrud, at the confluence of two southerly flowing tributaries, the Kond and the Afja. In the 19th century Lavāsān was a village of considerable size, comprising some 500 houses and 200 inhabitants (Beresford Lovett; Adamec, I, p. 418). In the late 1940s the village had a population of 1,852 (Razmārā, p. 197). Lavāsān was established as a town (šahr) in 1970, grew in population from 10,587 in 1996 to 15,706 in 2011 (Markaz-e āmār-e Irān), and is developing rapidly as a pleasant suburb of greater Tehran (Maḥmudiān, p. 67).

In the southeast of Lavāsān a hydroelectric dam by the name of Latiān was built in the 1960s on the Jājrud to provide Tehran and the Varāmin valley with water and electricity. The dam generates annually 50 million kilowatt-hours of electric power (Ministry of Power).


L. W. Adamec, Historical Gazetteer of Iran I, Graz, 1976, p. 418.

H. Borjian, Is There Continuity between Persian and Caspian?: The Linguistic Situation in the South-Central Alborz, New Haven, 2013.

Ḥ. Karimān, Qaṣrān (Kuhsarān): Mabāḥeṯ-e tāriḵi o joḡrāfiāʾi o ejtemāʿi o maẕhabi va vaṣf-e ātašgāh-e manṭaqa-ye kuhestāni-e Ray-e bāstān va Ṭehrān-e konuni, 2 vols., Tehran, 1978; 2nd ed., Tehran, 2007.

M. Keyhān, Joḡrāfiā-ye mofaṣṣal-e Iran, 3 vols., Tehran, 1931-32; II, pp. 353-54.

B. Lovett, “Report by Consul Lovett on the Trade and Commerce of the Province of Asterabad for the Year 1881,” Reports from Her Majesty’s Consuls . . . during the Year 1882, London, 1883, pp. 1066-74.

ʿA.-A. Maḥmudiān, Aṭlas-e šahrestān-e Šemirān: Rudbār-e Qaṣrān, Lavāsān o šahr-e Šemirān, Tehran, 2002.

Markaz-e āmār Irān, Sāl-nāma-ye āmāri-e kešvar/Iran Statistical Yearbook, Tehran, 1986-2011.

Moḥammad Mirzā Mohandes, Joḡrāfiā-ye Rudbār-e Qaṣrān, Mss. 702, Malek Library, Tehran, n.d.

Ḥ.-ʿA. Razmārā, ed., Farhang-e joḡrāfiāʾi-e Irān I. Ostān-e Markazi, Tehran, 1949.

Ministry of Power, Regional Water Company of Tehran, Sadd-e Latiān o nirugāh-e kalān, Tehran, n.d.

(Giti Deyhim and EIr.)

Originally Published: November 6, 2017

Last Updated: November 6, 2017

Cite this entry:

Giti Deyhim and EIr., “LAVĀSĀN,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2017, available at (accessed on 6 November 2017).