Cause of mountains; advantages therefrom. Abū Qubays and Uḥud. Mount Argaeus. Alvand. The Alburz range. Mount Bīsutun. Mount Jūdī. Mount Damāvand. Rastū and its snakes. Mount Rāsmand and the Kītū Meadow. The Sāvah Mountain and its Cavern. Mount Sablān. Moun- tain where Adam fell, in Ceylon. Mount Sahand. Mount Sinai. The Mountain of Qāf. The Kargas Hills. Kunābad and Raybad Mountains, mentioned in the Shāh Nāmah. Māst or Ararat. The emerald mine of Mount Muqaṭṭam. The Salt Hill of Qum

SECTION 2. Concerning the mountains of Īrān, and other famous mountains.

In philosophical works it is explained how, earth and water being mingled together, from the viscosity that is in the earth, the heat of the sun causes the same to harden, thus turning it to stone, [<Arabic>] even as fire bakes the clay-brick. But the sun’s heat then beginning to act on the stone, this loses its hardness and is broken up; which process continually accelerated by the succes- sion of many nights and days cracks appear, splitting the rocks, which same are thus again turned to earth. Then by the action of earthquakes mountain peaks are demolished, while by the blowing of the winds and the running waters the soft earth is carried from one place to another, yet all that is rock and hard soil will remain fixed, whereby heights and hollows are formed, and it is these heights that are the mountain ranges.

Now if there were no mountains on the face of the earth, the ground would always be moving, which same is proved by the words of the Qurān, where God says (ch. XVI. v. 15) And He hath thrown firm mountains on the earth, lest it move with you, and again (ch. LXXVIII. v. 7) He has spoken of the mountains which are its tent-stakes; and further, if the ground were always moving it would not remain a level sphere, nor would the wind blow equally everywhere across it. And but for these heights and the hollows, there would be no possibility of running waters; neither would there be the advantages found in the high cold country and the low hot lands, and the products of these two districts would not come to their perfection. Wherefore Eternal Provi- dence has so ordained that, by reason of these heights and hollows, high and low mountains have come to appear on the face of the earth, and in their midst streams, whereby these many advantages of climate are brought to pass—blessed be He who is the origin of everything, and may He be exalted who is the source of all.

We shall now set forth in alphabetical order all that is known of the mountains of the lands of Īrān, and mention some other celebrated mountains.

Abulustān Mountain. In Rūm (Asia Minor). Qazvīnī re- ports that in its midst is a gorge from which a road leads forth, and whosoever wishes to pass by this road must all the time eat bread and cheese in order to go in safety, otherwise he will turn sick by reason of the dampness of this pass. This fact is well known throughout that country.

Mount Abū Qubays. This is a great mountain of Mecca. According to the account given by Ibn `Abbās, the Prophet is reported to have said, The first mountain that God, be He exalted, set upon the earth was Abū Qubays, and there will be spread forth in its amplitude the (assembly of the Day of) Judgment.

Mount Uḥud. This is one of the famous mountains to the north of Medina. In commentaries and histories it is stated that this mountain, together with Mounts Thawr and Thabīr near Mecca, and Mount Raḍwā (near Medina), all these are but frag- ments of Mount Ṭūr (Sinai) which in the time of Moses, when God had manifested Himself unto him, were cast down here, [<Arabic>] as is said in the Qurān (ch. VII. v. 139), And when his Lord mani- fested Himself to the mountain He turned it to dust. How many leagues Mount Uḥud measures round is not known.

Mount Arjān. In Ṭabaristān. Qazvīnī reports that in this mountain is a spring where the water, dropping from a stone, forthwith makes figures, hexagonal, octagonal and pentagonal in shape, and otherwise, which same are petrifactions, and these the people take to use for making seals.

Mount Arjāst (Argaeus). In Asia Minor; an immensely great and high mountain, on the flanks of which stand the cities of Qayṣariyyah (Caesarea Mazaka) and Davalū. The summit of this mountain is never free from snow, and though they say that in every year for a certain number of days one can reach the summit, at most times the ascent is impossible. A great Church has been built on this mountain. What may be the number of leagues of the circuit of the mountain no one knows. Many streams flow down from its sides, which take their course through the Province of Asia Minor.

Mount Alvand (or Arvand). This lies to the south-west of Hamadān city, being a celebrated mountain, the circuit of which is 30 leagues. Its summit is never free from snow, and it is visible from a distance of 20 leagues or more away. On the summit of the mountain is a spring of water in the hard rock, and that rock is after the fashion of a building that has been thrown down upon it, and from among these rocks a little water trickles forth. This may well be seen in summer time, but in winter it is all hidden under the snow. I myself have been there: it was a Friday night, and they told me that in every week, during that one day and night, the water came forth copiously, flowing down along the ground, but on other days of the week none made its way out. Qazvīnī, when mentioning Hamadān, states that 42 streams flow down from Mount Alvand, for its other springs are beyond all count.

Ashkahrān Mountain. This is of the Iṣfahān province: it overlooks Greater Lur, and there are huge vipers here.

Alburz Mountain. This is a great range which starts from Bāb-al-Abwāb (Darband), and many other mountain chains join it, so that from Turkistān to the Ḥijāz there is but a single range, stretching for over a thousand leagues in length. Many, because of its length, count it as forming part of the Mountain of Qāf (which encircles the whole earth). On the western part of the Alburz, where the range of Gurgistān (Georgia) occurs, come the Lagzī (Lesgian) [<Arabic>] mountains; and here, according to the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm, there are so many different peoples, that seventy and more languages are spoken. Also in these mountains are many marvels. When the range comes to Shimshāṭ and Mala- ṭiyah it is called Qālīqalā. When it reaches Anṭākiyah (Antioch of Syria) and Maṣṣīṣah (Mopsuestia) it is known as Lukkām, and here it forms the barrier between Syria and the Greek Country (Asia Minor). When the range comes to between Damascus and Ḥims it is called Lubnān (Lebanon). When it gets to between Mecca and Medina it is known as `Araj. At its western end, where the range comes to Arrān and Ādharbāyjān, it is called Qafq (Caucasus); and on the confines of (Persian) `Irāq and Gīlān it is known as the Mountain of Ṭarqal Dar. When it reaches the middle parts of Qūmis and Māzandarān it is known as Mūz, for the name Māzandarān was originally Mūzāndarūn; and where it comes to the districts of Khurāsān the range is known as Sūnaj.

Alnaz Mountain. The common people say that the name originally was A`lā Nazz (the Upper Fountain), which by usage came to be shortened to Alnaz, but this assertion is not to be credited, for Alnaz is in truth a proper name. The mountain lies to the north of Qazvīn; it is very high and adjoins the other ranges of the district. There is here a Mosque, and the footsteps of many saints have come hither, for here prayers are answered. Also there are two Miḥrābs (niches) in this Mosque, and Qazvīnī reports, which same the common people here also affirm, that the tomb of Uways Qaranī* is in this spot. The summit of this mountain, on the side which overlooks Rūdbār, is always covered with snow.

Īlāq Mountain. In Turkistān, where there are mines of silver and gold.

Bāmdād (or Bāmdār) Mountain. In Little Lur. In the Zubdah-at-Tawārīkh* it is stated that there is here a stone which serves the purpose of fuel, but the smell of its smoke puts animals to flight.

Mount Bīsutun. In Kurdistān, and most famous among hills. It is very high and formed of black rocks, which rise from the plain, and there are neither foot-hills nor valleys at its base. Twenty leagues away the peak of this mountain is visible, and it is twenty leagues in circuit. On the summit of the mountain is a level space of ground, some 500 Jarībs (150 acres) in extent, where there is a spring of water with cultivated lands. In the year 711 (1311) [<Arabic>] by order of Ūljāytū Sulṭān, and aided by the engineers, I made a calculation to get the height of the moun- tain, and it came to equal 4800 cubits such as the tailors use (Gaz-i-Khayyāṭī). In most times clouds, from the lands round, remain in banks on the clefts of the summit of this mountain. It is possible, but by a rocky road that is difficult to pass, to get across the range. In the poem of Khusraw and Shīrīn, by Shaykh Niẓāmī of Ganjah, the following couplets occur, King Khusraw Parvīz saying to Farhād:

There is a mountain on my passage,
Which it were difficult to make a road across,
None the less, through the mountain a road must be dug,
That my coming and going may be made easy.

But the tradition is of dubious origin, and Shaykh Niẓāmī can never himself have seen the place, and must have described it by hearsay only. The fact is that on the plain below the summit of the mountain there is an abundant spring of water, sufficient to turn two or three mills, and they have hewn in the live rock a hall which stands above this spring, and it has a gallery round it: the remains here are therefore a permanent witness to (that of which Niẓāmī writes). Further, at the other end of the mountain, some six leagues distant from the great spring with its gallery, there has been built a second but smaller gallery, round two springs which gush out over against the same, and each spring is abund- ant enough to turn a mill. This place is known as the Gallery of (the Horse) Shabdīz, and round it have been sculptured the likenesses of Khusraw and Shīrīn and Farhād, also of Rustam and Isfandīyār with others; and every bolt in the armour (of Rustam) and even the silken strings of the harp (of Farhād) are all most wonderfully represented herein, so as to be easily recognised. There is also in this neighbourhood, on the Kūlkū (river), a much venerated shrine, and the common people say that this is the tomb of Uways Qaranī*.

Barjīn Mountain. In the Qazvīn province. There is here a cavern and tunnel, by which you go down for a distance of a horse-gallop. Here it becomes extremely cold, and at the end there is a stream of running water, which lower down still becomes a river. A great wind comes from this place, and no daylight from outside can be seen, so that none can go hither without a lamp, and nobody knows what may be the condition of things at the end of the tunnel. The people of the country round obtain their mill-stones from this place.

Mount Jūdī. This lies in the district of Mosul and Jazīrah (Ibn `Omar). [<Arabic>] The Ark of Noah came to rest upon it, as is said in the Qurān (ch. XI. v. 46) And it was said ‘O earth! swallow up thy water’; and ‘cease O heaven’; and the water abated, and the decree was fulfilled, and the Ark rested upon Al Jūdī. Qazvīnī asserts that down to Abbasid times pieces of the Ark of Noah still rested here. Noah afterwards built on this mountain a village, known as Sūq Thamānīn (the Market of the Eighty), for there were eighty persons saved with him in the Ark, but except for Noah and his family none left descendants. Hence it is that Noah is called the second Adam.

Mount Darāk. This lies two leagues distant from Shīrāz. They have constructed here cellars for snow, and in winter they collect the snow here, which in summer they bring down to Shīrāz, and thereon the city depends for its supply.

Mount Damāvand. This is a famous mountain, so extremely high that it may be seen from a distance of 100 leagues away. It rises to the east of the province of Ray. Its summit is never free from snow, it is 20 leagues in circuit, and in height it rises to above 5 leagues. On its summit is a plain that is 100 Jarībs (30 acres) in extent, and it is covered with sand in which the foot sinks down. In the summer-time the snow on the mountain turns to ice, and in its midst much water forms. The common people say that this water is warm. There occur in this mountain many avalanches, because day after day the snow falls one layer above another, when of a sudden a piece will break off, and coming down on some man will forthwith kill him. The people here say that in these dangerous places no word must be spoken, other- wise the avalanche will fall, and hence it is their custom to be given to no talking, but to pass along quickly lest the avalanche come down on them. Qazvīnī reports that if one face of the summit becomes free of snow, so that the ground shows out black, then (in the country-side) on that flank of the mountain, which is thus become visible, there will be bloodshed. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that (the tyrant) Zuhāk lies im- prisoned in this mountain.

The Darābjird Mountains. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is said that here there are found salts of all colours, white and black, green, yellow and red, also of other tints besides these mentioned.

Mount Rastū. This is on the road going to Shabānkārah, to the westward of the south-western quarter of that district. [<Arabic>] It is also known as the Bātīlah Mountain. Its height is three leagues. It rises up like a dome, being circular, and its circuit is sixteen leagues. The summit of this mountain is visible from most parts of the province of Fārs. Many medicinal herbs grow on its flanks, and numerous gulleys go down from its summit to its foot. At the base of the mountain is a plain, and snakes are always found on that mountain. At most times snow covers this mountain, and the snakes here are so huge that some are found to weigh even as much as 50 or 60 Mann-weight.

Mount Rāsmand. To the north of the city of Karaj; where, like Mount Bīsutun (already described), it rises up sheer from the plain, a sight to view, having at its base neither valleys nor foothills. It is of black rock, and has clouds covering it like the roof of a house. To the north of this mountain lies the Meadow of Kītū, one of the most famous of the meadow lands of (Persian) `Irāq, being six leagues in the length by three leagues in the breadth. The spring named after King Khusraw flows forth in the midst of these meadows, at the mountain foot. The mountain itself has a cir- cuit of ten leagues.

Rāmand Mountain. This lies to the south-west of Qasvīn, and to the north of Khirqān. It has a settled population, for there are villages and cultivated fields here. It is a hill of no great height, but it is famous, being often mentioned in the Pahlavī dialect poems, as, for instance, in the couplet

Good is Mount Alvand, with Damāvand,
But how (ill) they appear without Mount Rāmand.

Mount Raqīm. In Asia Minor, on the confines of `Ammū- rīyah (Amorion). It is mentioned in the Qurān, and the Cavern of the (Seven Sleepers, or) Companions of the Cave was in this mountain. Their story is well known, and need not be here re- peated. This mountain is eighteen leagues in circuit.

Rānik (or Zānik) Mountain. In Turkistān; there are here gold and silver mines.

Zardah Mountain. In Luristān. The upper waters of the Jūy-i-Sard (Cold River) which is the chief source of both the Zindah Rūd or river of Iṣfahān, and of the Dujayl or Tustar river, arise in this mountain.

Kūh-i-Zar, or Gold Mountain. Near Dāmghān. There is a gold mine here, from which it has its name.

Sāvah Mountain. This lies a day’s march from Sāvah, on the frontier of Khirqān, near the shrine of Dhū-l-Kifl*. It is very high, [<Arabic>] and Qazvīnī relates that in this mountain is a cavern after the manner of a hall, where there are sculptures and numerous images. At the back of the cavern is a tank, and above this are four stones, which are each of the form of a woman’s breast, and from all these continually water drops, being collected in the tank below. This water, in spite of long standing, never becomes corrupt, and it is a specific for many diseases, as the people of Sāvah well know and can bear witness to.

Mount Sablān. In Ādharbāyjān, and one of the most famous of mountains. The towns of Ardabīl, Sarāh, Pīshkīn, Ābād, Arjāq, and Khiyāv lie round its base. It is a very high moun- tain, being visible from a distance of 50 leagues, and it is 30 leagues in circuit. Its summit is never free from snow; and on the summit is a spring, the water of which for the most part is always frozen to ice by reason of the great cold. Qazvīnī writes that, according to the Traditions, the Prophet once said, He who recites (the verses of the Qurān, ch. XXX. 16, 17, 18) saying ‘Glorify God therefore, when ye reach the evening and when ye rise at morn: And to Him be praise in the heavens and on the earth: He bringeth forth the living out of the dead, and He bringeth forth the dead out of the living: and He quickeneth the earth when dead. Thus is it that ye too shall be brought forth’; (verily for him who recites this) God will write vouchsafing him favours hereafter even so numerous as are the snowflakes which fall on Mount Sablān. It was said to him: O Prophet of God, but where is Sablān? He answered, It is a moun- tain between Armenia and Ādharbāyjān, on which is a spring of water, one of the springs of Paradise; also a tomb which is a tomb of one of the Prophets. In the History of Maghrib* it is stated that this spring is of extremely cold water, but that all round it are springs from which flows forth water that is boiling hot.

Mount Sarāhand. In (Persian) `Irāq, and this lies to the south-west of the town of Abhar*.

Mountain in Sarandīb. This is one of the most famous of mountains. It is on the Island of Ceylon, in the Indian Sea, and Qazvīnī states that this was the place where Adam fell (to earth, when ejected from Paradise). In the Indian tongue it is called Dihū*, and it is the highest of all the mountains of that region, [<Arabic>] being visible many days’ sail distant to sea. The footprint of Adam may be seen on a rock here, and from the great toe to the heel this is near 70 ells in length. Every day here, without there being either a storm or thunderclouds, the rain falls and washes clean from all dust this Footprint, and the people con- sider this a mark of great blessedness. All round here are mines of corundum, emery and rock crystal; also on these grounds great pieces of diamond are strewn about. Further, numberless scorpions and vipers are found here; and on the mountain-side grow aloes, with other odorous woods; also plugs of musk and civet occur, and most of the herbs here are medicinal in character. In the sea round Ceylon is the pearl fishery.

Mount Sahand. In Ādharbāyjān. The towns of Tabrīz, Marāghah, Dīh Khwārqān and Ūjān lie round its base, and its circuit is 25 leagues. Its summit is at times free from snow: and here stands the shrine of Usāmah ibn Surayk*, the Companion of the Prophet, and commander of his armies. There is also here a lake.

Siyāh Kūh, the Black Mountain. In Ādharbāyjān; and at its foot lies the town of Kalanbar. It is a steep mountain and well peopled, but most of its inhabitants are highwaymen.

Mount Sīpān. It stands to the south-west of Akhlāṭ. It is very steep, is well peopled, and is visible from a distance of 50 leagues away. Its summit is never free from snow. Its circuit measures 50 leagues, and it has excellent meadow-lands.

Shaqqān Mountain. Near Jājarm, in Khurāsān. There is a cleft in this mountain from which a stream of water, sufficient to turn a couple of mills, issues forth, and it is for this reason that the mountain is called Shaqqān (or the Clefts). Qazvīnī relates that in this mountain is a cavern, and whosoever puts his head into this is overcome by the damp vapours that arise here. And in this same quarter is another mountain, where, on going up, by reason of the power of the wind, it is impossible to take notice of aught except of that strong wind, but yet when the summit is reached there is then no wind at all to be felt.

Mount Ṣūr. Qazvīnī reports that in this mountain is found a stone in which, as in a looking-glass, figures can be seen reflected. Also when this stone is broken up in water the fragments pre- serve this same peculiarity and continue to reflect things.

Ṭāriq Mountain. In Ṭabaristān. Qazvīnī relates that in this mountain is a cavern, [<Arabic>] where there is a platform, known as the Platform of Solomon, and they hold it in great veneration, as having been blessed by him. Now if this platform comes to be defiled by any impurity, forthwith the weather changes, lightning and storms arise, and do not abate until the place has again been purified.

Mount Ṭabarak. Near Ray. There is here a silver mine, but exactly what is expended on it, that alone does the mine produce, so no profit is made, and hence it now remains un- worked.

Ṭūr Sīnā (Mount Sinai). This is one of the most famous mountains of the world and it is many times mentioned in the Qurān. The prophet Moses here saw the Divine Light above the Bush, and spoke with God.

Mount Ghazwān. On the borders of Ṭāif. Snow and ice are found on its summit, but in no other mountain in the Arab Peninsula is this the case.

Farghānah Mountain. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that there are here mines of turquoise, quicksilver, copper, lead, gold, naphtha, bitumen, asphalt, sal ammoniac and copperas. Also there is found here a stone (coal) which is used for fuel.

Qārin Mountain. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm a mountain of this name is said to be found in Kirmān, and the same authority states that one also exists in Ṭabaristān*.

The Mountain of Qāf. Yāqut states that this is the mighty mountain which encircles the earth, and that from it up into the heavens is but the space of a fathom, seeing that the heavens cover it like a lid. Chapter (Fifty of the Qurān) named Qāf is an indication of its importance. The substance thereof is emerald, the blue colour of the sky being the reflection of this. Beyond lie worlds of many created things, the true condition of which no one knows, except God—be He exalted. In some of the Com- mentaries it is said that the Mountain of Qāf is itself entirely of emerald. Both Qazvīnī and Yāqūt state that the foundations of all other mountains are in connection with its foundations; and thus when God—be He exalted and glorified—is wrath with any people and would send an earthquake upon them, then His command comes to the Angel, who is in ward on Mount Qāf, that he do shake the summit and foundation of the mountain indicated to him, whereby an earthquake occurs in the country of those folk. Now the warrantry for this lies on him who has reported it, but as Mount Qāf is given to be the base of all other mountains, this has been set forth to explain its condi- tions as here written down, although indeed it is far from being credible.

Mount Qabalah. This lies between the provinces of Arrān and Gurjistān (Georgia).

Qafṣ Mountain. In Kirmān; and in the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that [<Arabic>] this is the home of the Balūch people, who are most of them highwaymen.

Kargas Mountains (the Vulture Hills). In the Great Desert, in the neighbourhood of the city of Naṭanz, and they adjoin no other mountains. They are ten leagues in circuit, being very high and steep; and by reason of their height (no other birds but) Vultures (called Kargas) can fly over them; and it is by reason of this fact that the hills have their name. Among these hills there is a quagmire (covered by salt-efflorescence) which from afar appears like water. Travellers, catching sight of this and taking it for water, go near, they suffering extremity of thirst being in need of the water; whereupon they are engulfed by the quagmire and so come to their destruction*.

The Kirmān Mountains. Qazvīnī states that they find here a stone (coal) which, like wood, catches fire easily, and hence is used for fuel. There are also in these mountains silver mines.

Gulistān Mountain. This is of the Mūghān district. It covers a league square of ground, and there are wild flowers here of great sweetness. It is said that in former times the Ismailian (Assassins) made a Paradise (or Garden) of this place, and it was one of their pleasure grounds.

Gulistān (or Gulshān) Mountain of Ṭūs. There is here a cavern that is like a hall, and a passage leads from it which when you have gone down some way you come to the light, and here is an enclosure where there is a spring. The water from this, when it has flowed some way from its source, petrifies. On beyond this spring a wind begins to blow, which prevents any further progress down the passage.

Kunābad and Raybad Mountains. These are two hills, standing opposite the one to the other, in the province of Quhis- tān. Firdawsī refers to them in the verse*:

Dost thou choose the battleground in Kunābad Mount?
Or else on the side of Mount Raybad wouldst thou prefer to fight?

Kūshīd Mountain. This lies between (Persian) `Irāq and Fārs, and in the days of king Kay Khusraw a mighty dragon dwelt here, from fear of which the people had abandoned their habitations. Kay Khusraw slewthe dragon and built a Fire-temple on the spot, which afterwards came to be known as Dayr Kūshīd.

Gīlūyah Mountain. This is a celebrated district in which lie many hills, and it is counted as of the kingdom of Fārs. Among the rest is Mount Danā, and it is said that Kay Khusraw died here at a place called Damah*. [<Arabic>]

Mount Māst. This mountain* lies to the westward of Nakh- chivān, and at a distance of 14 leagues from that city. It is a very steep and high mountain, being visible at a distance of from 30 to 40 leagues, and its summit is never free from snow, indeed it is at most times quite hidden in the snow. The moun- tain is 30 leagues in circuit.

Mount Mūrjān. In Fārs. Qazvīnī states that in this moun- tain is a cavern, and from its roof water falls in drops, and whether one person enters or whether it be one hundred persons who go in there, all are equally drenched by the water, which falls either more or less according to their number. It is said that this is caused by a talisman.

Mount Muqaṭṭam.* In that part of this range which is in the Ṣa`īd province of Upper Egypt there is an emerald mine, and except for this one place none other such is to be found elsewhere (in Egypt).

Nafasht Mountain. In the Fārs Nāmah* this is described as in the neighbourhood of Persepolis, and here may be seen the figures in sculpture of every created object and animal, so wonder- fully wrought that any craftsman of the present time would be incapable of doing the like. And in the days of the Chosroes the Book of the Zend (Avesta) was kept on this mountain.

Kūh Namak Lān (the Salt Mountain). This lies between Āvah and Qum, being composed of dusty earth, and it adjoins no other hill. By reason of its soil being salt no snow can remain on it: and no one can get to the top, for the foot sinks down in climbing. Even with skilful treatment no salt can be obtained here that is not too bitter. It has a circuit of three leagues, but neither water nor any growing herb is found there, and it is visible from a distance ten leagues away.

Harmaz Mountain. In Tabarisṭān. Qazvīnī states that in this mountain is a cavern where there is running water. Now when any one goes there and gives a shout the water stops, but when another comes and gives a shout the water begins to flow again; so after this fashion a shout makes it flow and a shout stops it.

Mount Huwayn. In Little Lur, and there are iron mines here.

Mount Yakhtāyī. This is a mountain where many excellent things abound, for there are numberless pastures and fruit lands, houses, villages, limpid streams and springs of water. [<Arabic>].