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Lankaran is located in Azerbaijan
Country  Azerbaijan
City Lankaran
 • Total 70 km2 (30 sq mi)
Population (2013)[1]
 • Total 215,803
Time zone AZT (UTC+4)
 • Summer (DST) AZT (UTC+5)
Area code(s) +994 025 25
Website Official website

Lankaran (Azerbaijani: Lənkəran) is a city in Azerbaijan, on the coast of the Caspian Sea, near the southern border with Iran. It has a population of  215,803 (2013 census). It is next to but independent of Lankaran rayon. The city forms a distinct first-order division of Azerbaijan.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • Geography 3
    • Climate 3.1
  • Economy 4
  • Demographics 5
    • Religion 5.1
  • Culture 6
    • Cuisine 6.1
    • Music and media 6.2
    • Sports 6.3
  • Transport 7
    • Public system 7.1
    • Air 7.2
    • Rail 7.3
  • Education 8
  • Notable residents 9
  • International relations 10
    • Twin towns — Sister cities 10.1
  • Gallery 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


The old form of the name was "Langarkanan" that in Persian means "the place of pulling up the anchor(s)" : "Langar" (Persian: لنگر‎‎, anchor) + "kan" (Persian: کن‎‎, to pull) + "an"(Persian: آن‎‎, suffix of places). However, some sources state that Lankaran is said to come from the Talish words for 'Cane house', which sounds as 'Lan Karan'.[2][3] Alternatively, from Median *Lan(a)karan-, where *karan- means 'border, region, land' and Lan is probably a name of a Caspian tribe.[4]


The city was built on a swamp along the northern bank of the river bearing the city's name. There are remains of human settlements in the area dating back to the Neolithic period as well as ruins of fortified villages from the Bronze and Iron Ages.[5]

Lankaran's history is rather recent, dating from the 16th century. With the death of Nader Shah and his disintegrating empire, the Talysh Khanate was founded by a certain Seyyid Abbas, who's ancestors were members of the Iranian Safavid dynasty, and had moved into the Talish region during the 1720s during a turbulent period in Iranian history.[6] From the founding of the khanate, until 1828, it was ruled by subsequently by the Iranian Zand and Qajar empires. Following the Russo-Persian War (1722-1723), Lankaran fell in Russian hands from 1728 to 1732, but in 1732 it was ceded back to Iran per the Treaty of Resht. Following about another century of being back in Iranian hands, during the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), General Kotlyarevsky heading the southernmost Russian contingent during the war, stormed and captured Lankaran's fortress. Following the Treaty of Gulistan it was returned and still remained part of Qajar Iran.[7] However, per the outcoming Treaty of Turkmenchay that followed the next war Russo-Persian War (1826-1828),[5] Qajar Iran was now forced to irrevocably cede the city to Russia.[8]

Once absorbed into the Russian empire, it became a part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic after the Russian revolution in 1917, and the short time as part of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. In 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it became a part of independent Azerbaijan.


There are sandy beaches near Lankaran. Thermal sulphide, chloride, sodium-calcium waters of Andjin (Upper and Lower) mineral springs are situated 12 km west of the town. Also to the west are the ruins of Ballabur castle, near the village with the same name.

The region has a vast area of national parks, where a variety of fauna and flora are preserved. Gizil-Agach State Reserve hosts over 250 kinds of plants, 30 species of fish and more than 220 kinds of birds. Lankaran is also known for Parrotia persica, or ironwood. It is naturally grown in the region and could be seen in Hirkan National Park. Local myth has it that it is the only wood that sinks in water, hence the name (ironwood). Historically it has been used for heating, since it burns for a long time and is not easily extinguished. The Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) subspecies of the leopard, lives in the national park as well. In 1937, members of the Opilio lepidus species of harvestman were sited in the area.[9]


Lankaran has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), which borderlines the Mediterranean climate. Lankaran has cool, wet winters and very warm, dry/highly humid summers. The maximum annual precipitation of 1,600 to 1,800 mm, and is the highest precipitation in Azerbaijan.

Climate data for Lenkaran
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
Average low °C (°F) 0.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 91
Average precipitation days 10 10 11 8 8 3 2 4 7 13 12 9 97
Mean monthly sunshine hours 105.4 98.9 124.0 171.0 226.3 282.0 306.9 254.2 189.0 127.1 99.0 108.5 2,092.3
Source #1: [10]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory(sun only)[11]


Dominating spheres in Lankaran economy are vegetable-growing, tea-growing, paddy cultivating, cattle-breeding, citrus plants, beekeeping, fishing, and grain farming.[12] Favourable humid subtropical climate, availability of good arable land, water and sufficient labour resources of city provides a good basis for agricultural activities as well as development of agro-processing enterprises. The city is also home of Azerbaijan's first tea plant, built in 1937.[13]


Lankaran is home to Azerbaijan's largest Talysh community.


The religion with the largest community of followers is Islam. The majority of the Muslims are Shia Muslims, and the Republic of Azerbaijan has the second highest Shia population percentage in the world after Iran.[14] The city's notable mosques include Kichik Bazar Mosque and Boyuk Bazar Mosque.[15]


As of 2012, the city along with Baku and Ganja participates in Earth Hour movement.[16][17]


Lankaran's cuisine has largely been affected by its multicultural history, hence the large variety of food originating during Talysh Khanate. Lankaran’s signature cuisine includes lavangi, Lankaran kulcha, marji plov, white plov, pumpkin plov and turshu kebab.[18][19][20]

Music and media

The Bajilar folk and dance collective.

Lankaran is home to several national folk performers, including the Bacılar (The Sisters) national Talysh folk and dance collective.[21]

The regional channel Janub TV and newspaper Lankaran are headquartered in the city.[22]


Khazar Lankaran fans in Lankaran City Stadium.

The city has one professional football team competing in the top-flight of Azerbaijani football - Khazar Lankaran, currently playing in the Azerbaijan Premier League. Sporting venues in the city include the Lankaran City Stadium and Lankaran Olympic Sports Complex.[23] The stadium was one of the venues for the group stages of the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.[24]

In 2012, the city won to host European Masters Weightlifting Championship.[25]


Public system

Lankaran has a large urban transport system, mostly managed by the Ministry of Transportation.


The Lankaran International Airport is well served with connections to domestic and international destinations. The airport's international terminal was opened in September 2008 and the airport is set on its way for becoming one of the busiest hubs in Azerbaijan.[26]


The city has rail service from historic terminals in downtown to Baku in the east and Astara in the south.[27][28]


The following universities are located in Lankaran:

Notable residents

Some of the city's many prestigious residents include: Major-General of the Soviet armoured troops during World War II Hazi Aslanov, General of the Artillery in the Imperial Russian Army Samad bey Mehmandarov, folk singer and theatre actress Jahan Talyshinskaya, social activist Maryam Bayramalibeyova, pop singer Ilhama Gasimova, weightlifter Turan Mirzayev, singer Hagigat Rzayeva and footballer Dmitriy Kramarenko.[29][30]

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Lankaran is twinned with various cities.

  • Monterey, United States, (since 2011)[32]


See also


  1. ^ World Gazetteer: Azerbaijan –
  2. ^ lənkəran on (Azerbaijani)
  3. ^ Lənkəran haqqında tarixi coqrafi məlumat (Azerbaijani)
  4. ^ А. Периханян (1982), Этимологические заметки // Историко-филологический журнал. Ереван. № 1, pp. 55-62
  5. ^ a b History of Lankaran
  6. ^ Azerbaijan
  7. ^ Timothy C. Dowling Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond pp 729 ABC-CLIO, 2 dec. 2014 ISBN 1598849484
  8. ^ Timothy C. Dowling Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond pp 729 ABC-CLIO, 2 dec. 2014 ISBN 1598849484
  9. ^ Nataly Y. Snegovaya (2007). "Two New Harvestman Species from Lenkoran, Azerbaijan (Arachnida: Opiliones: Phalangiidae)" (PDF). Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society 14 (2): 88–92. 
  10. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Lenkaran". United Nations. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Climatological Information for Lankaran, Azerbaijan". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  12. ^ Business opportunities of the region
  13. ^ Tea culture in Azerbaijan
  14. ^ Juan Eduardo Campo,Encyclopedia of Islam, p.625
  15. ^ "Culture in Lankaran" (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Azerbaijan to join Earth Hour". Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "IDEA campaign to hold Earth Hour action". Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  18. ^ Azerbaijani Cuisine: Şirniyyat (Azerbaijani)
  19. ^ Cuisine of Lankaran
  20. ^ Azərbaycanın subtropik zonası (Azerbaijani)
  21. ^ "Bacılar" talış folklor mahnı və rəqs kollektivi (Azerbaijani)
  22. ^ "Radio-TV yayımı" (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Lankaran Olympic Sport Complex". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "France end Asian domination".  
  25. ^ "Weightlifting Masters". Official Website of European Masters Weightlifting 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  26. ^ Lənkəranda çay plantasiyalarının sahəsi genişləndirilir (Azerbaijani)
  27. ^ History of Lankaran:Economy
  28. ^ Turizm müəssisələri (Azerbaijani)
  29. ^ (Azerbaijani) The Voice of Happiness and Optimism: Jahan Talyshinskaya by Afruz Mammadova.
  30. ^ Асланов Ази Ахад оглы (in Русский). Heroes of the country. 
  31. ^ “We are heirs of victory” campaign started in Baku
  32. ^ Города США и Азербайджана стали побратимами (in Russian). Retrieved 13 November 2014. 

External links

  • Official city webpage - (English version)
  • Lankaran State University
  • Soviet topographic map 1:100,000 (published in 1991)
  • Satellite photo via Google Maps
  • History
  • Economy
  • Lankaran (as Lənkəran) at GEOnet Names Server
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