Astrabad, Or Asterabad. I. A northern province of Persia, lying along the S. coast of a large bay of the same name, which forms the S. E. extremity of the Caspian sea. The surface is generally hilly, but near the principal rivers, the Gurgan and the Attruk, are considerable plains. The soil is fertile, and excellent fruit is everywhere produced. Large parts of the province, especially the plains near the rivers, form the favorite camping grounds and cattle pastures of the Goklan, Yamud, and other nomadic tribes. The climate is mild and equable. II. A town, capital of the preceding province, in lat. 36° 50' N., Ion. 54° 45' E., 15 m. S. E. of the Caspian sea, and 190 m. E. N. E. of Teheran; pop. about 10,000. A wall about two miles in circumference encircles it. The buildings are low and insignificant, and the trade and industries are unimportant. The town is exceedingly unhealthy, as the marshes and bodies of water near it send up malarious vapors of the most dangerous character. It is commonly known as "the city of the plague," and in the summer is almost deserted by its inhabitants.
Astrabad was formerly the residence of the Kajar princes, the ancestors of the present Persian dynasty.