SULEDEH (also Suldeh, Suladeh), Caspian township and former sub-province in Māzandarān province.

An early mention of Suledeh is in 1859 report of Charles Francis Mackenzie, who describes it as a large village with 200 houses, 20 shops, two bathhouses, and a three-span bridge, built by Mirzā Āqā Khan Nuri (1807-65; see EʿTEMĀD-AL-DAWLA). Half a century later, Hyacinth Louis Rabino, who crossed the village in 1908 and 1909, locates it a half a mile off the Caspian shore on the river Suledeh, which rose in the hills of Lābij/Lāvij. The swampy hinterland supported the cultivation of rice, which was stored in thatched huts to be shipped to Russia. Suledeh was on the western border of the coastal part of Nur district (Rabino, 1913, p. 445; idem, 1928, p. 31). 

Located 27 miles northwest of Āmol and 30 miles west of Nowšahr, at lat 36°34′ N, long 52°01′ E, Suledeh went through several administrative revisions within the province of Māzandarān during the Pahlavi rule. In the 1930s Suledeh was the administrative center of the boluk of Nātelkenār, which had 19 settlements and 5,076 souls and was a dependency of Āmol (Keyhān, III, p. 297). In the late 1940s, Suledeh was the winter administrative center of the Nur district (baḵš). During summer, not only would half of Suledeh’s 2,000 inhabitants migrate to the highlands of Nur, but also the district’s administration (baḵšdāri) would move to the village Balada on the Uzrud/Nur/upper Harāz valley in Nur proper (Razmārā, pp. 165, 308). While Nur proper remained within the sub-province of Āmol, Suledeh, as shown on the maps, was designated as a sub-province consisting of Lajrostāq, ʿAlvikalā, Kālej, Kolrudpey, Balada-ye Kojur, and Tavābeʿ dehestāns (Figure 1); most of these rural districts belonged to the former Kojur. However, the sub-provincial status of Suledeh was ephemeral: littoral Suledeh and Nur proper were integrated in 1961 into the Nur sub-province, which retains its awkward L-shaped outline to this date. Suledeh was the center and only town of the Nur sub-province (Markaz-e Āmār-e Irān, 1969, pp. 44-55).

The name Suledeh continued to survive side by side with Nur as the name of both the sub-province and its administrative seat up until the early 1970s (Mofḵam Pāyān, p. 268; Moṣāḥeb, I, p. 1375; Sāzmān-e Fār, pp. 181-82; Adamec, p. 491), after which time the name Suledeh fell out of use in favor of Nur. Even the namesake river that crosses the Suledeh/Nur township is now labeled as Āb-e širin on the maps.

The toponymy of “Suledeh” is inconclusive, while its kernel, sul, appears in other place names around the Alborz: Sulqān or Sulaqān (northwest of Greater Tehran), Sulaš (mentioned by Ẓahir-al-Din, p. 36, as the starting point of a journey to Amlaš and Tonekābon; see Borjian), as well as Māsula.


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

H. Borjian, “The Caspian Dialect of Kujūr in The Central Alborz,” Iran 51, 2013, pp. 237-48.

Masʿud Keyhān, Joḡrāfiā-ye mofaṣṣal-e Irān, 3 vols., Tehran, 1921-22.

C. F. Mackenzie, “Narrative of a Journey from Resht to Asterabad,” 1859, MS FO 60/245, National Archives, Kew, UK; tr. Manṣura Etteḥādiya as Safarnāma-ye šomāl, Tehran, 1980.

Markaz-e Āmār-e Irān (Sāzmān-e Barnāma wa Budje), Village Gazetteer/ Farhang-e ābādihā-ye kešvar XI. Ostān-e Māzandarān, Tehran, 1969.

Loṭfallāh Mofḵam Pāyān, Farhang-e ābādihā-ye Irān, šāmel-e nāmhā wa mawqeʿiyat-e joḡrāfiāʾi-e šahrhā wa deyhhā-ye kešvar, Tehran, 1950.

Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Moṣāḥeb, Dāyerat al-Maʿāref-e fārsi, 2 vols., Tehran, 1966-97.

Hyacinth Louis Rabino, “A Journey in Mazanderan (from Rasht to Sari),” Geographical Journal 42/5, 1913, pp. 435-54.

Idem, Mázandarán and Astarábád, London, 1928. 

Ḥosayn-ʿAli Razmārā, ed., Farhang-e joḡrāfiāʾi-e Irān (ābādihā) III, Tehran, 1950, p. 165.

Saḥāb Geographic and Drafting Institute, Naqša-ye rāhnemā-ye ostān-e Māzandarān, Tehran, n.d. [late 1950s/early 1960s].

Sāzmān-e Fār, Rāhnemā-ye šahrestānhā-ye Irān, ed. Ebrāhim Eṣlāḥ-ʿArabāni, Tehran, 1976. 

Mir Sayyed Ẓaḥir-al-Din Marʿaši, Tāriḵ-e Gilān o Deylamestān, ed. M. Sotuda, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1985.

(Habib Borjian)

Cite this article:

Habib Borjian, "SULEDEH,"  Encyclopædia Iranicaonline edition, 2014, available at (accessed on 12 December 2014).