Birjand is capital of South Khorasan province, eastern Iran. The city is known for its saffron and handmade carpet exports. Birjand is a fast-growing city and a major center of commerce in eastern Iran.
It had two forts, one on a prominent high ground in the south and the other on low ground in the north of the city. The old town was about three miles in circumference and had a few gardens and green fields known as Keshman in the southern sections.
Birjand commands a high strategic position in the eastern part of Iran, almost halfway between Zahedan (near the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan) on the one hand, and Mashhad (center of Khorasan Razavi) on the other. By virtue of this geographic situation it played important roles in both world wars, as a major link in the defense line of the East Persian Cordon during the first and as a key point on the Allies’ supply route to the USSR in the second.
The district is rich in minerals. Copper is known to have been mined in the past and many remnants of old mines are seen in the mountains.
The town, divided by the Khusf River (usually dry), was formerly the seat of semi-independent rulers and a caravan centre; it has in part maintained its commercial position. Local wool is excellent, and carpet making remains one of Birjand's most important industries.
Name of "Birjand" :
The main name of this city is Birjand, which is also written in the form of Berjan, Berjand, Berken and Birgand. Mr. Rajabali Labaf Khaniki, in his article entitled "Notice in the Name of Birjand," states that Birjand is a combination of the two components of "Bir" and "Jand". In the ancient Persian, Bir in terms of lightning, thunderbolt and storm, and "Jand", which is arabian shape of "kand", comes in the language of exodus, meaning the place and the city.
Considering the names of the regions and cities in the great Khurasan, such as Tashkand, Koland, Khojand, Samarkand and ... , this seems to be more accurate.