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    Posted: 03 Dec 2016 at 17:15

Sunqur or Sonqor, the name of a district and a present-day small town in western Persia (town: lat. 34° 45’ N., long 47° 39’ E.). It lies in the Zagros Mountains between modern Kangâwar [see Kinkiwar] and Sanandadj [q.v.] or Sinna, within the modern province of Kirmânshâh.
In mediaeval Islamic times, it lay on the road between Dînawar [q.v.] and Âdharbâydjân, and must correspond approximately to the first marhala on the stretch from Dînawar to Sîsar, the name of which is read al-Djârbâ (al-Muqaddasî, 382), Kharbârdjân (Ibn Khurradâdhbih, 119; Qudâma, 212), etc. which was 7 farsakhs from Dînawar (the actual distance between the present ruins of Dînawar and Sunqur is, however, not more than 24 km/15 miles). Sunqur might therefore correspond to the district of Mâybahradj (al-Balâdhurî, Futûh, 310), which was detached from Dînawar under the caliph al-Mahdî and joined to Sîsa [q.v.]; cf. Schwarz, Iran im Mittelalter, iv, 477-9. If, however, we are to recognize in the name of the Kurd tribe Payrawand (Pahrawand) a reminiscence of the old name Pahradj (“custodia, vigilia”), this tribe must have been driven westerwards for it now occupies the west face of Mount Parrau (= Bîsutûn), lying t the southwest of Dînawar (cf. Rabino, Kermanchah, in RMM, xxxviii [1920], 36).

The easy pass of Mele-mâs on the line of heights from Dâlakhânî to Amrula separates Sunqur from Dînawar. On the northeast, Sunqur is bordered by mount Pandja-‘Ali (Mustawfi, Nuzhat al-qulub, ed. Le Strange, 217: Pandj-Angusht), behind which runs the direct road from Hamadân to Sanandadj. Sunqur is watered by the upper tributaries of the river of Dînawar, which ultimately joins the Gamas-âb (Karkha). Sunqur in the strict sense is adjoined by the more northern district of Kulyâ’î on the upper corse of the Gâwa-rûd, the western dependencies of which are Bîlawar and Niyâbat (on the Kirmânshâh-Sanandadj road; cf. Rabino, opcit., 12, 35). The importance of Sunqur lay in the fact that it was on the road followed by Muslim pilgrims from Tabrîz to Kirmânshâh; to avoid the Kurdish territory of Sanandadj the road made a detour by Bîdjâr (Garrûs) and Sunqur, from which Kirmânshâh could be reached in a day’s march.
The population of the district is made up of two distinct elements. The town (1991 population figure: 37,772) is peopled by Turks, who are said to have come there in the Mongol period. Their chief Sunqur was a vassal of the Mongols of Shîrâz (?).
The district, on the other hand, is inhabited by Kurd agriculturist whose chiefs belong to the tribe of Kulyâ’î. The Khâns in control there until the early 20th century were said to be the descendants in the eight generation from Safi Khan who lived in the time of the latter Safawids. In 1213/1798, ‘Alî Himmat Khân and his brother Bâbâ Khân (of the Nânakalî tribe) supported the pretender Sulaymân Khan and were executed by Fath ‘Alî Shâh (Sir Harford Jones Brydges, History of the Kajars, London 1833, 58-9, 67). The Kulyâ’î speak a Kurd dialect resembling Kirmânshâhî and are suspected of Ahl-i Haqq [q.v.] religious tendencies.
Bibliography: Given in the article, but see also Razmara (ed.). Farhang-i djughrâfiyâ-yi Îrân-zâmîn.

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