KUCHAN (a contracted form of Kabushan), a walled town and also a district of Persia, province Khorasan, enclosed north and south by the Hazar-Mazjid and AlaDag11 mountains. The town lies at the north foot of the Shah Jahan Kuh (11,000 feet), 3300 feet above the sea, in 37° 10' N. lat., 58° 25' E. long., about 80 miles northwest of Meshhed on the route to Shirvan. It is an important place, seat of a district governor, and surrounded by extensive gardens and vineyards yielding excellent fruits and grapes from which a superior wine is made. Population 20,000.
The district forms the western section of the longitudinal valley stretching between the above-mentioned ranges from Meshhed to Shirvan and communicating by the Allaho-Akbar Pass (4200 feet) northwards with the DarnGez country on the frontier of the new Russian Trans-Caspian Territory. it is very fertile, largely cultivated, and well watered by the upper Atrek river, which has its furthest source in an intermittent torrent just south of the pass. The whole valley is thickly dotted over with villages, while the slopes of the hills afford good pasture to the numerous flocks and herds of the warlike Zafaranlu. Kurds, who guarded the frontier against the Akhal Tekke Turkomans until these marauders were reduced by the Russians in the spring of 1881. Of this region little was known until the explorations of Baker, Gill, O'Donovan, and Stewart (1874-81).