ElevationAscent: 1,608' 490 m
Descent: -56' -17 m
High: 6,747' 2,057 m
Low: 5,196' 1,584 m
GradeAvg Grade: 15% (9°)
Max Grade: 71% (35°)
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“The route takes runners past some significant landmarks such as the Garni Temple and Kakavaberd.”— State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia
The trail leads to Kakavaberd, also known as Keghvaberd, is a medieval fortress on the right bank of the Azat River, in the Mazaz region of the Ararat province. The Armenian Catholicos and historian Hovhannes Draskhanakertsi, first mentions Kakavaberd, in the 9th century, as the ancestral land of the Bagratuni Dynasty. According to Draskhanakertsi’s writings, in 924, the Arab commander, Beshir, attacked the fortress but was defeated by the commander, Gevorg Marzpetuni. However, Marzpetuni’s forces were diminished, and they soon sought refuge elsewhere, leaving the fortress to be taken by Beshir. The fortress is currently still standing and well preserved.
Gilan village is located 8 km from Garni, in the Khosrov Reserve. There is no school, village administration, or hospital in the village. Gilan does not technically have village status, but people live here together with their families, without any major issues. Here, 20 families work together to cultivate their land, plant new trees and enjoy the large variety of fruits and vegetables that this land provides them with year round.
Another historic site of interest in the area is the pagan Temple of Garni which is located on the right bank of the Azat River. Legend ascribes Garni’s founding to Hayk Nahapet’s (the ancestor of all Armenians) great-grandson, Gegham, who named the temple of Garni after his grandson Garnik. The fortress of Garni was built in the Hellenistic architectural style, on the high triangular promontory, during the reign of King Tiridates I (Trdat, in Armenian) in the year 76. The fortress of Garni was destroyed several times throughout the centuries, but Armenian kings would always restore it–turning it into a summer residence, a place for the military exercises of troops and even an Episcopal Residence.
Price List for the Khosrov Reserve (All costs are per day. More information available at khosrovreserve.am/ ):
- Guide: 15,000 AMD
- Transport Service: 15,000-20,000 AMD
- Horse Riding: 10,000 AMD
- Entrance: 5,000 AMD
In the areas between Gilan and Kakavaberd there are a variety of interesting plants, trees, and flowers, which vary depending on each micro climate. Semi-desert landscape dominates the lower slopes of the mountains, and forest vegetation covers the mid-altitude slopes, where sparse juniper and oak trees grow.
Other plants include the broad-leaf spindle (euonymus europaeus), guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus), sorbus and Caucasian honeysuckle, and species of flowers such as cichorium, clary sage (salvia), valeriana (valerians), Centaurea, nettle, plantain (plantago), white bryony, and Achillea, which are said to have healing properties. Plants like thyme (Thymus) and mint grow here as well.
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