Mount Aragats is the highest mountain of Armenia. And it’s the fourth in Armenian Highland. It was in the borders of Aragatsotn, Shirak and Nig provinces of the Kingdom of Greater Armenia. Now it is in the area of Aragatsotn and Shirak regions and has a central position.
Aragatsotn mountain has four edges. The highest is northern by 4090 meters, then the Northwestern by 4080 meters, eastern by 3916 meters and the southern edge by 3897. The length of its base’s borders is 200 km. Among the edges, there is its crater with 350 m depth and 3km width. It is connected to the surroundings by the erosion aperture of the north, southern part.
Aragats has some big valleys – Gegharot, Amberd, Mantash and so on. The snow melting, rain-water, and channels create many rivers. There are also lakes on Aragats that attract everyone with their beauty.
In Aragats half-deserted, dry land-deserted, alpine and snowy zones follow one another.
The climate of Aragats changes according to the height. From the lowest part to the top, the annual temperature fluctuates from -3°C to +10°C. In the slopes the temperature is mild, in winter it’s cold.
The massif is rich with its haymakings and pastures. The meadows are full of fragrant flowers: violet, lily, poppy, Bellflower and many other beautiful flowers.
The wildlife representatives of Aragats are the Armenian Jerboa, rabbit, fox, wolf, lizards, turtles and snakes, also many birds.
The volcanic lavas cover the massif.
Kasagh is a lake with 89 km length. The surface of its basin is 1482 km2.
The outfalls of Kasagh are two little rivers. One of them starts from Aragats and another one from Pambak’s land slopes. They both mainly leak along smooth meadows and then connecting with each other create Kasagh river.
On the upper stream Kasagh flows more slowly and is low-watered, and on the middle stream becomes abounded in water and swift. Here, especially in the areas of Ashtarak and Oshakan villages, it flows through a deep canyon. At the estuary, it is divided into some parts and is poured into Sev water. In the lower stream in the area of Araratyan field, to irrigate the surrounding villages and gardens, people almost completely use the water of Kasagh river. That is the reason that in summer Kasagh parches completely.
Kasagh has 89km length. Amberd is the most abundant in water of the brooks of it. It starts from the redundant sources of Aragats and the water of the melted snow. For controlling the regime of Amberd, the snow that was brought by winds and gathered in the deep canyons has an important role. It usually melts under the sun and by that always provides water to the channel. Amberd streams by a deep canyon. It sometimes overflows and sometimes lowers. The reason of this is downfalls, that happen in Aragats.
The water of Kasagh falls and stays in Aparan’s pond. People use it for irrigation.
Gegharot is the right brook of Kasagh. It starts from the right slope of Aragats, from 3600 height. The length is 25km; water catchment basin is 66km2. The valley of the river is V-shaped and like a canyon. Its nourishing is mainly from melted snow and overflows in May-June. In winter it freezes. The waters people use for irrigation.
This river is the right brook of Kasagh. Amberd is a river in Aragatsotn province. It starts from the southern slope of Aragats, at an altitude of 3700 meters. The length is 36 km, the fishing basin 141 km2.
Its nutrition is mainly snowy and rainy and nether, the overflowing is at the end of spring and at the beginning of summer.
Mantash is in the Shirak province. Starts from the northwestern slope of Aragats. The overflowing is in May-June.
Tsaghkahovit has 20 km length. Starts from the northern slope of Aragats and in the southwestern part of Vardablur intermixes with the main river.
Geghadzor joining to Mantash creates Karkachan.
The waters are for irrigation.
Tradition about Aragats
The tradition says that before mountains of Armenia were giant brothers. Every morning, when they woke up, they used to fasten their belts then greet each other. Many years passed and the brothers were already old. They woke up later than they used to do. One day, waking up, they forgot to fasten their belts before greeting each other. God, seeing this, punished the brothers. They couldn’t move and became mountains, the belts green fields and the tears of the brother’s immortal sources.
Among those mountains were Aragats, that was the highest mountain in Armenia.
Byurakan Observatory named after Viktor Hambardzumyan is in Byurakan Village, in the slope of Aragats. Armenian National Academy of Sciences has the ownership and disposes of it. It is one of the most important observatories of Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
It has two parts: residential village and operational part, which includes the towers, administrative and laboratory buildings, meeting hall and guest house.
So if you like observing the stars you should visit here at least one time in your life.