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Canyon of Garni (Azat river)

Kotayk

Canyon of Garni stretches along the river Azat (Garni) and Goght (tributary of Azat). It is notable for its magnificent, seemingly artificial slopes, which are composed of regular hexagonal prisms. The last stretch from the foot to the top of the gorge and got the name "Symphony of Stones".

Azat River is very beautiful. It is the left tributary of the Araks River. The length of river is 55km, the basin-572km². It originates from the south-western slopes of Geghama Mountains and passes through Khosrov reserve. Right from the village of Garni, influx Goght enters the canyon Garni. That part of the valley is also called «The gorge of river Azat». The river enters to Ararat valley in the lower reaches. The river has a great fall and rocky river-bed.

River is fed primarily by groundwater. It overflows in April-June. In those days you can hear how the water pulls out stones from the bottom and break with one another. The waters are used for irrigation and electricity generation. Azat Reservoir and hydroplant are fed by the water of river Azat. The average annual flow rate, in the mouth of the river, is about 6,51m³/s, maximum 35.9m³/s, consumption- 206mln.m³.

A single-span bridge of XIII century is located on the river Azat, near Garni village. Temple of Garni and the monastery complex of Havuts Tar are located on the top of the gorge. If to watch from the temple of Garni, you can see a rock, formed from the confluence of Azat and Goght, which looks like a guitar.


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