Araks (also: Araz, Aras, Yeraskh), originates from Srmants peak of Byuraknian plateau (altitude: 2700 m), it is one of the largest rivers of the Armenian highlands. The total length of the river is 1072 km, the basin is 102 ha. km2. About 76% of the territory of the Republic of Armenia belongs to the Araks Basin.

In the upper stream it passes through Turkey, in the middle stream it demarcates Armenia from Turkey, Nakhichevan from Iran, Armenia from Iran, and then Azerbaijan from Iran. In the lower stream it flows through the territory of Azerbaijan.

On its way, Araks River enters the Tvaratsatap field, where it receives the Karasu River and exits to the Bassen field. Receiving the Murts tributary from the left, Araks passes through the Kars plateau and Haykakan Par, after which, receiving its largest tributary, the Akhuryan, it enters the Ararat Valley. Here the Araks river accepts a number of rivers. Deghi, Karmir rivers, Metsamor, Hrazdan, Azat, Vedi, Arpa, then Nakhijevan, Meghri, Voghji, Vorotan and Hagar. Araks joins Kur near the city of Sabirabad in Azerbaijan.

The waters of the Araks River are used for irrigation and many canals and reservoirs have been built on it. Five famous bridges were built on Araks: Taperakan, from which the Artashat-Tigranakert royal avenue began, Basen, Yervandakert, Nakhijevan and Jugha bridges. The latter, according to the legend, was built by Alexander the Great and destroyed in 1605 by order of the Persian Shah Abbas.

Araks is considered the “mother river” of the Armenian world, it is often found in literature as “Mother Araks”.


The article was compiled based on observations and materials collected by the ArmLand club.

Author of photos: Artyom Martirosyan