The Azat river originates from the southwestern slopes of the Spitakasar peak of the Gegham mountain range. The total length is 55 km. It is considered the left tributary of the Araks River and, taking the Goght tributary from the right near the village of Garni, enters the Garni Valley. That part of the valley is also called Azat River Gorge. In the lower reaches, the river flows into the Ararat valley. In the upper reaches of the river, the gorge is covered by dense forests of the Khosrov reserve.

Near the village of Lanjazat (Zovashen) a reservoir and a hydroelectric power station are built on Azat. In the lower stream, it passes through the Ararat valley and flows into Araks. Food is mostly underground (69%) and snowmelt (21%). Azat is mostly fast-flowing, has a rocky, slippery bed and a large drop. The waters are partially used for agricultural and energy purposes. It flows from April to June.

There is a single-span bridge of the 13th century on the Azat river, near the village of Garni. Garni Temple and Havuts Tar monastery complex are located above the gorge. The upper part of the Azat River together with the Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The river valley is famous for its unique basalt columnar outcrops and other natural monuments.


In the middle stream of the Azat River, near the village of Lanjazat, is laying Azat Reservoir. It was commissioned in 1976. It is located at an altitude of 1050 m above sea level. The purpose of building the reservoir is to irrigate the Ararat valley. The area is 2.85 km2, the total volume is 70 million m2. It is the fourth largest reservoir in Armenia. This man-made reservoir has now become a separate ecosystem and is home to a variety of animal species. There are a lot of fish here (carp, carp, redfish, etc.) and this place is popular with fishing enthusiasts.

The reservoir is surrounded by mountains and has become a very popular tourist route for several years. The views from the reservoir leave no one indifferent. Before the visitors stand the mountains of Yeranos in all their beauty.

There is no flora in the area around Azati Reservoir, so it is not recommended to visit here in hot weather, as there is a high probability of sunburn.

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

Author of photos: Artyom Martirosyan