Ara: The King Mount of Armenia
Mount Ara is situated in Kotayk Province of Armenia and is 2577 meters high. It’s a heavily eroded and mysterious volcanic crater, situated in between the rivers of Hrazdan and Kasakh.
Mount Ara is situated very close to the villages laid in the area. It is famous for being one of the most visited mountains in the region. Many hikers like this place, because, even being not so high and having very many green areas on its surface, it is still attractive. They find this mountain very adventurous and not easy to climb up.
Generally the hiking is being done in a pre-organized way, so as a group of people can gather and do the hiking together and take a private bus to reach the destination, but if someone wants to hike alone or in two, there are many ways to do it without even spending much money (Attention: we wouldn’t advise to hike alone). You just need to go till the town of Eghvard, which is situated on the slopes of the Mount Ara, move to the village of Zoravan and start the way to the mount pick. To reach Eghvard from Yerevan you just need to take a public inter-regional minibus, which costs only 150-200 AMD and then move on foot. There is also another more interesting trap to the Mount that leads from the village of Erznka. Not far from it there is the cave hollowed chapel of Cakhkevank, which is a perfect place for the pilgrims who come here not only to hike but to show their dedication to God. This place is also famous for having a holly spring coming from the slopes of the Mount and having healing effect on the ones who drink from it.
The mount itself is connected to some legends and stories and even the shape of it reminds the hero of one of this legends. Note that by the same reason the Mount is now called Ara.
So the story forms like this: Armenians had a king, whose name was Ara Geghecik («գեղեցիկ» (geghecik) means beautiful translating from Armenian), this king loved his wife Nuard and was happy with her, but the Assyrian Queen Semiramis fell in love with Ara and started wars against the kingdom, because of being refused by the king. One of these battles ac-cured near the Mount and unfortunately the king fall during it.
If you watch the Mount from far, you can see the shape of a lying man with a typical Armenian nose. This man is the King Ara.