Canyon of Hunot or Jdrduz

Jdrduz or Canyon of Hunot

May 26, 2014 - Travel to Armenia

As some visitors say, “If somewhere on the Earth exists paradise, then it should be in Nagorno Karabakh”. People call it paradise because of its vegetation, green valleys and forested mountains.

One of these heavenly spots is considered to be the upper part of Hunot canyon, which locals call Jdrduz. It is reached if you move to the city of Shushi, which is situated close to the capital of Nagorno Karabakh: Stepanakert.

Abandoned house in Shushi

The word Jdrduz has quite an interesting etymology. Some linguists say that the word derives from Old Persian chydyrdyuz, which means bald or smooth surface. On the other hand, some people note that it was a racecourse in the past with the same name Jdrdyuz. The canyon’s upper part can be described as a smooth territory beneath the forested area of the highland. It’s the lowest point of the city of Shushi: 1300 meters above the sea level, but it is a unique place for the altitude lovers, because it opens an incredible view to the canyon of Hunot in the bottom of which flows the Karkar River.

part of the murals of Shushi

Everyone in the city knows this place and you can easily find it by just asking local children. If you don’t even know Armenian, just write the word “Jdrduz – Ջդրդուզ” in your palm and show it to them, or pronounce as clearly as you can (quite difficult combination of sounds).

When you reach the place you’ll be amazed by the calmness of it. Don’t be afraid, it’s fenced now, but the entrance is still free, the fence is used just for denying the cars to enter the reserve.

Passing through the area, make a deep breath and feel the smell of mint herbs, they are quite common in Nagorno (you can even collect some and make tea after reaching home).

Tip: Go to this place in rainy weather. In the vicinity of the canyon there are some caves in which eagles live and in rainy weather they fly a little lower and you can just sit on the edge of the valley and watch them passing in a meter above your head.

› tags: Artsakh / hiking / history / travel tips /