The Mystery ofAzhdahak

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Legends

There are many Legends and Miths around Mount Azhdahak. Here are some of them:

The name Azhdahak has its origins in Armenian mythology. The Azhdahak were half man and half dragon. In Armenian the word for dragon is "vishap". Vishaps lived in high mountains, in big lakes and in clouds of the sky. Whether they were in the sky or resting on lakes their roar could blast away everything for miles. According to legend a one thousand year old vishap could absorb the whole world, often during thunderstorms old vishaps from high mountains or lakes fly up to the sky and vishaps in the sky go down on the earth. In Persian the word "Azhdaak" means huge, powerful and tremendous.

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The Yazidi tell how a malicious flying dragon, vomiting fire and bringing lightning, swept upon them at night. They could not drive away the dragon nor escape.

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There is a belief that in various mountains and lakes around the world there is invisible network, which cannot be proved by any modern science. Lakes from different parts of the world communicate with each other through this network. Some experts argue that by unintelligible for people manner monsters travel through this network all over the world. It is rumored that mysterious beasts even like the "Loch Ness Monster" has visited the lakes of the Geghama Mountains.

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In one ancient Armenian myth, Vishap abducts the sister of the thunder god making her his wife. In the History of Armenia by Movses Khorenatsi, Azhdahak is the name of the king of Media. In this legendary history king Tigran of Armenia settles Anuysh, wife of Azdhahak, at the foot of the mountain range after killing Azdahak in battle. Below is the full text of this story.

"History of Armenia", Told by Movses Khorenatsi at the instance of Sahak Bagratuni.


The alliance of Cyrus (Cyrus II "the great" 559 - 530 BC and the founder of the Achemenian Persian empire) and Tigran(the greatest Armenian king) was of a great danger for the King of Media, Azhdahak.

From the severe agitation of his thoughts, a vision appeared to him during his sleep at night, the like of which in his waking hours he had never seen with his eyes or heard with his ears.


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Awaking with a start he summoned his counselors and tells the details of the fearful vision. "Today I was in an unknown land near to a mountain that rose high from the earth and which peak appeared enveloped in a thick ice. One would have said that it was in the land of the Hikedes. As I gazed for a long time at the mountain, a woman dressed in purple and wrapped in a veil the color of the sky appeared sitting at the summit of that great height. Her eyes were beautiful, her stature tall, her cheeks red, and she was seized with the pains of childbirth. I was looking amazed for a long time at this performance the woman suddenly gave birth to three heroes, fully formed in stature and form. The first was mounted on a lion and flew to the west; the second on a leopard looked to the north; but the third rode a monstrous dragon and launched an attack on our empire."

"In the midst of such confused visions it seemed to me that I was standing on the roof of my palace, and I saw the surface of this pavilion adorned with beautiful and many-colored awnings; the gods who crowned me were present in a wonderful spectacle, and, I was honoring them with sacrifices and incense. Suddenly I looked up and saw the man who was riding the dragon, flying with eagle's wings, bearing down; he was already close by, intending to destroy the gods. But I, Azhdahak, interposing myself, received this attack and came to grips with the wonderful hero. First we both hacked each other's body with lances, causing streams of blood to flow; the surface of the palace that shines like the sun we made a sea of blood. For the end of the matter was destruction, thereafter I did not seem to be alive. The course of these visions indicates nothing else save that king Tigran of the Hikede is about to come upon us in a violent assault. Who then, with the help of the gods, by offering us useful advice in word and deed will not hope to become our fellow sovereign?"

Having heard and honored with gratitude the opinion of his councilors, he shared his design with them: "The executor of the plot and the means of drawing into the trap is his sister Tigranuhi, the most beautiful and wise of women. For suchlike outside relationships provide opportunities to implement a secret plot under the guise of communication."

Having sent one of his counselors with rich gifts to Tigran, Azhdahak asked Tigran to give him in marriage Tigranuhi - the princess of Greater Armenia and Tigran's sister, offering her to become the Queen of Queens. Tigran agreed and gave his sister Tigranuhi in marriage to Azhdahak. He did not yet know the latter's plot and sent his sister according to royal custom. Azhdahak received her, and not only because of the deceit in his heart but also because of her beauty made her the first of his wives. Having made Tigranuhi the Queen, he did nothing in his kingdom against her will. However, spinning the network of treachery, fed her with false rumors. The shrewd-minded beauty, however, having perceived the plot by the Median, responded with the words of love, informing her brother urgently of the treachery using her faithful people.

And once such baseness had been revealed there was thenceforth no excuse or deceit that could veil such wickedness, but then war broke out openly. The Armenian king gathered troops from the confines of Cappadocia, the total elite of Iberia and Albania, and selected warriors of Greater and Lesser Armenia and marched with whole his host to the land of Media.

When the battle was joined, with his lance Tigran split Azhdahak's iron armor like water; the point of the lance ran right through him, and as he drew it back again he brought out with his weapon half of his lungs. The combat was magnificent, for heroes were facing heroes, and not straightway did they turn their backs to each other. Therefore the struggle was drawn out over many hours. But the death of Azhdahak brought it to an end. And this feat, added to his good fortune, increased Tigran's glory.

But Anuysh, Azhdahak's first wife, Tigran settled safe at the edge of the great mountain’s chasm. The chasm is rumored to have been formed by a terrible earthquake; it had been narrated by the people dispatched by Ptolemy to measure the inhabited land in stadia, as well as part of the sea and the uninhabited land starting from the hot belt up until Kimuron. He gave servants to Anuysh from among the same Medes who dwelt at the foot of the mountain.

Tigran, the only one of the Hikedes, is the one who killed Azhdahak, took his house into captivity, like Ainush, mother of vishaps, and seized the state of the Mars and the Persian with Cyrus' help and approval.