“In the 17th century, the Katarovank monastery was founded on the top of the mountain Dizapayt. There, monks performed prayer rituals to clear the area of evil spirits,” Varsenik Mkhitaryan, a resident of the village of Tumi, said.
The monastery of Katarovank is a high-altitude temple in Artsakh located at an altitude of 2480 meters above sea level. According to Mkhitaryan, if you go up to the monastery at dawn, you can feel like you are swimming in the sky.
At the site of the Katarovank monastery, there once was an ancient sanctuary, but it was destroyed during wars. Residents of the villages of Tumi or Hin Tager often visit the monastery to participate in ancient rituals, one of which is the matagh (a sacrifice ritual), and piously believe that the rituals will bring luck and protect them from illnesses.
“I advise everyone visiting the southern regions of Artsakh to take a trip to the mountain of Dizapayt. You will be impressed and blessed,” Mkhitaryan says.
Climbing the mountain is best in the early morning and in clear weather. From the top of the mountain of Dizapayt, there is a beautiful view of the Mrav Mountains, Araks River, Kirs, and even the steppes of Iran.
“Usually, people climb to the top of the mountain in summer or early autumn. In other seasons, climbing the mountain is impossible because of the winding road constantly covered in snow. There is a high risk of falling down.”
There is a beautiful legend about this place, which is only remembered by few. In ancient times, pagan warriors invaded Artsakh, capturing villages and taking their inhabitants into captivity.
Among them was a beautiful woman named Taguhi. The commander was so fascinated by her that he wished to marry her.
Christian Taguhi rejected the pagan, for which she was brutally killed. Her body was ripped up and scattered all over the field. That night, the soldiers noticed something strange – the fragments of the body of the murdered girl started to glow.
Struck by the sight, the pagans were horrified and frightened of the punishment for killing a Christian. The commander with his soldiers converted to Christianity, and the remains of the girl were gathered from the field and buried on top of the Dizapayt mountain.
It is said that it is for this reason that the Dizapayt Mount has a special energy and strength that is felt by those who visit the mountain and the monastery of Katarovank.