Vishapakars of the Mount Tirinkatar

The Mount Tirinkatar’s Valley of “Dragon stones” is located on the southwestern slope of Mount Aragats, about 12 km from the top of the peak, in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia.

The valley is formed in the depression between the mountains Sev Sar (3,138m) and Tirinkatar (2,858m), which is filled with lake-glacial formations (clay, basaltic rocks of different sizes), creating a smooth and wide valley.

Vishapakars, or “Dragon stones” are found throughout the valley, some of which were discovered during excavations. The Vishapakars look like fish, bull, aries, which are carved on 2-4 meters long basalt rocks. It is obvious that the Vishapakars were standing thousands of years ago, and they were facing towards the north, to the top of Aragats.

Later in history, probably after the religious changes in Armenia, the Vishapakars were thrown to the ground and covered with soil and rocks (while thrown, some Vishapakars were broken). During several years of excavations, an expedition of archaeologists found about 12 Vishapakars in the valley․

It is noteworthy, that the Valley of Vishapakars is located right at the foot of the volcanic Mount Tirinkatar, which erupted in the upper Quaternary period (about 150,000-80,000 years ago). The volcanic mountain is named after one of the gods of our ancient sacred faith – Tir, the assistant of the Supreme God Aramazd.

Many settlements and mountain peaks in Armenia were named after Tir, let’s mention the mountain peak in the Tavros mountain range – Tirinkatar, and the city in historic Taron Province – Tirakatar․

In Armenian mythology, dragons were called vishaps. Vishapakars are carved with images of these fabulous creatures, as well as fish, storks, bulls and other animals. This is a unique phenomenon for Armenia, which is still fraught with many mysteries.

Vishapakars are mostly set high in the mountains, where, according to legend, dragons lived. Rivers and lakes played an important role in the location, because giant snakes are associated with the element of water. Some dragon stones are 2-3 millennia old.

Historians have many versions about the purpose of Vishapakars: they were dedicated to pagan gods, marked the places of underground sources, and were objects of worship.

Source: Phoenix Tour Armenia

Arsen Bobokhyan: Vishapakars: Dragon Stones of Armenia’s Mountains

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *