A young prince on a golden-maned horse arrived at the palace of Smbat, the ruler of Syunik, one of the Armenian provinces. He entered the painted hall and announced that he came back to ask for the hand of princess Sophia, the fame of whose beauty was spread throughout the world.
“You may be a worthy fiancé, but my daughter decides everything here,” Smbat answered.
And then, Sophia herself appeared, beautiful as a morning flower. She glanced at the young prince insolently and mockingly but then embarrassedly lowered her eyes. She wanted to look at him again, but she pulled herself together and said strictly:
“You must build a canal from the Vorotan River to the Vayots Dzor Gorge. And I will be building a temple. The first to finish the construction is the winner.”
The young prince began digging the canal immediately. He would work days and nights without sleep and rest. But when only two days were left before the deadline, he realized that he did not have time to complete the job – there still was a third of the work ahead.
The prince desperately rushed for assistance to his father. The latter advised covering the incomplete channel with white canvas. The canvas would sway in the wind and make the sound of waves. And from a cliff, it would be impossible to distinguish truth from fake.
And what about Sophia? The construction of the temple was no less challenging for her. She would spend all her fortune on it.
When a messenger appeared and informed Sophia that the construction of the canal had been completed, the only thing incomplete in her temple was an inscription on the wall. The messenger had seen with his own eyes how the waters of the Vorotan River flowed through the canal.
In despair, Sophia ran to the cliff. Even from afar, she heard the canvas fluttering in the wind, making the sounds of falling water. The unapproachable and invincible girl could not tolerate the defeat – she rushed down into the deep gorge.
But the temple erected by the beautiful princess would remain. And after Sophia’s precious earrings, it would be called Gndevank.