Agri (Ağrı)

The city of Ağrı, that has the traces of many civilizations, is located at the skirts of the famous Mount Ağrı (Ararat). The Mount Ağrı, where the Noah’s Ark is believed to be rested, is the highest in Turkey. It is a place of interest both with its legends and with its never melting snowy tops all the year round. It is now endeavoured to have it back again at the service of tourism in numerous ways.

Mount Agri (Ararat) and The Noah’s Ark

Wherever and whatever direction you go in the region, you see the Biblical Mount Ağrı before you. You can not get free of it. This is Mount Ağrı. The highest of Turkey with its 5165 meters.

A Legend on mount Ağrı

We mentioned that a number of tales are told in the East. Here is one of Mount Ağrı: The Grand Ağrı and the Little Ağrı were from the family of Mount Kaf, the Sultan of the mountains. The little sister Mount Little Ağrı was engaged with New Mount Kaf, son of the Mount Kaf. The Mount Grand Ağrı was the sardar (commander) of the army of mountains. When he was away with his army for a war that would last for 70 years, the Mount Sultan Kaf has passed away. It and the Little Ağrı mountains cover an area of 1.188 square kilometres. This volcanic mountain has been the subject of many a legends throughout the history. The holy books told about it, it was also accepted to be holy. Quite a number of researchers keep looking for Noah’s Ark for years was Grand Ağrı’s right to become the Sultan of the mountains but the New Mount Kaf got the throne by taking the advantage of his absence and being away. Grand Ağrı was very sorry for this injustice. He took his sister Little Ağrı, left the country and settled where they are now. The aged, tired and sad Grand Ağrı put his head already. Some of them took its photographs and even published them. It is the Mount Ağrı that is believed to be where the Prophet Noah’s Ark has rested after the flood. Furthermore it is also believed that the İrem Vineyards (Garden of Eden) where Adam and Eve are believed to have lived, are in the Aras on his sister’s knee and fell asleep. Long years passed. New Mount Kaf yearned for his fiancée and sent his ambassadors to Mount Ağrı to beg for forgiveness and to ask for his fiancée be sent back to him. Mount Grand Ağrı expelled the ambassadors away and fell asleep again. New Mount Kaf was angry, he got his army ready Valley in the north of the mountain. The Güneykaya Skiing Facilities (30 km to City of Ağrı and 6 km to Eleşkirt) is covered with snow for six months of the year and the snow quality is very suitable for skiing sports. With this a new facility is added to the Palandöken and Sarıkamış skiing centres and went onto Mount Grand Ağrı. In vain. Grand Ağrı defeated the whole big army on his own only. New Mount Kaf did not give up. He attached again, seven times, every time with a larger army ever then before. No use, every time they have been defeated by Mount Ağrı, again and again. In between the Little Ağrı was also yearning for her fiancée and was feeling like going back to him, but was afraid of his brother. New Mount Kaf realised that force did not be of any use and decided to be tricky this time. He came in the Eastern Anatolia, where it is ideal for winter sports. There are chairlifts, accommodation and restaurant facilities available there. 5 km to the east of Diyadin, a small town of the city of Ağrı, near the River Murat are the hot spring resorts, known by the names Yılanlı, Davut and Köprü. They are close silently and gestured to his fiancée to come over silently. Little Ağrı tried to pull off her knee from under his brother’s head to run away but Grand Ağrı coughed with flames and smoke coming out of his mouth to show that he was not sleeping. New Mount Kaf ran away with fear. In the meanwhile all the villages around them caught fire and burnt down to ashes. Since then, every time Little Ağrı tries to escape every seventy years with the belief that her brother is asleep this time, Grand Ağrı starts to cough again; shaking the ground and skies. Open all year round and are believed to be good for rheumatisms and dermal diseases. A quality thermal hotel opened in 2000 added liveliness to the resort.


Doğubeyazıt, where one can go from Kars by turning at the Horasan junction and then via Ağrı, was at its former location at old city, about 3 km to the south-east until 1983. because of its out-of-the-way location and rough geographic terrain it was moved down to the plains. The Ishak Pasha Palace, on the top pf the hill as an eagle nest and overlooking the plain, was completed in 1784. It took too long to build it, exactly 99 years. It was built on an Ottoman palace plan understanding but Baroque and Rococo touched show themselves too. It is a composite architecture that also possesses Seljuk and local motives. The crown gate recalls Seljuk style. Through it we come to the first inner courtyard. The service buildings were there, but they could not survive until today. Into the second courtyard it leads through another crown gate. On the right are the men’s departments. Seen next to them are the mosque and the turbeh. From the much-decorated high door it leads to the harem section. There are the kitchen, bath and pantry houses. The walls of the reception hall made of crème and black stones are very nice. There was an upper gallery of the harem section, but it does not exist today. It is said that the governor ran into troubles for this palace of his which was being found to be too much of a magnificence for a governor. He was taken from his post when he was a governor with the title of vizier and expelled to Hasankale. On a steep rocky hill not far from the Ishakpasa Palace, the remainders of an Urartian fortress can be seen. The Beyazıt Mosque on the southern skirts of the fortress is in good condition.


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