Azerbaijan International

Spring 2005 (13.1)
Page 73

Legends from Azerbaijan

Aghri Dagh
by Sadnik Pirsultanli

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Left: Gizildagh (Golden Mountain). View taken while hiking between the village of Laza up the Gusarchai valley between the two mountains of Gizildagh and Shahdagh. Photo: John Connor.

(Suffering Mountain or Ararat). Told by Firangiz Aslan gizi Rasulova, 75, in the Bala Mirza village of the Goycha region, which is now Armenian territory.

There is a legend about Aghri Mountain. They say that the two mountains Aghri and Garniyarig used to be two brothers. Aghri Mountain was the older brother and Garniyarig Mountain was the younger one. Garniyarig was a brave and very polite youth, and he loved his brother so much. He was even ready to give his own life for his brother. But the older brother was very cold towards him.

One day the younger brother fell in love with a girl. The girl loved him, too. But the younger brother would never do anything without the advice of his older brother. The same happened this time. But when the older brother saw the girl that the younger brother was in love with, he also fell in love with her.

Everybody loved the younger brother, not the older one. Once the brothers heard that the enemy had gathered troops in a neighboring village and were trying to kill the older brother. The younger brother would not allow his brother to fight with enemy and he went himself to battle. After the younger brother left for battle, the older brother kidnapped his lover.

The younger brother was victorious in battle and took revenge for his brother. He returned in triumph and started looking for his brother and his beloved, but he couldn't find either one of them. Eventually, people told him what had happened. The news deeply saddened him. The younger brother's heart broke and he turned into a mountain.
Today, as the mid-section of the mountain is split apart, they call it "Garniyarig" ("garin " in Azeri means "belly", "yarig" means "slit" or "crack"; so "garniyarig" means "slit in the belly".) Since then, everybody comes to see and gaze on this mountain.

The older brother heard what happened to his younger brother. He, too, became very sad because of his brother's death. His heart started aching and he, too, turned into a mountain. Since the older brother's heart ached so much, they call this mountain "Aghri Dagh" ("aghri" in Azeri means "pain" or "mountain of pain"). However since the older brother had been cold towards his younger brother, there is always snow on the top of Agri Dagh.

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