Vorotan (Bargushat) river


River Vorotan (Bargushat) originates from Artsakh Plateau and falls into the river Araks. Its length is 178km, basin- 5650km². It is mountainous river, flows through the curved canyon. Drop is 16m at 1km.

Major tributaries: Sisian, Lernashen, Goris, Hakari. The river has a mixed feeding (50% aboveground water). Regime is inconstant. It overflows in spring and at the beginning of summer (over 60% of consumption). The average year expense is 21, 5 m³/s, while the annual consumption is 680mln.m³. In winter, same areas of the river are frozen up. The river is ice brash, water is pure.

On the river, there are Spandaryan’, Angehakot’, Tolors’ and Shamb’ reservoirs. There are constructed cascade hydropower plants (Tatev, Shamb, Spandaryan, etc.).

Near of river Vorotan there are many sights: Tatev monastery, Tatev Big Hermitage, Vorotnaberd fortress, Vorotnavank convent, Sisavank monastery in Sisian, Aghitu, as well as such natural wonders as the Devil Bridge and a Waterfall of Shaki.

Devil Bridge consists of travertine and has a natural origin. Its length is almost 30m, width 50-60m. From here Goris - Tatev (village) road passes.

In the vicinity, there are many mineral springs, which give birth to the amazing stalactites. Some springs are located just under the bridge and fall into the river Vorotan, making it more full flowing.

At first look it seems, that a shallow river flows into the bridge but flows out- full flowing. It supposed, that from here and the unusual name of the bridge is comes from.

Many historical events are connected with Devil Bridge. Location and natural conditions were of great strategic importance during the Sunk liberation struggle, which was lead by Garegin Nzhdeh. From the bridge, Nzhdeh dumped Turkish askers and the Bolsheviks into the gorge, who tried to seize the Armenian historical lands.

A waterfall of Shaki is situated in the canyon of river Vorotan, north-west from Sisian, at a distance of 3km, on the river Shaki. Its height is 18m. The bulk of the water is used in hydropower station of Shaki.

In Shaki village and around of it, the ruins of the monastery Shaki, a chapel and khachkars (commemorative cross-stones) are preserved. Not far from the waterfall Shaki there is an interesting stone, called "Portakar" (navel stone), which symbolizes procreation.

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