The Armenian chroniclers say that since the end of the 3rd and the begging of the 2nd century B.C. there were evidence of activities aimed at nature's protection. The Armenian king Khosrov B Kotak, around 1700 years ago, declared the Khosrov Forest as a state reserve, and he was the only person who had the right to go there for hunting. It is officially one of the oldest state reserves in the world. The state reserve is located 1400-2300 meters above the sea level with a territory that occupies around 23.000 hectares. Of course, there are parts of it where it's not complicated to get there, but some areas of the reserve are dangerous, covered with a dense forest and full of wild animals, mammals, reptiles, etc. So, those dangerous regions are only for extreme hikers.
credits to Ani Seize Khachatryan
Time to time, around the reserve you can notice randomly small historical monuments and the buildings from the ancient times, as well as big and small caves. This hiking experience will be accompanied by enjoying the mind-blowing views each second. The Khosrov State Reserve has a rich and diverse flora & fauna. Here, you’ll see the plants and trees, as well as the high density of species, that you have not been familiar with before. there are different animals (18 of which are inscribed in the Red book) and birds (192 types of birds out of which 66 are inscribed in the Red book). Here you can also find 40 species of mammals, 33 types of reptiles (particularly snakes called gurza (the Latin name- Macrovipera lebetina) as well as the rocks and hills all the way long. The landscapes that open in front of you are typical only to this place, and if not making a long walk through the forest, you can at least explore its edges, just to have an idea what it is.
The waterfall of Astghik, the Goddess of love and beauty, is located in the Khosrov State Reserve. She was the lover of Vahagn, the God of fire and war, and used to take a bath under that waterfall each evening. Even for the locals, it's a bit complicate to find the biggest waterfall of the reserve, so it will take you some time (a day or two) to get there and enjoy its beauty. In order to stay overnight, make sure that you are provided with all the facilities to be on a safe side in this wildness. They say that the temple of Garni can serve as a “guide” on how to find that place. You start your way from the temple of Garni, and after couple of hours of walking to the southeast, you get to a dense forest. Of course, this is not something for beginners to try, as you have to hike a long way through the forest, and only God knows what kind of animals you will meet there. Also, good hiking & climbing skills will be an asset. When you notice the river, just walk towards the opposite direction of the flow, and it will lead you there. Believe me, it's worth to put that much efforts to get there. Be aware that the water is super cold even in mid-summer.
Credits to Armenlsk
The virgin forest located near the capital city of Armenia-Yerevan has been preserved for 17 centuries. It is much liked destination by all extreme hikers. Visiting the Khosrov forest state reserve will bring you one step closer to nature. Should you be in trouble while exploring the forest, immediately call 911. The State Rescue committee of Armenia and its staff are well prepared and always do a high-quality job. Also, make sure you check the rules set by the administration of the Khosrov forest state reserve under the “Ecotourism” section of their website, before you start hiking.
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