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(English) Agholu mosque

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The mosque is located in the Agholu quarter in Lahij. It was built in 1332 by the Muslim lunar calendar. During the Soviet period, the mosque was used as a storehouse. It was restored in 1987 and turned into a museum.

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(English) Girdman fortress

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The fortress was built in the 7th century, when Lahij was the capital of the state of Girdman. Located 37 km east of the district center, on the left bank of the Girdman Rriver, it was one of the imp­regnable fortresses in ancient Albania.

History

The ruins of the ancient town of Sadun and the traces of an old Girdman town are still there. Lahij, which is believed to be 2,000 years old, was built by Meh­ran, the founder of the Mehrani dynasty, in late 6th and early 7th centuries. The Mehranis were the last rulers of Albania. Lahij was first the political center of the last Albanian state of Girdman, and then the political and administrative of the state of Laziyan. It was also a summer residence for Javanshir, the last ruler of Albania.

Javanshir (616-680)

Javanshir was the last king of Albania, and also the last representative of the Mehrani dynasty. He ruled the country for 44 years. Javanshir left the army of the Sassanids, who were on the wane at the time, and alig­ned with the Arabs. He met the caliph Mu’awiyah I in Sham in 664 and agreed to be his vassal.

Legend

It is said that Lahij was founded by Sas­sanid Shah Keykhosrov I. During his rule, Iran was fighting a war with Turan. Tired of the long and exhausting war, Keyk­hosrov I abdicated and left Iran. He ap­pointed his nephew as king and went to Lahij. Keykhosrov was so impressed by the beauty, climate and nature of Lahij that he decided to stay here until the end of his life. He named the area Lahij after Iran’s Lahijan region. It is even said that Keykhosrov’s grave is in the old ce­metery in Lahij.

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(English) Mount Niyaldag

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One of the beauties and attributes of Lahij is Mount Niyaldag. It is made up of nine hills resembling camel humps. This range of hills looks like a camel caravan. You can ride along the river valleys out­side the village on horses and see some historical and natural monuments.

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(English) Lahij

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It is a village 180 km north-west of Baku, and 37 km east of the district center. La­hij is located on a slope of the Great Ca­ucasus Ridge, on the left bank of Gird­manchay 1,100-1,200 meters above sea level. There are the Govdagh (2,437 m) and Niyaldag (2,322 m) ranges nearby. The Lahij pass is at the crossroads of great Niyaldagh range. It is 1,700 meters high and is narrow and difficult to pass. The roads are open to traffic throughout the year although they can be dangero­us. Lahij, which is located behind seven mountains, has one particularity typical of all Eastern towns. Historically, there have been seven residential quarters surrounded by seven mountains, se­ven springs, seven mosques and seven baths in Lahij.

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(English) Aman house

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After a long and tiring journey, pilgrims get to the last stop on the mountainsi­de, called the “Aman house”. They rest and make a wish here before climbing further up. It is a seven-hour walk from this point to the peak. But you can also hire a horse and ride to the peak in an hour and a half. Those who are afra­id of riding a horse, and who wish to make the pilgrimage on foot set off in the evening despite all the possible dan­gers. No-one travels alone. They walk in groups. Everybody prays for his fellow pilgrims. They get to the shrine at night, spend the night there and pray. At a po­int 3,629 meters above sea level, they watch the sun rising from among fog. Then they start slowly walking down. Af­ter the pilgrimage, they sacrifice animals at Namazgah and hand the flesh out to people. They also eat meal made of the meat. There is a feeling of satisfaction, joy and hope in the face of each person back from the pilgrimage. They say a person has to make seven pilgrimages to Babadagh during his lifetime to ensu­re that one of his wishes is fulfilled. Most of the pilgrims are women. Infertile wo­men strongly believe that Babadagh can make miracles. Not everybody gets the opportunity to make the pilgrimage. It is believed that people with “evil” hearts and desires cannot make it to the shrine, as Baba does not accept them. They may be young and energetic, but they stillcannot climb up the mountain. Conver­sely, people of goodwill get their wishes no matter how old or ill they may be.

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(English) Hazrat Baba shrine

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The roads to Babadagh, one of the country’s most revered places of wors­hip, are open for only 45 days throug­hout the year. The vehicles of pilgrims form a long convoy along the valley in July and August. Travelling in Kamaz lor­ries and Soviet-made buses, everybody is anxious to see the Baba (grandfather).

Legend

Nana (grandmother), one of the com­panions of the Prophet Adam, has been buried at the foothills of the mountain, and Baba has disappeared on the mo­untaintop. Closer to the peak, there is the Valley of Devil and the Musa spring, which is similar to the Zamzam spring. Pilgrims first visit Nana’s grave, and then follow the dangerous route up to the mountain. Then they stone the devil, drink water from the Musa spring and fi­nally climb up the peak, where they pray for Baba and make a wish.

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(English) Babadagh (3,629 m)

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Babadagh is located in the south-east of the Great Caucasus Ridge, on the bor­der between the Guba and Ismayilli dist­ricts. Another route to Babadagh starts in Guba and goes through the villages of Gonagkand and Garkhun. It is a more difficult and dangerous route. Therefo­re, many people prefer the Lahij route to get to Babadagh, one of the country’s highest peaks. The northern and sout­hern slopes of the mountain are bar­ren. The Garachay, Valvala and Girdman rivers originate here. There are three natural lakes located side by side near Babadagh, which is covered with snow throughout the year, 3,400-3,500 meters above sea level.

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(English) Suspension bridge and Girdmanchay

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It is a bridge that everyone stops to see and walk on. The thing is that the Gird­manchay, which is flowing fast through the valley, is very dangerous. In spring and autumn, the river bursts its banks, making a lot of noise. Every time it ra­ins, the river bursts its banks, destroying everything in its way. No bridge can withstand the power of the river, and the only way out is a suspension bridge. This iron suspension bridge was built high on the river after the river dest­royed hundreds of regular bridges. It is very good for thrill-seekers.

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(English) Gandob village

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One of the villages on the road, Gandob means sweet water. It has 216 houses. Located on a river, the village is covered in fruit trees. It is surrounded by a green forest. Sharp-edged stones are visible among the trees. The village is known for its cucumbers and French beans. The cucumbers are short, organic, gre­en, fragrant and juicy. The aroma of the cucumber spreads around when you cut it or bite it. While travelling through the village, you can see cucumbers in metal plates outside almost each house. They are for sale. Locals say that this is the best cucumber for pickling. French beans are the most popular ve­getables in Ismayilli. They grow in sum­mer and autumn. Fresh beans are co­oked and also pickled for winter. They even joke that you can find nothing but French beans in every kitchen in Ismayil­li during summer.

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(English) Kuraband (12th century)

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This is what Basgal’s sewage system is called. The system has been designed in a way that waste waters flow down through pipes carefully covered by cobblestones. Like in the village of Lahij, residents here still do not know where the waste waters flow to through the underground network of pipes.

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