"Separated fragment of Azerbaijan" Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi by jorgejuansanchez

Soon I will post pictures and info about this remote place.
First, I had to change my passport in Istanbul to get into Nakhichevan because I had been in Nagorno Karabakh. Otherwise I risked prison, like in Georgia, where I spent 72 hours in jail, without food, before the Batumi corrupted authorities sent me a negotiator to negotiate my freedom for 4000 lar, or 2000 euro, the georgian policemen are thiefts, worse than bandits.
Once with my new passport i got immediately my visa to the country is lovely, but people are afraid of tourists, most asked me why i went there, and suspected of me as beeing an armenian spy and did not allow me to take pictures.
i was during ramadan, and assisted to a ceremony in a mountain nearby where they sacrified lambs.
the country is like separated from azerbaijan, you feel that.
i am glad i visited nakhichevan, and got many nice experiences.
i stayed for only 10 us dollars in hotel ukrania.
do not go to hotel tabriz, which costs 100 us dollars.
ukrania is much cheaper and good enough.

Karabaglar turbasi

When I obtained my Azerbaijan visa in Istanbul, I immediately caught a bus to Igdir, still in Turkey, and then another one to Nakhchivan.
The country is lovely, but people are afraid of tourists; most asked me why I went there, and suspected of me as being an Armenian spy and did not allow me to take pictures.
I was during Ramadan, and assisted to a ceremony in a mountain nearby where they sacrificed lambs, with many Azeri coming from Iran.
The country is like a separated country from Azerbaijan; you feel that.
I am glad that I visited Nakhchivan, and got many nice experiences.
I stayed for only 10 us dollars in hotel Ukraine.
Do not go to hotel Tabriz, which costs 100 us dollars. The Hotel Ukraine is much cheaper and good enough.
During one week I visited several villages not far from Nakhchivan city, such as the old Mosque of Karabaglar.
The River Aras acts as a border between Nakhchivan and Iran.
The excursion that impressed me more in that small fragment of Azerbaijan was the one that I made to a magic mountain.
I was buying fruits in the market. Suddenly somebody told me:
- Why you do not go to the Holy Mountain? It is something really special, one of the holiest places in the whole of Azerbaijan. After Ramadan, there is a great festivity at 15 minutes driving from Nakhchivan, in direction to Iran, where they participate thousands of people even coming from Iran (where they live many Azeri people), from Baku and also from Turkey, to pray to the Almighty and sacrifice lambs to eat them in good harmony and brotherhood”.

Then I decided to get there, hitchhiking, since it is the middle of nowhere, in a solitary mountain, and there is no bus service.
I went out of the town and a very nice man picked me up in his car and drove me to the Holy Mountain. We arrived after half an hour.
The man told me that the name of the Holy Mountain is Asabi-Kehf, and that in the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad is already cited, that is why the mountain is considered Holy.

I thanked the man and climbed up the Holy Mountain.
- I will see if it is worth the effort to get there, I thought to myself.
I saw many people going up and down and how they sacrificed hundreds of lambs and goats. Even children participated in the butchery. There was a river of blood reaching the river bordering with Iran. It was disgusting.
I started climbing up and then an old man with whom I made friendship, explained me the following legend:

- “Bismi Allahi AlRahman AlRahim! You, foreign traveller, ought to know that once upon a time there were three good men who made a long journey and came to a cave in this Holy Mountain Asabi Kehf. They were tired and slept. When they woke up they were hungry and went to the nearest town to buy food, paying with their coins. When the seller saw the coins he was at shock, because these coins were in use over 300 years ago. They had been sleeping 300 years!
They returned to Asabi Kehf and prayed to the Allah to turn them into stone because they did not understand the situation. The Omnipotent listened and turned them into stone.
The stone is still there; you should go to receive the blessing. If your heart is pure and you soul clean you will distinguish the faces of the men in the stone”.

And after finishing, the man disappeared among the multitude. I did not see him anymore.

I realized that climbing was not easy because there were many steps. People made regular stops to recover energy. I did the same, and after a rest continued up, and up, and still upwards, without looking back, until I saw a Mosque incrusted in the mountain where many people made the Muslim ablutions and prayed with vehemence.
Men prayed at one side, and women at the opposite side.

The old mosque in Karabaglar

I also stopped in the mosque to pray and continued my trekking upwards, without any more pauses, until I saw the cave performer of miracles that all the pilgrims, at its sight, increased their speed with despair to reach it as soon as possible, with fervor in their faces and praying in loud voice crying Allah all the time. I could have never expected that what I was going to experience would exist. What I saw was unusual and extraordinary.
Oh, what I saw was beyond imagination!
Dozens of women were sitting on the floor inside a wet cave for hours!
All the women were covered with the Muslim chadors.
I asked what were they doing, and an old woman said to me that they were waiting for rain drops to fall over their body and head from the top of the cave, what is considered sacred. When the first drop falls, they ask a desire, almost always involving fertility or finding a good husband.

I thanked her and when I continued my trekking, until I saw something still more amazing. There was a magical cave where women prayed to get pregnant, and those who already had a baby asked for another one. The more turns inside the cave you make, the more chances the women will have to get pregnant. I saw women penetrating inside the cave eight times!

Then I continued climbing up, and after reaching the summit and enjoying the magic of the place, I started the descent meditating about my experience and pondering if it had been worth, and resolved that, indeed, it had been worth the effort to get there because I learnt very much about the Nakhicevan people culture.
I hitchhiked back to Nakhicevan very satisfied. I was very hungry, thus I went to a good restaurant and ordered the better local dish they had.

Ma’a Salamah!

  • Last visit to Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated May 4, 2013
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Comments (1)

  • songlines's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2008 at 12:18 AM

    This and your other pages are very interesting, and I like the pics, I am learning about a whole new part of the world. Great! Greetings from West Cork


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