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Basic Info for Tourists

Javakhk is known for its relatively cool climate: Winter is cold and with much snow, Spring and Autumn are  cool and rainy, Summer is sunny but not hot. The period May-September is the ideal time to visit Javakhk. Here is the basic data on climate:

Annual precipitations  500-700 mm.
Average temperature in winter  -3 -15OC, absolute min -41OC
Average temperature in summer  +13 +21OC, absolute max +39OC
Average annual relative humidity  65-75%


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Javakhk Nature Images

Leaving aside its historical monuments, churches bridges and castles, nature of Javakhk already is a great reason to visit Javakhk. High mountains Abul, Samsar, Shahnabad, unforgettable lakes Parvana, Sagamo, Tabatzghur, Madatapa, Khanchali, beautiful rivers Parvana, Kur, Khram, Potskhov make Javakhk an ideal place to visit. Here are some images of best sight of Javakhk.

Abul and Parvana
Parvana lake, Bogdanovka
Khram valley, Tsalka
St. Hovhannes mountain, Tsalka
Abul mountain, Akhalkalak
Samsar and Tabatzghur lake
Sagamo lake, Bogdanovka
Tabatzghur lake, Akhalkalak
Karmravank gorge, Tsalka
Parvana, Bogdanovka
Trialet range, Ahkalkalak-Tsalka
Volcanic mountain, Akhalkalak

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Geographical Outline

Location: There is no disagreement in Armenian and Georgian historiography regarding the geographical position of Upper Javakhk: it is located in what is known as the Javakhk Plateau embracing the basin of one of the main right tributaries of the Koor river, the Parvana, and surrounded by mountain chains serving as watersheds on 3 sides (except for the western one). It occupies a territory of 2600 km2 and is located at an average altitude of 1700 m above the sea level.

Rivers: The Parvana, the main river of Javakhk , flows almost through the centre of the region and merges into the Koor river in the west, near Fortress Khertvis. All the other rivers of the region (the Boughdashen, the Karasnakn (left), the Heshtiajur, the Ablar, the Janjghajur and Jobaret (right)) are the right and left tributaries of the Parvana. They are fed by springs are constantly flowing. All the rivers flow across flat surfaces, except for the Parvana, which mainly runs through the gorge.

Lakes: The Javakhk Plateau is rich in big and small lakes. These lakes are scattered all over the region and in most cases do not have catchment basins. There are 6 well-known lakes, the largest of which is lake Parvana with a surface of 37,5 km2 and a maximum depth of 3,3 m . According to the altitude above the sea level, the lakes in Javakhk are classified in the following way: the Madatapa (2108 m), the Parvana (2076 m), the Tabatzghur (1990 m), lake Saghamo (1986 m), Khanchaly (1928 m) and Khozapin (1798 m). Among the large lakes, only the Tabatzghur and the Khozapin have catchment basins, while the others serve as sources for all the big and small rivers of the region. All the lakes abound in fish and have sweet water with the exception of lake Khozapin having salty water. The water is salty and contains lime, magnesium, chloride, and sulfurous acid.

Mountains: In the north, east and south, the Javakhk Plateau is surrounded by mountain ranges serving as watersheds. Mounts Aboul (3301 m), Samsar (3284 m), Pokr (Smaller) Aboul (2799 m), Madatapan (2714 m), St. Hovhannes (2375 m), Tashvanka (1883 m) and others are known to have the highest peaks.

Forest Cover: The first record testifying that there were forests in Javakhk is a Georgian (written with Armenian letters) inscription of X-XII c.c. preserved in the carved-in-rock monument complex called Samsar.

The “Large Register of Gyurjistan Vilayet” made in 1595 bears a reference to a small province named Antarayin ( Forest ) Javakhk in Khertvis Liva of Akhaltskha. This name is the eloquent proof of the fact that the west and north-west of Javakhk abounded in forests.

In the “Geography of Georgia” written by Vakhoushty Bagrationy in 1745, Javakhk is described as a province completely devoid of any forest cover. Interestingly, in the XVIII c. the province had already lost most of its forest cover. Therefore, the allegations that the Armenians from Karin who settled in Javakhk in 1830 were to blame for the disappearance of forests in the province are groundless. Most probably, the true reason for the disappearance of the forests was the severe natural and climatic conditions.

After the Great Patriotic War, forests were planted in the province with the efforts of the Armenians of Javakhk and forester Hovhannes Hakobian made a particularly great contribution to this undertaking. The severe climate has grown mild in the recent decades due to the planting of artificial forests.

Agriculture: The most developed branches of agriculture in Javakhk are the cultivation of cereals (barley, wheat, flax and oats) and stockbreeding. The local people as well as the inhabitants of the nearby and distant provinces have constantly been attracted by the favorable conditions of the province for the development of stock raising. The countless herds of the Georgian stockbreeders who came to Javakhk every year to find summer pastures caused great damage to the farming in the province. In 1899 and 1900, the corn bug and beetle caused great damage to the agriculture of the province and, in 1900, a committee was set up headed by the governor of Tbilisi . In the post-war period, the cultivation of the potato was widely spread in Javakhk.

Source: This material is based on the introduction of the book:
Samvel Karapetian and Alexandre Kananian, THE HISTORICAL MONUMENTS OF JAVAKHK, Scientific Council of Research on Armenian Architecture (RAA), BOOK V.

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