Difference between revisions of "Karvachar"

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===Karabakh People About Returning Karvachar===
===Karabakh people about returning Karvachar===

Revision as of 14:38, 12 April 2008

Karvachar (Armenian: Քարվաճառ; Azerbaijani: Kəlbəcər; Kurdish: Kelbajar; alternatively transliterated as Karvajar or Karvatjar) also known as Nor Shahumyan (Armenian: Նոր Շահումյան) or Tsar (Armenian: Ծար) is the northern part of the strip of land which seperated Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia proper in Soviet times. It is now controlled by Karabakh Armenian forces.

A mountainous territory, with forests, rivers, hotsprings, ancient ruins, and Christian monasteries, Karvachar covers an area of roughly 1,936 km². The remote region still has no petrol for sale, has not seen road work in decades, and has no overnight accomodations. The regional center is the town of Karvachar.


Karvachar is situated on the territory of the historic Vaykunik district of Artsakh in the Kingdom of Armenia. The district was known as Upper Khachen during the medieval period and later known as Tsar. It was part of the Khaghbakid branch of the Siunid princes of Khachen who were descendants of the Tsar meliks who held the region until it came under Russian rule.

Due to deportations by Shah Abbas of Safavid Persia in the 17th century, the area was almost entirely denuded of its Armenian population and was eventually resettled by Kurds. It was annexed by the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Gulistan, following the 1804-1813 Russo-Persian War and became part of the Elisabethpol Governorate. It was disputed by the Democratic Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the dissolution of the Transcaucasian Federation. During Sovietization, it was assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan and comprised part of the short-lived Kurdistan Uyezd or "Red Kurdistan" (Kurdistana Sor in Kurdish) which lasted from 1923 to 1929. The Kurdish presence of the region began to diminish afterwards when several Kurds were deported to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin and Baku encouraged Azeri settlers to move in. During this period, Karvachar's historic Armenian monuments became neglected and, in some cases, were deliberately destroyed.

In the Karabakh War, the area was used by Azeri forces to bombard adjacent territories in Nagorno-Karabakh. It was captured by Karabakh Armenians, with assistance from Armenia proper, in March 1993 and most of the Azeri and Kurdish residents fled. It was subsequently repopulated by Armenian refugees from the Azeri-controlled Shahumyan region (hence the alternative name "Nor Shahumyan" or "New Shahumyan").


Karvachar is bounded to the north by the Mrav Mountains. It can be broken roughly into three main river canyons.

Levonaget-Trtu River Canyon

This canyon, which serves as the primary road connecting northern Karabakh to Armenia is not usually visited, except perhaps for a quick visit to Dadivank.

Trtu River Canyon

The branch of the Trtu that leads up to Karvachar town, and from there up to Tsar and beyond.

Tutkhun River Canyon

Driving through a tunnel rough-cut right through stone, this rarely visited canyon has a great hotspring and beautiful scenery.


Karabakh people about returning Karvachar


3 July 2006

People in Karabakh have a very negative attitude towards proposals involving return of territories. They were deeply shocked to hear the foreign minister of Armenia Vardan Oskanyan say that “we will give” Karvachar after the referendum.

The reporter of the Lragir.am asked the opinion of citizens on this announcement in Stepanakert.

G. Sahakyan, 73: “Apparently, the minister did not study the map properly. How does he imagine life in Karabakh without Karvachar? Would he live in Karabakh without Karvachar?”

Svetlana, 43: “Perhaps they are hopeful that Baku will reject the idea of referendum and Karvachar will remain ours. But what if they agree?”

Andrey Ghulyan, pensioner: “Most inhabitants of Shahumyan, who remained in Karabakh, live in Karvachar. What will their fate be?”

“Frankly speaking, I am surprised at Oskanyan. Who gave him the right to speak on our behalf? He has never lived and will never live in Karabakh, will he?”

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The road to Karvachar will be repaired


13 March 2008

On March 13 the NKR Prime Minister Ara Harutiunyan took part in the annual meeting of the community of the regional center of Karvachar. There is no development program for Karvachar yet. The primary problem of the town is housing. Annually 12-15 houses are built or repaired there but it is not enough to supply the demand. Most immigrants live in shacks. The problem of drinking water is also urgent.

The people of the community told that the town has no nursery school, bank, dentist, telephone. Roads are a major problem for the people of Karvachar. The road to Stepanakert is impassable, especially in bad weather. The participants of the meeting from other communities of the region of Nor Shahumyan also complained of the state of roads, which threaten isolate Karvachar and dozens of villages, especially that no TV programs are broadcast in the region.

Prime Minister Ara Harutiunyan said that some problems will be solved if the government provides direct assistance. A construction company will be set up which will deal with repair and maintenance of community roads. The organization will be provided with necessary equipment. The road to Stepanakert will be repaired.

According to the prime minister, the government will provide assistance for improving water supply. A dentist’s clinic will be set up, as well as a branch of Artsakh Bank. At the same time, Ara Harutiunyan said he is dissatisfied with the quality of building in Karvachar, the Department of Information and Public Relations of the NKR government reports.

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  • Robert H. Hewsen, Armenia: A Historical Atlas, p. 265 (ISBN 0-226-33228-4).

External links