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Vedi Town

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Vedi (Arm: Վեդի), Ararat Marz

To reach the town of Vedi and follow the Vedi Chay into the hills, exit and cross over at the first overpass after the signposted turnoff for Khor Virap. Turn right on the old road, then immediately left (E) toward Vedi. You pass the villages of Aygavan (3785 p till 1945 Reghanlu), with next to the gas station an important 4th millennium BC through 6th c. AD settlement, and Vanashen (2234 p, till 1978 Taytan). Other nearby villages include: Aralez (2371 p, till 1978 Gharabulagh, renamed after the magic dogs that were supposed to lick Ara the Beautiful back to life);

Goravan (2254 p, previously Gorovan, Yenikend);
Nor Kyank (2233 p., founded in 1946);
Sisavan (1806 p, till 1991 Yengija);
Vosketap (4110 p, till 1991 Shirazlu), resettled in 1988 by refugees from Azerbaijan;
Vedi Wine Factory Banavan (599 p), housing the workers;
Nor Ughi (741 p) used to be the "New Way Wine Factory."

Vedi (12281 p) reputedly houses an ethnographic museum and the headquarters of the Khosrov Nature Reserve, director Samvel Shaboyan (Vedi telephone 21332). Given the size and importance of the Reserve, Shaboyan is a man of considerable local stature. E past Vedi is Dashtakar (526 p, till 1968 Dashlu) with tiny nearby iron-rich mineral springs, 20 degrees C. To reach them take the left fork just meters before entering the village and take the left trail (4x4) with the stream to your left. Continue straight until the trail turns right which you should not take, you go into the riverbed here and continue upstream, until you see the red runoff of the springs called Ararat springs or alternatively Shor Jur/Goturbulakh. Next village back on the road is Urtsadzor (2819 p, formerly Chimankend), with a turn S along the Selav river toward Shaghap and S. Karapet Monastery. S of the village is a 5-6th c. ruined basilica. There is an Early Iron Age cemetery. Beyond Urtsadzor, the road continues E along the Vedi Chay to a metal archway. Just beyond, the road forks, the paved road right leading up the Vedi Chay past a sumptuous dacha belonging to the younger brother of the late Defense {then Prime} Minister Vazgen Sargsian. Soon after that, a dirt road left (opposite a farmhouse with a blue truck body) ascends a beautiful stream valley (camping) toward the ruined and uninhabited Azeri mountain village of Mankuk, with important ancient khachkars. However, the road is closed by a gate shortly after the camping area, and written permission is required from the Nature Preserve director in Vedi. The main road continues past several desultory hamlets and eventually switchbacks up and over the mountain to Martuni at the S. end of Lake Sevan. This pass is not recommended for anyone but a well-equipped masochist prepared for deep mud, late snow, and an absence of landmarks.

The left fork (dirt) leads to a padlocked gate at the entrance to the Reserve, with the road gradually deteriorating. However, well before that, a rough fork left leads in a few hundred meters to a small fortified monastery called in the guidebooks the Gevorg Marzpetuni Castle. Following the main (right) fork a few hundred meters inside the reserve, there is a small mound with scattered medieval and earlier pottery. The road follows the stream high into the mountains.

Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook