TOP 3 The Highest Mountains of Azerbaijan – The Giants of the Caucasus
Azerbaijan combines the mountain systems as of the Greater, as the Lesser Caucasus. Thus, in the north of the republic, in the southeastern part of the Greater Caucasus, “representatives” proudly rise, the structure of which contains clay-shale strata and other formations. Whereas, in the north-west of Azerbaijan, that is, in the central part of the Lesser Caucasus, there are mountains formed by volcanic rocks and carbonate deposition.
Infinite snows on the peaks of the great mountains of the Caucasus reflect the sunshine with the brilliant radiance. There, the mountain traveler is met by the chain of sapphire giants, with silence and solemnity. The cold mountain air fills the lungs with frosty freshness: changes are felt in the body, aggravating sensory organs, ordinary thoughts are transformed into the brainstorming which lead to the creation of grandiose plans, and legs are in a hurry to move for the achievement of the pick. It is hard to breathe here, not only because of the atmospheric pressure, but also because of the view of the ice castles: it is breathtaking from such enchanting and mighty rocks and cliffs! The north wind beats in the face, recalling the severity of the local climate.
The above words can be dedicated to the highest mountains of the Republic of Azerbaijan: Three of them will be described in the article : Bazardyuzyu (4466 m), Shahdag (4243 m) and Tufandag (4191 m).
Situated at the junction of two countries — Russia (Republic of Dagestan) and Azerbaijan, the giant Bazardyuzyu opened his “eagle wings”. Bazarduzu is the peak of the Main or Dividing Range in the South-East of the Greater Caucasus. It is also the highest point of Dagestan and Azerbaijan – 4466 m! The name itself says a lot about this mountain: “bazaar” means “market”, and “dyuzyu” means “direction”. And the name is reasonable — once upon a time Bazardyuzyu was used as a compass, a guide for the merchants and traders from different countries, who came to the valley Shahnabad(the western part of the mountain) annually, for the fairs. Oriental sweets, weapons made by artisans, silk and other fabrics, as well as cattle were sold on the market square.
The local inhabitants of the village of Kurush (the highest mountain village in Europe), the Lezghins, gave the name to this giant, basing on its enormous size. Residents of the Lezgi village call this mountain in different ways: Kichensuv, meaning “Mountain of Fear”, Kichevnedag, which is translated from Lezgi “Mountain of Terror” and also Tikisar – “High Head”. The first two names suggest that they are associated with the legends and myths related to the pick of the mountain. Having asked the local population, alas, it was not possible to find out the sources of these names — as often happens. Some names so pour into our ordinary life that for us they are already familiar.
Countless rivers, tributaries of Samur, Gusarchay, Gudialchay and Eirichai originate from the slope of Bazarduzu. At a height of about two kilometers such living things as, mountain goats, Dagestan tours, mountain turkeys (Ulars), rodents and other birds inhabit.
The snowy kingdom, attracting with the crowns of its peak, is truly one of the most extraordinary mountains not only in Azerbaijan, but throughout the Caucasus. The etymology of the name comes from the Persian word “shah” which means the king, and the Turkic–originated word “dag” – “mountain”. Shahdag is the peak of the Great or Lateral Ridge in the Southeast of the Greater Caucasus with the height of 4243 m.
The statistics of the leading travel company in Azerbaijan — Azerbaijan Travel International, is based on an experience working with tourists from the whole world, shows that , one of the most frequently booked tours , in winter season, is the Guba + Shahdag tour. This is because of an opportunity of skiing in the Skiing Resort Complex of Shahdag.
In the west of Shahdag, on an altitude of three and a half kilometers, there are two blue lakes. From time to time, severe floods occur there. At an altitude of about two kilometers Caucasian and bezoar(mountain) goats, chamois, blackbirds and lizards can be easily found.
Frequent hurricanes and snowstorms gave this peak an interesting name: “Tufan” means “hurricane”, and “dag”, as was mentioned a few paragraphs above, means “mountain”. Tufandag is located at the junction of the Guba, Gusar and Gabala regions. Not so far from the mountain is the alpine village of Khinalig, where representatives of one of the most ancient and native peoples of the Caucasus — the Khinalugs, live. That is why every year this village turns into a place of visit for a huge number of tourists. On our website you can find the tour program, designed for the inquisitive guests of our counry – Guba + Khinalig.
It is worth to mention about one interesting fact: a legend was developed related to the Biblical motive describing the Flood. Residents believe that the wooden board found in the mountain lake is directly related to the events described in the Holy Book.
The uniqueness of local nature and the abundance of mountain rivers and lakes served as the decision to build a ski resort here and hold a cable car. The cable car takes visitors to different levels, and the highest point reaches about two thousand meters above the sea level. From this height a unique panorama of the Tufandag and Bazarduzu mountains opens. You will be inspired by the beauties of the Caucasus, having become acquainted with the Shamakha + Gabala tour program!
The largest country in Transcaucasia is rich with three types of minerals: ore, nonmetallic and fuel. Studies have shown that Azerbaijani territories are rich with fossil fuels – oil and natural gas fields. The region of the Lesser Caucasus that enters the territory of the country is incredibly diverse with such fossil fuels as, iron (Fe), titanium (Ti), gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), molybdenum (Mo), chromites and Polymetals are mined in Dashkesan, Gadzhikend and Gadzhiveli in huge quantities. It is also important to note the huge accumulations of limestone in the region of the Lesser Caucasus — Gobustan, Absheron and Tovuz . The southern slope of the Greater Caucasus is also known because of an increased seismicity rate in the Sheki-Shamakha region. All this plays an indispensable role in the mining industry.