Ismayilli is located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus, surrounded by forests and mountains, immersed in the greenery. Ismailly region is one of the most beautiful regions of Azerbaijan. Ismailly - part of the historical region of Shirvan. The territory of the district was part of Caucasian Albania. A large number of ancient monuments of different periods have been preserved here. The picturesque villages of the district also deserve close attention.
Located on top of a steep mountain on the territory of the Ismaili State Nature Reserve, 10 km from the district center, near the village of Khanagi, 3 km from the road, the Maiden Tower is the most famous and significant historical monument of the region. The top of the mountain is covered with such a dense forest that the sun’s rays do not penetrate there, which is why there is always coolness. Only some of the towers, walls and part of the terrace are preserved from the fortress. From the tower led an underground tunnel to the fortress of Javanshir, which is located a few kilometers in the neighboring village.
In various sources, the construction date varies from VII to XI-XII centuries. This defensive fortress with an area of 1.5 hectares, was built on the right bank of the Ah-oh River on the top of a mountain surrounded by sheer cliffs.
This fortress, located 7 km from the district center and 4 km from the village of Talistan, on the right bank of the Agchai River, is the pride of Ismailly. Talistan - one of the oldest settlements of Ismailly, located 4 km north of the district center. The toponym means "tala meskeni" - "settlement in the meadow". In the vicinity of the village there are traces of 4 ancient settlements and 5 cemeteries. The first archaeological excavations were made here in the 60s of the last century. It is assumed that this territory has a 2000-year history.
Having reached the village by car, further to the fortress of Javanshir, you can only ride a horse or walk. The fortress consists of outer and inner parts (Ichgala). The width of the southern wall of the main part reaches 2 meters, height 10 meters. Ichgala area of 2 hectares was built at the very top of the mountain. This is a powerful defensive system of the early middle ages.
Local Lore Museum
On the territory of the park named after Heydar Aliyev is Ismayilli Museum of Local Lore, in which you can personally see the rich history of the region. Existing since 1980, the museum in 2009 moved to a new building. The museum's collection includes more than 1,000 exhibits, including many unique ones, such as, for example, the oldest butter found in the world! It was found in an amphora in the village of Mollaisagly during the construction of the Oguz-Gabala-Baku water pipeline. Experts of the Moscow Museum of Archeology conducted an examination and found that the oil originated from the III-I centuries. BC.
Also in the village of Mollaisagly, in which the habits live - one of the peoples of Caucasian Albania, many samples of pottery of that time were found, bronze ornaments, and burial places of people belonging to the 2nd and 1st centuries. BC.
These and many other finds are also on display at the museum. Not to mention the stone stored here - presumably a meteorite, flown to the earth from the depths of space. The unusual molten surface of the stone, a large weight with small sizes leave no doubt about its origin.
The museum is open to visitors daily from 09:00 to 18:00. Break - 13: 00-14: 00. Free admission.
It is located 30 km from the district center and is the last settlement in this direction. Toponym means "small fortress". The famous episode of the exploding mountain, where Ismail from the film "Stepmother" collected the hips, shot here. This mountain is located right in the middle of the road leading to the village where the shooting was going. During the filming of the film, a road was really built here, and the explosion was real. At that time, the road to Galachig was difficult and long. Galachig, located in one of the most beautiful parts of nature and has a wonderful air, is famous for its large chestnuts. This is the only village in Ismayilli, where chestnuts grow. These huge trees here in the village grow everywhere, covering everything around with the shadow of their powerful crowns.
The village of Ivanovka is located on a pasture (pasture) between the rivers Goychay and Devebatan in the mountains of Ajinohur at an altitude of 500-800 meters above sea level. The total area of the village is more than 8 thousand hectares. Along the road are golden wheat fields and black plowed fields. Only having approached them, it becomes clear that the fields, similar from afar to the charred earth, are actually arable land. The road to the village is very accurate and well-groomed. Ivanovka, preserving all its customs, traditions, folklore and life, is located 14 km from the district center.
After the collapse of the USSR, all collective farms declined and were eliminated. The collective farm was preserved only in Ivanovka, where the system of collective social labor still operates, it bears the name of the legendary chairman Nikitin, who for many years led this farm. The collective farm contains 2,200 cattle, 7,000 thousand sheep, and also a bird.
The products of this collective farm won recognition among the residents of the capital. In Baku, there is a shop that sells environmentally friendly products from Ivanovka. It grows wheat, sunflower, vegetables, produces dairy products - butter, sour cream, cheese, and honey.
The original name of Ivanovka was Nefteran. The village was renamed in honor of Colonel Ivanov, who led the Molokans resettlement campaign in Azerbaijan.
The residents of Ivanovka call themselves "Molokans", their ancestors were exiled for not wanting to accept the Russian church reform and adhered to the Old Believers.
One way or another, the resettlement of the Molokans in Azerbaijan in the first half of the 19th century was part of the royal policy of the Russification of the conquered territories.
Houses in Ivanovka are ancient, classic standard wooden buildings with carved platbands. Rows of houses are separated by roads that form wide streets. Near each house there is a shop. In the gardens there are fruit trees, all have a vegetable garden where they produce melons, corn, and sunflowers.
In addition to the Molokans, there are many Lezgins and Azerbaijanis living in Ivanovka.
Tourist area Bado - Bassgal
At the first stop of this route - in Bado there is a sulfur mineral source with healing properties. It is located right by the road, so there are always a lot of people here, especially in the summer. Not far from this source is a place called "Eddy Bulag" ("Seven Sources"), which is considered a favorite tourist destination. 7 sources located in the forest next to each other - is salvation from the summer heat.
The Bado-Bassgal tourist area is rich in historical monuments since there is no tourist infrastructure in the area of these monuments, it takes several days to get around them. You can reach them only on horseback or on foot.
From the monument to the Khan Fortress (XII-XIII century) there is only one wall several meters high. The fortress was the summer residence of the Shirvan rulers.
Another fortress - Haram is located on a picturesque low hill near the village of Sulut, on the right bank of the Haram River. Locals call her Gyrhgyz (40 girls) or Gyrhotag (40 rooms). There are more than 40 rooms here. Legend has it that the Shirvanshah in each room kept a girl. The fortress used for adultery was popularly called "Haram", which means "ungodliness". The village can be reached by car, further only by horse or on foot.
Fit Castle took its name from Fitdag Mountain, located at an altitude of 1810 meters above sea level. This ancient residence of the Shirvanshahs was of strategic importance and served as a refuge. There are many legends about this fortress, one of which connects it with Alexander the Great.
During the struggle against the Russian troops, Shamakhi khan Mustafa used Fit fortress as a bet. Nearby held a defensive line. From the river Haramchay to the fortress on a steep slope can only be climbed by horse or on foot. Around the fortress preserved medieval boors, square and defensive line.
At first glance, similar to the Baku old fortress, the village of Basgal (56 km from the district center) pleases with its well-groomed. The village until 1933 was the district center. In honor of this village even created a musical number "Basgal". Some episodes of the film "On distant shores" (1958) were filmed here. The village of 60 hectares has been declared a state reserve. The population of the village is small. So, if 20 years ago, 3,000 people lived here, now there are about 1,500 left.
The narrow streets, paved with cobblestones, and houses built of the same stones, create a special atmosphere. An interesting feature of Basgala is that all the houses are built facing Mecca. Another distinctive feature is that since the 17th century, boors have been organized inside the house. Two-story houses neatly lined up along the street, there are patios. On the ground floor there are utility rooms, the second floor is residential. In the buildings, masonry every 5-6 layers of river stone is shifted by logs. Experts call this the "seismic belt", so all buildings are resistant to earthquakes.
Chinara grows in Basgala, planted in the 16th century: in the huge trunk hollowed out of it, there was once a teahouse, and after the hairdresser. The tree is protected by the state.
In the XII century, a sewage system was built in Basgala, which is called the curebridge and is still in effect.
In the Middle Ages, Basgal was one of the centers of crafts and silk-spinning. And Shekintsy adopted silk weaving from Basgal. It can be said that until recently almost every house had ancient silk-spinning machines. The art of dyers, weavers, sericulture and silk-weaving was passed down from generation to generation. The most popular silk product is, of course, the klaagai - the national type of shawl.
Kelaghayi is a traditional women's headscarf, which is made exclusively in Azerbaijan. At the same time, it is a wonderful sample of Azerbaijani folk art. Kelaghayi was one of the main attributes of women's clothing, regardless of social status. Produced kelaghayi for girls, for women of middle and old age. Kelaghayi can be of different colors and sizes and are usually decorated with floral or geometric patterns along the entire edge (Yelani) and / or along the center (Khoncha) of the item. Usually, at the wedding, the girl was dressed in red, and everyone wore black tea boxes at the mourning events. Everyday, women wore white, cream, and brown curtains. It mattered and how tied kelaghayi. So young women and girls covered the kelaghayi head as an "orpeg", and women in the age as a "turban" or "ding". Nowadays, kelaghayi can be worn, for example, as a shawl draped over shoulders, as a pareo, pancho, etc.
The most valuable penitentiaries, those that contain 6 or 7 colors, are such as they still produce in Basgal.
Until the 60s of the last century, in every Basgal house a kelaghayi was weaved. After the collapse of the USSR, the country's stalls were flooded with various shawls and other women's headdresses. National kelaghayi are out of fashion. But now the Baskal Silk Center operates in Basgala, in which not only cloths are woven, but also other silk products. The Center also has a small museum kalagai.
Particular attention deserves the village Lahij, known since the VII century. It is located on the bank of Girdimanchaya at an altitude of 1200 m above sea level. This small town in the mountains is one of the most interesting centers of handicraft in Azerbaijan. Lahij since ancient times is famous for weapons and dishes that are made of copper. The dishes and weapons made by the masters of Lahij became famous in the Caucasus and were eagerly bought up. Most of the workshops and shops of Lahij are located along the central street of the village. Despite the difficulties, local craftsmen still continue the work of their ancestors: they are braziers, leather masters, potters, blacksmiths, hatters, wood cutters. Carpets, souvenirs and traditional clothes are also woven here.
Authors: Azertaj; Day.az
Translation into English: Azerbaijanguide.az