This is the biggest district located between the Upper Qarabag Autonomous District (UQAD) and Armenia. The only road from Armenia to Upper Qarabag passes through the district center. The highway from the Armenian border to the center of UQAD, Khankandi, is about 80-km long. The road passes through deep valleys, the Hakari, Qarqar and several other small rivers, the Kecal Dag pass, and is very zigzagged. Since the road runs through mountains, it is not passable for heavy-duty vehicles. There are dozens of bridges along the way. The district center is within 4 km from the UQAD border.
History of occupation
24 historical and 21 religious shrines are under occupation.
The distance to Baku is … km. Lachin is a highland district in the south-west of Azerbaijan. Its highest location, the Qizilbogaz summit, is 3594 meters above sea level. The district center is at the foot of the Qarabag range. Its mountain forests are full of oak-trees, beeches and hornbeams, and cover an area of 33,300 hectares. The foundation of Lachin was laid in a valley on the slopes of the Lachin mountain above the Qarakaha village in 1924. The settlement was named Lachin after the mountain.
The location of the town is said to have been chosen by Tagi Shahbazi Simurq and given it its present name. It is a distorted form of the Turkish word Yalchin (steep). There are suggestions that the name is linked the bird hawk (Lachin in Azeri).
Nazim Tapdiqoglu Valisov “Lachin place-names”, Baku-2002, p. 52
The district can easily be likened to a history museum. Most architectural sites in Lachin existed in Caucasian Albania times. The numerous caves are awaiting scientific research. Many Caucasian Albania monuments date back to B.C. times. Some legends about their construction are still alive.
Agoglan castle (9th century)
It is situated in the Kosalar village. Kosalar is a previous name of the Agoglan village. It is located in the Qarabag plateau on the bank of the same-named river and was named after the castle (temple). The legend goes that Agoglan was a brave young man who fought against intruders, was killed and buried here. According to another legend, the man was stung by a snake and died. The place-name translates as a pure man.
Nazim Tapdiqoglu Valisov “Lachin place-names”, Baku-2002, p. 11
A young traveler visited the place in ancient times. He was so enchanted with its beauty that he decided to build a castle here. He called local builders and volunteers and got down to business. The young man was very handsome, and his appearance earned him the nickname of Ag Oglan (white boy). During a meal one afternoon, a swallow started circling around the cook hampering his distribution of food. As everyone watched the bird, it threw itself into the boiling pot and died, leaving everybody amazed. When the cook emptied the pot, he took out a dead snake. Astonished at what happened, he soon realized the bird’s behavior. The castle was initially called Qaranqus (swallow), but was subsequently named Agoglan.
Faiq Ismayilov “Historical tragedy – Lachin”, Baku, Nurlar publishing center-2003, p. 3
It is located at foothills 55 km north-west of the center. Its previous name was Qara Kesis, while local people call it Qarakecdi. The village established following the settlement of families from Southern Azerbaijan at the Qara Kesis dam in the 18th century was named after Lenin in 1936. One of the springs in the village is called Asli-Karam after a well-known epos.
Nazim Tapdiqoglu Valisov “Lachin place-names”, Baku-2002, p. 53
Local rocks are hardly passable. Lachin is rich in minerals, construction materials, gold, mountain crystal, silk, granite, mercury, limestone, harsh stone, travertine, mineral water, and healing herbs. There are rare mahogany trees, cobalt, uranium, iron, marble of different colors here as well. Of its 1885 sq. km. territory, 34,877 hectares are covered with rare mahogany trees included on the Red Book. Rapid mountain rivers are full of trout. Underneath all rocks there are hot, mineral and cold water springs.
Ziyadxan Nabibayli “Zangezur’s golden crown – Lachin”, Baku-2009, p. 8
People of Lachin
This Lesser Caucasus region, full of mountains, forests and a junction of trade roads, is located at an altitude of 3,900 meters. Its winters are very cold and summers cool. Water here is fresh and air is clean. People from Southern Zangezur, Qarabag, Lowland Qarabag used to bring their cattle here for the summer. The people of Lachin have always lived in foothill areas with a mild climate, mainly leading a secluded lifestyle and speaking a specific language. For this reason, ancient traditions had been well preserved until the occupation.
Azar Aliyev “Heroic chronicle of the Lachin police”, Baku, Sur-1999
Nazim Tapdiqoglu Valisov “Lachin place-names”, Baku-2002
Faiq Ismayilov “Historical tragedy – Lachin”, Baku, Nurlar publishing center-2003
S. Agayev, T. Huseynova “Qarabag is the motherland”, Baku, Nasir publishing house-2008
Ziyadxan Nabibayli “Zangezur’s golden crown – Lachin”, Baku-2009