Khosrov Forest State ReserveKhosrov Forest State Reserve
"Khosrov Forest” state reserve is one the oldest protected areas in the world having a history of about 1700 years. The reserve preserves ancient cultural amenities, historical-architectural monuments, unique plant and animal species, splendid diversity of scenic landscapes. It was founded in 334-338 by the order of Armenian King Khosrov Kotak to improve the natural-climatic conditions of adjacent territories of Artashat city -the capital of Armenia of the given period and the newly established Dvin city to ensure conservation and enrichment of flora and fauna species; serve as a ground for royal hunting, military exercises and entertainments. In September of 1958 the Government of Armenia adopted a decision to declare Khosrov forest as reserve zones. It was created to conserve and improve the unique flora and fauna. The landscape variety of “Khosrov Forest” state reserve is due to the difficult mountainous relief, steep zoning and peculiarities of soil-climate conditions. They form landscape types from semi-desert to mountainous and alpine meadows. The reserve area is rich in unique natural ecosystems that are mainly due to inaccessibility and absence of paths and roads. The reserve is distinguished with its plant species, including abundance of rare and endangered species that are due to soil climate conditions and relief diversity of the area.
1849 species of vascular plants grow in the reserve area; they are represented in 588 genera and consist of 107 families. More than 80 plant species are involved in the Red Data Book of Armenia 1989 . 25 plant species and 6 species of mushroom are involved in the new Red Data Book of Armenia published in 2011. There are 24 endemic species.
There are more than 1500 Invertebrate and 283 vertebrate species in Khosrov reserve. 28 vertebrate animal species included in the Red Book of RA 1989. 35 vertebrate animal species and 31 invertebrate species are involved in the new Red Data Book of Armenia published in 2011.
Havuts-Tar Monastery (11-13th centuries), stone arch-bridge across the Azat River (12th century), cross-stones "Khosrov Forest" state reserve is the reserve of national and historic significance. It is the oldest preserved flora and fauna museum in Armenia. In “Khosrov Forest” state reserve there are Kakavaberd, Havuts Tar and Aghjots vank monastic complexes, Kakavaberd, Sakraberd fort - castles, Blrashen, Yelija, Bayburd, big and small Gilans, Avanik, Vanstan (Imirzik /Imirzek) Berdatak, Avanik, Hand , Khosrov, Zimmi, Jghin, Mankuk, Spitakavank and other places that used to be villages, three-dozen churches, several hundred khatchkars /cross-stones and gravestones, medieval bridge and other historical monuments, that are silent witnesses of the past. The cozy corners of "Khosrov Forest “ state reserve keep the first human cultural development imprints (engraved rock images, traces of ancient civilization, archaeological monuments and sites of historic and cultural great value) that can make ecotourism impressions unforgettable and give wide opportunities for the ecotourism development in the given area.
There are 2 visitor centres in “Khosrov Forest” State Reserve. The following trails are available for the visitors:
Trail N 1 – Garni and Kakavaberd districts, Havuts Tar
Trail N 2 – Kakavaberd district, Vanstan
Trail N 3 – Kakavaberd district, Kakavaberd
Trail N 4 – Khosrov district, Trchnaberd
Trail N 5 – Khachadzor district, Mankuk
Khosrov Forest” State Reserve
Hrachya Hovakimyan, Director
Republic of Armenia