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Asni sacred place

Our native land is rich in Turkic-Islamic samples, historical-religious monuments preserving Islamic values. Garabaghlar village, the ancient settlement of Kangarli region, is one of our well-known settlements witnessing centuries old monuments. The ancients buildings here which belong to II-I millenniums B.C and have been preserved till today are the stone inscriptions preserving traces of our history. One of these buildings is Asni sacred place, situated in the southern slopes of Palang gayasi mountain in Garabaghlar village, turned into a sacred sanctuary for centuries.

While talking one of intellectual elder people of the village Nahas Safarov noted that thanks to the care and attention of the Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, important work has been carried out in the direction of protection and study, hand our material-spiritual heritage down the next generations. Asni sacred place has been restored together with other architectural monuments belonging to medieval ages in Garabaghlar village. Before there was a square shaped building built of mortar near the sacred place. At present a monumental architectural monument has been built instead of that building. The corner walls of the building built of high projections were decorated with national ornaments. Here, the cultural and living conditions for the pilgrims have been created, large renovation works have been carried out in the yard, greenery has been laid and the seats have been installed. The flow of spring from the cliffs near the sacred place has become a place of people's belief and has been sanctified.

Asni sacred place is often visited by newly married young people, cut victims here. They take water from the spring with them, knead dough with the very water and bake bread hoping blessing and happy future. The trees around the sacred place are also considered holy by the people, together with garachali, dog-rose, hawthorn bushes, wild pear, apple, cherry-plum fruit trees grew there. Later, along water arch willow and silverberry trees have been planted.

There are two graves belonging to medieval ages in the sacred place, inscriptions with Arabic alphabet on the chest stones in the graves. According to the inscriptions the grave monuments belong to the XIV century. But the history of the sacred place goes back ancient times when Azerbaijan Turks believed mountains, water and trees.

The talk of village elders about the history of the sacred place is interesting. Nahas Safarov says that there are legends about the sacred place among people. One of these legends says that the spring water in Asni mountain is bound up with the waters of Goyja lake. In ancient times, a merchant from the remote Goycha district must stand on the market in Galachig (now Garabaghlar village) to carry stone salt by a caravan. He recognizes his patterned walking-stick he has lost in the hands of a person and remembers an event that happens to him ten years ago. Once, when the merchant sailed Goyja lake in a boat, suddenly a storm broke our turned his boat and the merchant hardly escaped. After this accident the merchant pitied about his patterned walking-stick made from elm than his other goods. The merchant slips out the grooved head to prove that he is the owner of the walking-stick and emptied the gold coins hidden inside it. The people were surprised and returned his walking-stick, gold to the merchant. The merchant gave half of the coins to the man who found it and asked where he found it. The person who found the walking-tree gave thanks to God and said that he found in the spring of Asni. Hearing this story, the people from Galachig (Garabaghlar) consider the Asni spring as sacred to God and turned it into a pilgrimage. The merchant spent the rest of the gold and made a donation to the people by slaughtering a thousand male lambs in the spring of Asni.

In all parts of our country, besides keeping local Turkish traditions, we have Turkish-Islamic culture monuments, religious beliefs. Each of them is of great importance in the study of the ethnic history, material and spiritual values of our people, the ancient outlook.

These beliefs, which have left their mark on the philosophical thought of our nation, allow us to imagine the full picture of the spiritual life of the people. These moral traditions of our people show that the traditions of ancient beliefs passed through centuries have not been forgotten by our people, these values have been preserved up to now.

                                                                      Guljamal TAHIROVA

                                                                    “Sharg gapisi” newspaper

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Date: 20-08-2018
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