According to the myth, during the time of Prophet Noah (Nuh Peygamber), who believed in one God, people deviated from the right path and rebelled against God. Thus, God decided to punish the people, and orders Noah the Prophet to build a ship. The ship should be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. While Prophet Noah built the Ark, everyone mocked him and did not believe in the calamity that would befall them. Eventually the ship is ready. According to the divine command, Prophet Noah took one pair, male and female, of all living beings on earth to the ship. And he loaded enough food. Then he entered the Ark together with his family and a few believers. One of his sons did not board the ship, saying, “if there is a flood, I will take refuge on a mountain”. Meanwhile the flood began, it rained for forty days and forty nights, and the water swallowed everything.
And God all those who arouse his anger, only the believers on the ship survived. Noah’s Ark (Nuh’un Gemisi) floated hundred and fifty days on the water. And when the waters receded the Ark landed on the Mount Ağrı (Ararat) (Ağrı Dağı).
Then Noah Prophet sent a pigeon in order to explore the surrounding. First, the pigeon returned, as it could not find a place to land. Noah sent it again after seven days. This time the pigeons returned to the ship with an olive branch in its mouth this time. The waters had receded. Prophet Noah left his Ark and established a village at the skirts of the Mount Ağrı. And humans and other creatures reproduced.
This myth also takes place in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, and is known all over the world. Thus, for many years, adventure seekers come to the region following this legend, and search for the remains of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat.
Bird Watching Areas
The Iğdır and the Aras Valley (Aras Vadisi) are located on the migration path of birds. 325 species of birds have been recorded in the area so far. This indicates that this area hosts 66% of Türkiye’s and 60% of Europe’s bird population. 325 of the 489-bird species of Türkiye have been observed throughout Iğdır. About 105,000 birds from 192 species have been ringed and recorded.
The reeds and lakes at the north and the south of the Mount Ağrı (Ararat) (Ağrı Dağı), are ideal natural areas for bird watching.
The Aras Bird Sanctuary (Aras Kuş Cenneti) is located in the Aras Valley, with Aras River (Aras Nehri) on one side and the Aras Mountains (Aras Dağları) on the other side, which is one of the most important bird migration routes in the world (Africa-Eurasia).
Karasu Bird Sanctuary
Karasu is located in the Bulakbaşı village of the Karakoyunlu district. It is fed by the snowmelt in the Ahura Glacier at an altitude of 4,000 meters on the Mount Ağrı (Ağrı Dağı). Karasu, a natural wonder admired by those who see it, is home to many species of wild birds, as well as species such as water turtles, water snakes, and the coypu, also known as the nutria.