Araks River(Aras, Eraskh) is one of the largest rivers of the Armenian Highland. The river originates from numerous springs on the Byurakna (Bingel) mountains at an altitude of 2200-2700 m.
The water temperature here isn't higher than 3-3,50C. Absorbing many rivers on the way, including its largest tributary- Akhurian, Araks reaches to Ararat valley as a wet and noisy river. On the right Yellow and Red rivers flow into the lake, on the left flow Metsamor, Hrazdan, Azat, Arpa rivers. Then Nakhichevan, Megri, Voghchi, Vorotan, Hagari rivers flow down to Araks. The river is the largest stream of Kura, and joining it, Araks flows into the Caspian Sea. The river's length is 1072 km. 150 km is on the border of Armenia and Turkey, and 40 km is on the border of Iran and Armenia. 76% percent of Armenian territory belongs to Araks basin. Araks is the only one out of the large rivers in the Armenian Highland that flows along the entire length of the highland. The river isn't navigable, although in 1848 an attempt was made when the Volga motor ship was brought here.
Mentioned inthe Bible as one of the four paradise(Gehon) rivers, Araks River gives life to Ararat Valley, and there's no wonder that Armenians call it Mother Araks and dedicate songs to it. The basin of Araks River is a place, where Armenian people originated and lived. The capital of Urartu, Argishtikhini, stood on the left bank of Araks, the ancient capital of Armenia Artashat stood on nine hills, at the junction of two tributaries of Eraskh and Metsamor rivers.
Since ancient times, many bridges that are the masterpieces of the construction technique of their time have been built on Araks. One of that bridges was Dzhulfa bridge, through which Tamerlane passed in 1396, and which was destroyed in 1605 by order of Shah Abbas to prevent the Turks from attacking Persia. There were also bridges near Khor Virap, ancient city Ervandakert, in the place where Arpa River flows into Araks. But all these bridges were destroyed. That's why the river was also called "Araks, which does not tolerate bridges". There are many stories and legends about the origin of Araks' name. Some of them are presented here.
Thus, according to one of the legends, the river got its name from Arast, the great-grandson of forefather Noah. This name later got Greek sound and became Arakses, which was used in the name of Kura-Arakskian culture. This is an ancient people who lived in the valleys of Kura and Araks rivers. According to another legend, the Armenian king Araks was fighting with the Persians and received a warning that he would win only if he sacrificed two most beautiful girls to the gods. The king had two beautiful twin daughters, but he sacrificed two daughters of one of his slaves. Girls' father revenged and killed ,the king's daughters. Hearing about this, the king rushed into the river Almos, which has been called Araks from that moment.