Khor Virap Monastery Armenia
Some places have unique history behind it. They are worth exploring as they carry significant element of historicity and excitement with it. You need to go down the lane in the place itself to experience the uniqueness of the place and the reason for which it is famous for long now. You know that Armenia is full of great historical elements and in this article we are going to see one more such place from Armenia. This is Khor Virap, a monastery located in Ararat plain in Armenia. The monastery is in existence for centuries. This is quite right to say that when you are on your Armenia Tour Packages and exploring some great places there, do include Khor Virap if it is already not there in your itinerary. Why? Let us know together.
Khor Virap is located on hillock in Pokr Vedi, the village which is 4 KM away from the main highway there. This is just 30 KM from Yerevan, the capital and most happening city of Armenia. What is most interesting thing about Khor Virap is its history. Khor Virap was used as royal prison. Khor Virap is the place where Gregory Lusavorich was held in a cell for 13 years at the bottom of pit dug into an Armenian hillock. He survived for 13 years because a local woman who was a Christian fed her. Gregory Lusavorich was kept in the cell at the bottom of pit dug into the hill by king Tiridates III who ruled over Armenia. Gregory Lusavorich who was an assistant of the king preached Christianity while king Tiridates followed Pagan religion. The king did not like having an adviser with a different religion. Then he subjected Gregory to severe torture. When king got the news that Gregory’s father was responsible for the murder of king’s father, the king ordered to tie the hands and legs of Gregory and throw him into the dark dungeon of Khor Virap to die. Everyone believed that Gregory died within few days of his imprisonment. But he survived because of local woman feeding him secretly. After 13 years Gregory healed a king Tiridates who had gone mad after a girl and killed many Christians. Then Gregory started preaching the king and his army Christianity. Gregory became the Bishop of Caesarea and remained in service of king until 314 AD. So this is the person for which Khor Virap got recognition in the history.
Now you know why Khor Virap is special. One reason is this is the place where Saint Gregory was imprisoned for 13 years before he cured king Tiridates of a disease. Today, you can go down the steps into the pit where Gregory spend 13 years in dark. This was the reason why the king and Armenia converted into the first official Christian nation in the world in early 3rd century. Another reason is that this is a monastery situated in Ararat Plain in Armenia nearing the border of Turkey. The monastery is surrounded by green pasture lands and vineyards within the Ararat plain and is in view of Mount Ararat. So this beautiful monastery also sits a little hill in otherwise flat Ararat valley. Even today Khor Virap Monastery is a holy site of the Armenian Apostolic Church and stands as an important pilgrimage location which locals often visit for a baptism or after a wedding to perform a “matagh” or “sacrifice”. The natural beauty of the Khor Virap is constituted by the fact that the walled, religious complex stands before the snow-capped flanks of Mount Ararat, and this offers a spectacular view of the mountain and cutting a striking silhouette in and of itself to the every visitor here.
You can reach Khor Virap from Yerevan by train, bus and taxi. The monastery and surrounding vineyards are worth exploring when you are on your Yerevan tour package.