is the most sacred mountain in Nakhchivan area. The sacredness
in these places is connected with the legends. It becomes
clear from the legends that the holy spirits asleep didn’t
move into the cave and they got asleep near the entrance.
After getting up they learned the accident and prayed the God
to vanish them. So, on the left side of the cave’s entrance,
in the place by name “yeddi kimsene” they disappeared. There
is not anything about their visits to “Damjikhana” (now it is
a mosque) and “Jennet Baghi”. So, the God realized their
dreams on the mountain. The cliffs on the right side entrance
“Ashabi-Kahf” mountains are formed like a mushroom. Other
way speaking, the transmitters pass these praying to the God.
While climbing the mountain, where the mosque and “Damjikhana”
are situated, its peak starts to become relatively oval and
cylindrical. The “Jennet Baghi” - the highest peak -is
entirely cylindrical. It was very difficult to climb there
sometimes before. Only those people, who had serious wishes
and sought to get rid of infertility, were climbing to this
point; they were praying and erecting the artificial cradles
and making the symbols of houses there.
The narrow passage up
to the east is the main place for praying. There are some
stones playing the transmittal role and there is lonely
standing holy tree-daghdaghan. It is also interesting that
some mountains surrounding “Ashabi-Kahf” are also considered
holy: “Nuh tufani” with Hacha dagh (it’s also named as Ilanli
dagh), Nahajir, Goynuk mosque and Goynuk mountain. Here can
also be encountered the praying houses from the old times.
After learning the same subject in “Gamigaya” we found out
many cylindrical shaped holy places on the volcanic stones.
The cliffs surrounding it were very slippery and it was very
difficult to get there; these places were unreachable for a
long time. The stones are placed sporadically around the area
but only here the stones are piled in the oval form. We can
meet the similar places of faith and tradition in the area of Julfa district, near the Jamaldin village, in the area of
This place is called “Duymeguyusu” (Duymeli
tendir). There are several mountains in Nakhchivan that are
called sacred; and also the people from other regions of
Azerbaijan, Anadolu, Siberia, and Altay-Sayan believe them.
Generally the history of mountain beliefs should be traced
back to the ancient times. As it comes clear from “Bilgamis
dastan, when” shumers were in trouble, lost their way and
could not find anyway, they pleaded the mountain to help them.
We can meet the mountain cult in “Bilgamis” and “Dada Gorgud”
parallels. There are some similar parallels with “Shumer-Dada
Gorgud”, which is preserved to our days in some modern Turkey
traditions. These faiths are the same by the genetically
beginnings. Ancient Turkish people considered the Tian shan
Mountain’s sacred. In ancient Turks each part and branch had
its own sacred mountain. So, each part was visiting to their
own mountain. N. A. Alekseev writes that in Altay every family
had their own mountain. There was also such mountain that
every family considered it their own sacred place.
visiting to the mountains, Turks in Altayians as it was in
“Ashabi-Kahf” did many preparation works. According to the
Beltir’s faith, people could go to the Tiger Mountain by
riding on animals up to the definite points and then they
continued the way by their walking. The women and girls were
not permitted to the main praying. (Up to recent years that
was very difficult to get to the “Ashabi-Kahf” in “Jennet
Baghi” for women and girls. There was somehow prohibition for
them.) After praying they prepared some meals from the
sacrificed sheep’s meat. As it was found out that there are
some idiographic pictures of animals in Nakhchivan’s Gamigaya
area; the idiographic pictures and figures of animals were
found on mountains, especially on piling stones during
erosion; it took place also in some areas of the Middle Asia.
M. A. Devlet- found out the idiographic picture of wild
ram on the stone in the passage; and it showed the people’s
cult to the mountain goat.
Author mentioned that such stones were named as “Ovaa dash”.
Making conclusions about Ovaa and Oba M. Seyidov comes to such
a point: “Making a resume of all what is said about Oba, we
can tell that at the narrow passage of “Bel” mountain, the
mountain spirit, the mountain owner and the mountain god are
also called on the same way as the flat lying piled stones to
commemorate the circle owner.” So both “Oba” and “Bel”
represent a mountain spirit, God and owner.
The same belief also exists in “Ashabi-Kahf”. The pilgrims
gather the little stones to the sides of the way and in the
praying places they gather some stones piling. There are the
likely cylindrical shaped stone piles in “Jennet Baghi” and
“Jennet Babi”. The pilgrims returning from “Ashabi-Kahf”
believe the sacred place will protect them from their enemies
and illness. Speaking about the protecting abilities of the
mountains Abdul Kadir says: According to the Inan Turkish’s
legends Chinese were always afraid from Turkish. And they
thought that the source of the strengths of Turkish is “Kutlu
dagh” mountain and they decided to deprive them from that
So the King decided to marry his daughter Kivelien
with Turkish prince in return for “Kutlu dagh”. Yuluntakin
accepted this invitation and Chinese broke the mountain into
peaces and carried to their country. After this accident the
Turks began to hear the words “Koch-koch” pronounced
continuously from mountains, stones, wild animals, and little
children. In a moment all water dried and the greens became
paled and yellow. The sacred mountains and caves also exist
in spatial religions. The first summon came to Prophet
Mohammed in “Hira” mountain. He rescued from the intimidations
by using Sivr cave as a shelter. By the will of God the spider
put its net at the entrance of the cave and a pigeon also bred
there. The prophet Hazrati Musa also received the first
summon in “Turu-Sina” mountain. The Prophet Hazrati Ibrahim’s act of sacrificing his son-
the prophet Ismayil also took place in Mina Mountain.
The cave cult occupied a special place
in “Ashabi-Kahf”. As it was evident from information depicted
in “Gurani Karim”, the cave existed before.
Before the period of escaping from the oppression it was
recommended to be settled at that place, as that location was
reckoned as refuge.
There are many sacred caves in the mountainous zone of
Azerbaijan. There are some popular and worshipped caves in
some regions such as - “Pir Banovsha” (in Guba region), “Diri
Baba” (in Shamakhi region), “Agh Kaha”, “Gara Kaha” (in
Gubadli region). Among the people they are known as, “maghara”,
“kaha”, “zagha”, “kohl”.
Beliefs related to stones occupy a special place in the
worship place. For example, the following beliefs still exist
there: to pile stones along the way to the places of worship,
to put a stone to the place of so called “Gitmir’s grave”, to
throw the enemy’s stone out, to fasten stone on “Yeddi kimsene”,
to throw stone to Duldul’s foot tracks, to visit and worship
Garadash and also, by making dreams, to put the stones on each
other in “Damjikhana” and “Jennet Baghi”, and at last by
making dreams to take some small stones home and to return
them back to “Ashabi-Kahf” after realization of dreams and
simultaneously to sacrifice animal there. There are some
legends related to black stones. One of the legends says that
there is a big black stone in Ojagtepe Pir. There is a bit
smaller stone in “Ashabi-Kahf”.
These are sisters. On Thursday
the black stone in “Ashabi-Kahf” visits her elder sister in
Ojagtepe and goes back.
materials showed that together with “Ashabi-Kahf”, the other
worship places also
contain the so called black
stones. The Isfandiyar or Gash worship places are of cave type
situated in Jahri village. Through its entrance is narrow,
after some meters there is a big stone in the middle of this
saloon. People come to these worship places with various
dreams. The historical sources proved that, at the beginning
of the XVIII century there had been a highly respectable
worship place called Isfandiyar. The cult of stone and
vegetation was widely spread at that worship place. The
pilgrims used to put a gift on this stone, fasten stones on
each other and burn the candles. There are some sayings about
the black stones. About bad children: “Better have a black
stone born than you.”, “Black stone is better than you”.
According to the existing beliefs among the people, the stones
are capable to reproduction. Some stones are said to reproduce
up to 40 stones. N. A. Alekseev writes that growing of these
stones continues 30-40 years. Sometimes these stones give a
birth of “little stones”. Reproduction
could be observed after each 40 days. There exists a
variety of beliefs about stones’ capability to carry human
spirits. Throwing the enemy’s stone in “Ashabi-Kahf” means
that you physically damage your enemy. This belief is peculiar
for the all Azerbaijan. People throw the black stone if you
wish the undesirable person for you not to return again. By
throwing the stone, they think that he will not return back.
In some villages of Nakhchivan there is such a tradition that
after taking a dead person out of the house they usually put a
black stone on his place. After burying the dead person they
throw the stone to the yard. There is a tradition of throwing
the stone to the graveyard, as well.
There is a black stone in the worship
places in Shahtakhti village of Sharur region and Bananiyar
village of Julfa region. If somebody can lift the stone from
the ground this will mean his dream will soon be realized.
That person says: “The stone as
light, as a straw” There is a belief among
the people that everybody has his own stone. “Don’t let my
stone fall on your head”, “My stone is heavy”, “I’m created
from stone”, “Let his stone fall on his own head”, etc.
According to the beliefs peculiar to the world Turks: “a
person can turn into the stone” and etc.
There are many legends in Nakhchivan about a man’s turn into
stone. By turning a man into the stone you can change his
character. Once a person’s character worsens, he quarrels at
home and then they say: “as if his stone changed”.
You can not only change a person’s stone, you can change the
animal’s stone, as well. Especially when the cranes’ row is
broken, they say, somebody has changed their stones.Magical
effect of the stones is connected with their sparkling when we
cut them. These stones are called “iron-stones”. Some valuable
stones are used in making adoring.
Some stones as, egig-emerald, turquoise treats different
illnesses, take an overlook, sends an enemy’s prejudice away.
So a belief of mountain, stone and cave in “Ashabi-Kahf” is
historically and genetically connected with Turkey.