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Abandoned Village Old Khot - Armenian Machu Picchu

Old Khot, also known as Hin Khot, is often referred to as the Armenian Machu Picchu due to its resemblance to the Inca citadel located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru. Discover this mysterious ghost village hiking along Vorotan Gorge.

Old Khot is perched on the cliffs of the Vorotan River at an altitude of 1500 meters above the sea level.

The name of the settlement is derived from the Armenian word "Khot," meaning herbage or grass. According to Heinrich Hübschmann, this name refers to the lush gardens surrounding Old Khot, known as Khotaget, where "Khot" signifies grass, and "get" signifies river.

Old Khot as seen from a distance

The history of Old Khot dates back to the 2nd century BC when it was initially inhabited by cave-dwelling people who later constructed houses on the rocks. In the 11th century, Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian mentioned it as a tax-paying settlement under the jurisdiction of the Tatev Monastery.

A well preserved house in Old Khot, even the roof was intact

The village boasted a large garden known as Khotaget, a castle named Khanapa, and a monastery named Khoti Vank, dedicated to St. Astvatsatsin. Old Khot earned the name Zangezur, meaning "land of bells," owing to its renowned bells.

In the 12th century, Old Khot had another monastery called Mrgadzori Khach, constructed by an Armenian woman who had escaped from a Persian harem. This monastery displayed a unique architectural and artistic style, blending Armenian and Persian influences.

A church in Old Khot

Social changes of the 20th century led to the abandonment of Old Khot. Instead of improving infrastructure with a proper road, new pipeline, and enhanced electricity facilities, authorities decided to relocate the village to a new settlement on a plateau. In the 1960s-70s, inhabitants were moved to higher ground closer to the main road and utility on flatter land, a trend observed in many villages, including Khndzoresk.

The villagers resettled in a new village called Khot on the hillside above Old Khot, leaving their belongings and memories behind. Old Khot transformed into a ghost town, yet it continues to attract visitors for its scenic views and historical significance. Explorers can wander through its ruins, marvel at its architecture and art, and witness the intersection of nature and history.

Me exploring Old Khot

Old Khot is a hidden gem in Armenia, providing insights into its past and present. It is a realm where nature intertwines with history, and mystery harmonizes with beauty, inviting those who have a passion for Armenia or an eagerness to uncover something novel. The site retains its enchantment, featuring stone houses, gardens, churches, and caves.

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