N   of   Arayi   on   the   spur  road   is Vardenut (formerly Shirakala), settled, along with the neighboring villages, by emigrants who came from Persia in 1829-30 under the exchange of populations provided by the Treaty of Turkmanchay. There  are remains of a shrine, and a substantial Iron Age fort in the village.

   On    the   main   road   is   Hartavan (formerly Ghara-Kilisa).  The village has a 19th c. church and 13th c. shrine remains. Turning E at the entrance  to Hartavan, the road crosses  the Kasakh gorge. By taking the old  road (left fork) into the gorge, one  reaches the  ruined  Astvatsnkal monastery  of 5-13th c. An  inscription on  the    S    wall   of   the   Kathoghike


church reads: “By the grace and mercy of God, I Kurd, Prince of Princes, son of the great Vache, and my wife Khorishah, daughter of Marz pan, built the Holy Katoghike for the memory of our souls. We have decorated it with every kind of precious ornament and offered the garden bought by us in Parpi, virgin land in Oshakan, a garden in Karbi, a villager (?), and three hostels, in the year 693/AD 1244.”