Кajaran (in 1958 was granted with the status of a town) was formed by uniting Kajaran and Voghji settlements. It is located 356 km south of the capital Yerevan, on the banks of Voghji river, between the Zangezur Mountain and Meghri range at an average height of 1950 meters above sea level.
The name Kajaran is derived from the Armenian word “Kaj” meaning brave, and the suffix “aran”, referring to place. Thus, the word Kajaran is translated from Armenian as “the place of braves”. The name is derived from the nearby old village of Kajarants.
It is believed that the old spelling of the name was Kachachut, mentioned by Stephen Orbelian in his 13th-century work History of Syunik Province. In the late Middle Ages, the spelling was changed to Kchanants, which is still in use in the local accent of Syunik. By the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, the name Kajarants was also used until the mid 20th century, when the name Kajaran was officially adopted.
Аfter the fall of Тhe Republic of Armenia in December 1920, the 2nd Pan-Zangezurian congress held in Tatev on 26 April 1921, announced the independence of the self-governing regions of Daralakyaz (Vayots Dzor), Zangezur -including Meghri-, and parts of Mountainous Artsakh, under the name of the Republic of Mountainous Armenia (Lernahaystani Hanrapetutyun). The Republic of Mountainous Armenia capitulated on 13 July 1921, following Soviet Russia’s promises to keep the mountainous region of Syunik as part of Soviet Armenia.
The total area of the town is 1,25 km2. Օf the January 1st 2017 census, the population of the town is 7000.
Mining is the main and leading sector of the economy. Productions of food and finished metal products are also developed in Kajaran.
Kajaran is a non-ferrous metallurgy center, focused on copper and molybdenum exploitation. The largest mining company in Armenia is located here (Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum company, founded in 1951). Currently, it is privatized and produces copper and molybdenum concentrates containing metal fibers, gold, silver, selenium, sugar, rhenium, sulfur and other useful components obtained during processing.
The town has 4 public schools, art and sport schools, a medical center and a polyclinic.
The Bronze age fort of Napat dating back to the 2nd millennium BC is found 4 km west of Kajaran. A medieval cemetery is found at the eastern edge of the town.
Kajaran has a small church built in 1912 on the foundations of a medieval church. Among the many monuments, the most interesting ones are Baghaberd, Zeva, Baghaku Stone, Aghaku fortresses, and the Church of “Verin Handi”.
Translated by Kristina Ghahramanyan