The Erzi National Reserve Park, located in the Sunzhensk and Dzheyrakh regions of the Republic of Ingushetia, is one of the youngest nature reserve parks in Russia. Erzi covers an area of 35,300 hectares. It was founded in 2000 to preserve the ecology of the Dzheyrakh-Assinskaya basin, as well as historical and cultural sites.
The largest rivers running through the park (Armkhi and Assa) belong to the Terek basin. About one third of the area is covered by forests: the northern slopes of mountains feature oak and beech forests with some Norway maple in a few places. Speckled alder, willow, and sea-buckthorn grow in the floodplains. If you climb up above 1,500 meters, you can find mountain pine with a touch of birch, horn beech, oak, mountain ash, and linden. Further up there is birch crooked forest, and higher than 2,000 meters — mountain meadows and steppe. The snow and ice belt is about 3,500 meters above sea level.
The park is a home to many rare species of animals, such as wildcat, chamois, and Caucasian goat, as well as birds including peregrine falcons, Caucasian snowcocks, and golden eagles. About 180 kinds of rare plants grow here.
The Erzi Reserve is rich in natural landmarks, including the Lyazhginsky waterfall cascading from the cliffs in the deep forest of the Armkhinskoe gorge on the Lyazhga river, and the unique Armkhinskaya pinery on the left bank of the Armkhi river. Other interesting features include the Myagi-Erdy sanctuary, the mountain pine forest located along the upper reaches of the Myagikha river, and the natural spring at Bisht pass.
The tower complex of the same name is worth mentioning as a separate point. Twelve warning and residential towers rise against the picturesque mountains.
The tower complexes of Dzheyrakhskoe Basin are a true wonder of the world. The ancient Ingush people called themselves «galgai» (meaning tower people), suggesting that this architectural solution was adopted here long ago. The Dzheyrakhskoe Basin hosts about two thousand residential and military towers dating to the 10th-18th centuries. The older buildings are usually less accessible, at the top of steep slopes or hidden in impassable crevices.
|Address:||Republic of Ingushetia, Dzheirakh district|