The length of the Assa Gerge is 17 km. Despite the summer heat, it is always cool here: high stone walls of the gorge prevent sunlight penetration and shade the pass. The gorge got its name from that of the Assa river, which flows for 133 kilometers, has the basin of 2060 kilometers and empties into the Sunzha river. Assa originates on the Great Caucasus Ridge and flows through the territory of Georgia. Its average width on the plain exceeds 30 meters.
According to the ancient legend, Sarmak, a terrible dragon that ate beauties, lived in the gorge. He approached a house standing on the outskirts of the village and asked the woman who lived there for food. Having heard the request, the woman said she could not even knead dough for flatbread as there were no water in the house. The young man replied that it was not a problem, he would bring her water. And then she started crying bitterly: a Sarmak settle by the river and does not allow anyone to take water unless a beautiful girl is brought to it. The young man said he would fight the sarmak, kill it and free the villagers from the monster. He went into the gorge and defeated Sarmak. Today, the gorge still bears traces of the fight between the dragon and the courageous young man. The rising cliffs jagged with the Sarmak`s claws remind of that battle.
Tourist Information Centre of the Republic of Ingushetia /www.ingtourism.ru
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