Mankakan erkatuxi or the children’s railway is one of the favorite places of Armenian children. Besides being a fun place for entertainment and having a nice time with kids, mankakan erkatuxi is also one of the oldest places of Armenia.
Mankakan erkatuxi is a place for children where there are colorful trains and a nice attraction park. The story of mankakan erkatuxi goes back to 1937. Aghasi Khanjian, a social activist of the USSR was unable to see the implementation of his efforts as he was sentenced to death.
The place of mankakan erkatuxi was not chosen randomly. It was the best and most attractive spot of Yerevan. Mankakan erkatuxi is located by Hrazdan river.
It includes a colorful and cool railway for children and attractions as well. Back then, there weren’t many places that provided much entertainment for Armenian children. Mankakan erkatuxi was like heaven. It became a staple spot for not only Armenian children, but adults as well.
General Information About Mankakan Erkatuxi
The shortest way of getting to mankakan erkatuxi from the city center is through the tunnels that leads to the park. The tunnels were built to provide the city center with fresh air from the riverside. Currently, only one of them is being used.
The impressions you get upon entering mankakan erkatuxi are different. But one thing is for sure, you forget about reality. Being there is like going to a new world within the city center.
When you visit there in the summertime, you’ll be surrounded by Armenian children running around eating cotton candy or popcorn. If you go there during working hours or midnight, you’ll appear in a place that’s out of a book. A calm, relaxing environment, where it’s just you and your thoughts. No one to disturb you, no one to interrupt your thinking.
9:30 to 22:00
Upon entering the park, the first thing that will catch your eye is the children’s entertainment. There are different kids’ attractions: room of laughter, shooting gallery, etc.
The main attraction of the park requires a bit of walking. On your right, you’ll find a stairway leading to the river, where the children’s railway is located. This is the heart of the location: mankakan erkatuxi.
The History of Mankakan Erkatuxi
The architect of Yerevan, Alexander Tamanyan asserted that the Hrazdan gorge and mankakan erkatuxi must be a recreation spot for everyone.
At first, Alexander Tamanyan planned two tunnels leading to mankakan erkatuxi. He designed it in a way that would not only be the shortest way of getting there, but would also provide the city center with fresh air.
The works on the park started in 1935 by Tigran Mazmanyan’s design. Due to the enthusiasm of the staff, mankakan erkatuxi was ready 4 months earlier than planned.
The park was crowded after the first day of its opening. Later, two drinking water fountains were built near the entrance of the park dedicated to USSR heroes. The box office of the railway is by the river. The old building was once a wooden one. It was later reconstructed and built from tufa stone.
Mankakan Erkatuxi Today
Mankakan erkatuxi gives out positive vibes. The place reminds you of old times. You can see old children attractions and entertainment spots which are constantly being reconstructed.
The ancient spirit is even more visible in the railway. Abandoned colorful wagons can be found on the right side of the railway. Those wagons were preserved from 1950s.
Currently, the summer wagon is only active. It takes Armenian children to a small journey in Hrazdan gorge. Unfortunately, the journey is short due of lack of resources. But that does not make it any less exciting. It’s been planned to reconstruct the railway and make it much longer.
In 2012, the Armenian Railway restored the old railway, making the wagons more attractive and safe for Armenian children. The box office building is also planning to open a cafe and a movie theater. A little open air train works during summer that takes Armenian children to the park from the center of the city.
The railway was originally planned to be larger than it now is. Today, we can only see a fraction of the initial plan. For several years, mankakan erkatuxi was neglected. The train wagons were too old and not properly restored. It was in a poor condition.
The reconstruction of some of the wagons by the Armenian Railway brought back enthusiasm to the park. It revived the children’s spirits. The number of the visitors increased in number.
Though mankakan erkatuxi is considered one of the main children’s entertainment parks, many believe that there is a lot of work to do. The owner of mankakan erkatuxi says that a cafeteria and a movie theater are planned to be opened in the upcoming years.
Improving the condition of mankakan erkatuxi is essential for Armenia as it’s one of the top tourist attractions and the best place for Armenian children to hang out.
There are 2 stations in the railway today:
- 1 platform called “Urakhutyun” (Happiness)
- a 45 meter-long tunnel.
The railway has been active for about 80 years.
Mankakan erkatuxi is not as pleasant and good-looking at late hours
If you plan to visit mankakan erkatuxi in the evening or later hours, you’ll face a completely different image of the park. Mankakan erkatuxi becomes a place that’s out of a horror movie.
The park leaves the impression that it’s abandoned and haunted. Many Armenians like to visit mankakan erkatuxi during late hours to take a break from the busy city.
Visiting mankakan erkatuxi in late hours can give you an adrenaline rush. There are hardly any people there that late. It’s thrilling and exciting, yet relaxing at the same time. Every noise heard at those hours makes you afraid.
Mankakan erkatuxi is more than just an entertainment spot for Armenian children
Mankakan erkatuxi wasn’t built just for children, adults also like spending time there. Whether it’s to relive their childhood and awaken their inner kid, adults love going there. There’s a small bridge over the river that has a view worth a thousand words.
The Hrazdan gorge is also a great place for having picnics. This is mostly organized by high school or university students. Since going to the river is a downhill path, children aren’t advised to go there without a guardian.
Many people like to go to mankakan erkatuxi just to enjoy the sound of the river. It’s perfect for meditation. Listening to the sound of the water gives people the energy they need. It releases you from everyday stress and problems. It gives you peace of mind.
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