Zangilan Rayon is de jure an administrative-territorial entity in the south-western part of the Republic of Azerbaijan, but de facto this territory was occupied by Armenian forces in autumn of 1993, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War and is controlled by the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic till today. It has been under the control of the breakway Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, as part of its Qashatagh Province, since the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Since November 12, 1993, a fact of the occupation of Zangilan rayon has been recognized and blamed by resolution №884 of the United Nations Security Council and since April 25, 2008 the United Nations General Assembly by the Resolution №62/243, in which the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan was partially recognized and they include a demand of withdrawal of the Armenian forces.Administrative center of the rayon is Zəngilan city.
Zangilan district was famed under the name of Grakhmu castle located there in the medieval centuries.Only Achanan volost and the western part was included in Gafan rayon of Armenia, but the eastern and more favourable territories were included in the Azerbaijan SSR while determining borders of the Soviet Republics. In 1930, administrative district of Zangilan was created there.On October 29, 1993 the rayon was taken under the Armenian Armed Forces’ control.There are historical monuments kept by the government in the territory of the rayon: a circular tower in Khadijally village, an octagonal mausoleum of Yahya ibn Muhammad al-Haj (1304-1305) in Məmmədbəyli village.