Ateshgah and Yanardag - some of the must-see places in Baku

Ateshgah and Yanardag - some of the must-see places in Baku

14.12.2021, 102
Tourism

Ateshgah and Yanardag - some of the must-see places in Baku

The Fire Temple (Ateshgah) is well familiar across the different countries of the world. Originally it is located 30 km from the center of City Baku in the Surakhany Suburb. The Fire Mountain (Yanardag) is covered with tongues of eternal fire, is a favorite destination of tourists from different countries.

In the 13th century, when Marco Polo visited Baku, he mentioned numerous mysterious flames that could be found all over the region at various places of the Absheron Peninsula.

These fires gave Azerbaijan the moniker “Land of Fire.”

The natural flames of Azerbaijan can be attributed to its enormous gas reserves.

The Fire Temple (Ateshgah) is well familiar across the different countries of the world. Originally it is located 30 km from the center of City Baku in the Surakhany Suburb.

The Fire Mountain (Yanardag) is covered with tongues of eternal fire, is a favorite destination of tourists from different countries. But especially Yanar Dag is beautiful in the evening! The beauty and power of nature appear in front of the people, looking at this magnificent process. 

 

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The Fire Temple (Ateshgah) is situated on the Absheron peninsula of Baku. It was a place of sacrifice founded above a natural gas vent.

Fire rituals at the peninsula’s numerous natural gas vents date back to at least the 10th century, although the current temple structure was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. The structure is similar to the caravanserais (travelers’ inns) of the region with pentagonal walls surrounding a courtyard. However, in the middle of this courtyard sits an altar, the centerpiece of the temple complex where fire rituals were observed. The altar is situated right a natural gas vent, igniting a large flame in the middle and four smaller flames on the rooftop corners of the pavilion. Surrounding the temple altar is a number of small cells which held the ascetic worshippers and pilgrims.

 

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Debate continues as to whether this temple was founded as a Zoroastrian or a Hindu place of worship, since the structure incorporates architectural elements from both faiths, without wholly adhering to either. The most established theory places the temple in the Zoroastrian tradition, but that it has evolved into a predominantly Hindu place of worship over time. In the late 19th century, the place was abandoned, most likely as a result of the dwindling Indian population in Azerbaijan.

 

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Heavy exploitation of the natural gas reserves on the peninsula resulted in the exhaustion of the flame in 1969. The flames seen today are fed by Baku’s main gas supply.

In 1975, the complex was turned into a museum, and in 1998, it was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

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The burning mountain Yanardag (literally from the Azerbaijani "yanar" - burning, "dag" - mountain) is a unique and amazing phenomenon.

This sightseeing is located 25 km from the city center.

Yanardag is called the "Burning Mountain" because of the natural gas bursting out and burning at the base and on the slopes. The fire may go out during rain or strong winds but soon reignites due to interaction with oxygen in the air. This process has been observed for many hundreds of years and was mentioned by the famous traveler Marco Polo.

 

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At the top of the mountain is also a cave "Wolf Gate" with paintings on the walls - one of the ancient sites of primitive people.

Yanardag has become a place where numerous tourists and pilgrims from all over the world come to watch the fire or do meditation. The best view of the flaming hill opens at dusk.

 

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A state historical, cultural, and natural reserve was created in 2007 and it’s under the protection of the government.

 

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How to get here? It’s quite easy to get here from the capital of Azerbaijan. From the metro station, "Koroglu" bus number 217 runs to the destination.

Ateshgah and Yanardag - some of the must-see places in Baku

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