The ‘Land Of Fire’ Has Been Burning For 4,000 Years

“This Fire Has Burned 4,000 Years And Never Stopped,” Says Aliyeva Rahila. “Even The Rain Coming Here, Snow, Wind — It Never Stops Burning.”

Ahead, Tall Flames Dance Restlessly Throughout A 10-Meter Stretch Of Hillside, Making A Sizzling Day Even Hotter.

This Is Yanar Dag — That Means “Burning Mountainside” — On Azerbaijan‘s Absheron Peninsula, The Place Rahila Works As A Tour Information.

A Facet Impact Of The Nation’s Plentiful Pure Fuel Reserves, Which Generally Leak To The Floor, Yanar Dag Is One Of A Number Of Spontaneously Occurring Fires To Have Fascinated And Frightened Vacationers To Azerbaijan Over The Millennia.

Venetian Explorer Marco Polo Wrote Of The Mysterious Phenomena When He Handed By The Nation Within The 13th Century. Other Silk Road Retailers Introduced Information Of The Flames As They’d Travel To Different Lands.

It’s Why The Nation Earned The Moniker The “Land Of Fire.”

Ancient Faith

Such Fires Had Been As Soon As Plentiful In Azerbaijan, However As A Result Of They Led To A Discount Of Fuel Strain Underground, Interfering With Business Fuel Extraction, Most Have Been Snuffed Out.

Yanar Dag Is One Of The Few Remaining Examples, And Maybe Probably The Most Spectacular.

At One Time They Performed A Key Position Within The Historical Zoroastrian Faith, Which Was Based In Iran And Flourished In Azerbaijan Within The First Millennium BCE.

For Zoroastrians, Fireplace Is A Hyperlink Between People And The Supernatural World, And A Medium By Which Religious Perception And Knowledge Could Be Gained. It’s Purifying, Life-Sustaining And A Significant Half Of Worship.

Today, Most Guests Who Arrive On The No-Frills Yanar Dag Guests’ Heart Come For The Spectacle Somewhat Than Non Secular Success.

The Expertise Is Most Spectacular At Evening, Or In Winter. When Snow Falls, The Flakes Dissolve Within The Air With Out Ever Touching The Bottom, Says Rahila.

Despite The Claimed Antiquity Of The Yanar Dag Flames — Some Argue That This Explicit Fireplace Might Solely Have Been Ignited Within The 1950s — It Is A Lengthy 30-Minute Drive North From The Middle Of Baku Simply To See It. The Heart Provides Solely A Small Cafe And There Is Not A Lot Else Within The Space.

Ateshgah Fire Temple

For A Deeper Perception Into Azerbaijan’s Historical Past Of Fireplace Worship, Guests Ought To Head East Of Baku To Ateshgah Fire Temple.

“Since Ancient Times, They Think That [Their] God Is Here,” Says Our Information, As We Enter The Pentagonal Advanced Which Was Constructed Within The 17th And 18th Century By Indian Settlers In Baku.

Fire Rituals At This Web Site Date Again To The 10th Century Or Earlier. The Identify Ateshgah Comes From The Persian For “Home Of Fire” And The Centerpiece Of The Advanced Is A Cupola-Topped Altar Shrine, Constructed Upon A Pure Fuel Vent.

A Pure, Everlasting Flame Burned Right Here On The Central Altar Till 1969, However Today The Hearth Is Fed From Baku’s Principal Fuel Provide And Is Just Lit For Guests.

The Temple Is Related To Zoroastrianism But It Surely’s As A Hindu Place Of Worship That Its Historical Past Is Healthier Documented.

Merchants And Ascetics

Built Like A Caravanserai-Style Vacationers’ Inn, The Advanced Has A Walled Courtyard Surrounded By 24 Cells And Rooms.

These Had Been Variously Utilized By Pilgrims, Passing Retailers (Whose Donations Had Been A Significant Supply Of Earnings) And Resident Ascetics, Some Of Whom Submitted Themselves To Ordeals Similar To Mendacity On Caustic Quicklime, Carrying Heavy Chains, Or Protecting An Arm In A Single Place For Years On Finish.

The Temple Fell Out Of Use As A Spot Of Worship Within The Late 19th Century, At A Time When The Event Of The Encircling Oil Fields Meant That Veneration Of Mammon Was Gaining A Stronger Maintain.

The Advanced Grew To Become A Museum In 1975, Was Nominated As A UNESCO World Heritage Site In 1998, And Right Now Welcomes Round 15,000 Guests A Yr.

Published on The Armenian Reporter