Yanardagh

Azerbaijan is not accidentally called the "Land of Lights": beating oil on the surface, sparkling in the night with Baku illuminations, frightening flames that covered the surface of the earth for tens of meters ... and this is not an exaggeration.

Azerbaijan is not accidentally called the "Land of Lights": beating oil on the surface, sparkling in the night with Baku illuminations, frightening flames that covered the surface of the earth for tens of meters ... and this is not an exaggeration. There is the mountain of Yanardag in the territory of this ancient and mysterious eastern state, whose name is literally translated as "burning mountain".

Yanardag is one of the most amazing natural attractions of the Apsheron Peninsula. It is a mountainside covered in flames, which can not be extinguished by rain or covered with sand, which has been burning for several millennia. The frightening and simultaneously fascinating fiery landscape is actually explained very simply: from the upper layers of the soil natural gas is released, when it comes into contact with oxygen, it turns into a flame.

However, despite the usual scientific explanation, there are a lot of legends connected with the mountain, and local people and pilgrims from all over the world still consider the mountain sacred and come to bow to it or engage in meditation at its hot slopes.

At one time, believers from Persia, India and other eastern countries aspired to Yanardagh, today there live advanced tourists with "mirrors" at the ready from Germany, Japan, Korea and, of course, Russia. But not an exception is the appearance of quiet Buddhists or enthusiastic scholars of ancient Zoroastrism.

The frightening and simultaneously fascinating fiery landscape in fact is explained very simply: the presence of natural gas under the ground.

Not so long ago Yanardaga was granted the status of the historical reserve of Azerbaijan, the mountain slope is protected by the state. The best view of the flaming Yanardag opens at dusk, when it has not darkened completely, but the colors of the day have faded, opening the space of fantasy, hurrying to see in the glow of fire and in the shadows cast from the flame mysterious signs and symbols.

Another local attraction is the cave on the top of the mountain with the sinister name "Wolf's Gate". They say that once there lived a flock of wolves, while others say that the rock paintings on the walls of the cave are proof of the presence of primitive people here.

Coordinates
Address: Absheron peninsula, Mehemmadi village (25 km from Baku).

How to get there: from the capital of Azerbaijan it's easy to get here - from the station. m. "Koroglu" (formerly "Mashadi Azizbekov") bus No. 217 runs to its destination.