Ateshgah Temple & Yanardag

Ateshgah Temple & Yanardag

Ateshgah Temple & Yanardag

Description

Based on Persian and Indian inscriptions, the temple was used as a Hindu, Sikh, and Zoroastrian place of worship. “Atash” (آتش) is the Persian word for fire. The pentagonal complex, which has a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks and a tetrapillar-altar in the middle, was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was abandoned in the late 19th century, probably due to the dwindling of the Indian population in the area. The natural “eternal flame” went out in 1969, after nearly a century of exploitation of petroleum and gas in the area, but is now lit by gas piped from the nearby city.

Azerbaijani: Yanar Dağ, meaning “burning mountain”) is a natural gasfire which blazes continuously on a hillside on the Absheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea near Baku the capital of Azerbaijan (a country which itself is known as “Land of Fire”). Flames jet into the air 3 metres (9.8 ft) from a thin, porous sandstone layer. Administratively, Yanar Dag belongs to Absheron district of Azerbaijan. Unlike mud volcanoes, the Yanar Dag flame burns fairly steadily, as it involves a steady seep of gas from the subsurface. It is claimed that the Yanar Dag flame was only noted when accidentally lit by a shepherd in the 1950s. There is no seepage of mud or liquid, which distinguishes it from the nearby mud volcanoes of Lokbatan or Gobustan.