Yanar Dag

If you are want to visit Azerbaijan, one of the “must see” natural wonders is definitely Yanar Dag (burning mountain). It is located about 25 km from the capital Baku in Mehemedi village of Absheron.

A 10 m long wall of fire is never extinguishes. It is burning continuously alongside the edge of the hill. The scene is naturally is at its most spectacular at night. Tourists and locals alike can view the fire from a nearby tea house during the nights. The height of the flames changes, but in some moments it reach to 3 metres (9.8 ft) from the ground.

The famous French writer Alexandre Dumas also witnessed these flames. He expressed his feelings: “This is absolutely the most interesting and fascinating thing, which can be seen nowhere else,” he wrote. Even today, the flames never fail to amaze tourists and locals alike. Yanar Dag is now a protected site and there are extensive archaeological studies are going on. Local lore states that it was a shepherd that accidentally ignited the fire in the 1950s by tossing a cigarette, and that it has burnt ever since.

There are a bunch of local legends about the origin of the fire at Yanar Dag.

One story goes that a shepherd accidentally lit a fire by tossing a cigarette, and the hill has been burning ever since. Another says that the area used to be home to a pack of ‘sensible’ wolves who made inscriptions on the walls. Scholars believe that the wolves in these tales might be primitive men who accidentally set fire to the gas-filled mountain.

Yanardagh
Yanar Dag (Burning Mountain)

Since Yanar Dag burns irrespective of the weather conditions, the locals consider the mountain to be sacred. It is a place of pilgrimage for the Azerbaijanis and also foreigners from India and Iran. According to one local, “A lot of sick people see the mountain in their dreams. And when they come here, they receive treatment. On the other hand, the health conditions of those who came here drunk, deteriorates”. Historical records are proof of this – Venetian traveler Marco Polo has observed numerous flames all over the Absheron Peninsula on his visit to Baku in the 13th century.  The famous French writer Alexandre Dumas also witnessed these flames five centuries later. “This is absolutely the most interesting and fascinating thing, which can be seen nowhere else,” he wrote.

Even today, the flames never fail to amaze tourists and locals alike.

These natural fires have always inspired humans , and played a crucial role in the creation of mystical faiths like Zoroastrianism, centered on ceremonial fire cults. Yanar Dag is now a protected site, with extensive archaeological studies being conducted in the area.

These natural fires have always inspired humans , and played a crucial role in the creation of mystical faiths like Zoroastrianism, centered on ceremonial fire cults. Yanar Dag is now a protected site, with extensive archaeological studies being conducted in the area.

Want to visit this natural wonder? Reserve your Absheron Peninsula Tour now to visit Yanardag and many more attractions of Absheron Peninsula