Young Pioneer Tours

Yanar Dag: Burning Mountain

by Andy Khong

Yanar Dag, also known as the Burning Mountain, is a natural wonder located in Azerbaijan. It is situated on the Absheron Peninsula, near the Caspian Sea, about 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) from Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.

Yanar Dag is a natural gas fire that burns continuously on a hillside. The flames emanate from vents in the ground, and the fire can reach up to 10 meters high. The flames never go out, and the area around the hill is always warm to the touch.

The name Yanar Dag translates to “burning mountain” in Azerbaijani. The flames are fuelled by the natural gas that is found beneath the surface of the earth. The gas is thought to have been burning for hundreds of years.

Yanar Dag, the Burning Mountain.

Yanar Dag is revered by Zoroastrians. Zoroastrianism is an ancient religion that originated in Persia (modern-day Iran) and was once widely practiced in the region that includes Azerbaijan. The religion holds fire as a sacred symbol and believes in the concept of “eternal flame,” which is the idea that fire represents the presence of God and is a source of spiritual purity.

As such, many Zoroastrians consider Yanar Dag to be a holy site and believe that the flames have been burning continuously for centuries as a symbol of God’s presence. The site is believed to have been discovered by Zoroastrians who were seeking a place to establish a temple and worship their god of fire, Ahura Mazda. It is also said that Marco Polo visited the site during his travels in the 13th century.

Today, Zoroastrianism is a minority religion in Azerbaijan, but there are still some followers who come to Yanar Dag to offer prayers and perform rituals. The site is also sometimes used for Zoroastrian weddings and other ceremonies.

Zoroastrians ceremony of gathering and praying around fire.

Today, Yanar Dag is a popular tourist attraction, and many visitors come to see the burning hill. The area around Yanar Dag has been developed into a park with viewing platforms and facilities for visitors. It is also a popular spot for photographers, who come to capture the unique natural phenomenon.

In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, Yanar Dag is also an important symbol of Azerbaijan’s history and culture. It is featured on the country’s coat of arms and is considered to be a national treasure.

Iconic Flame Towers in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan.

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