Ateshgah Fire Temple
Atashgah Temple is located in Surakhani town, one of the suburbs of Baku. At first sight it looks like castle, but it has long religious and sacral history. In Persian inscriptions this temple is mentioned as a place for Zoroastrian worship, “Atash” itself means “fire” in Persian. It is called fire temple because of burning natural gas vents. Fire in Zoroastrian worship is very important symbol, fires represent the light of god, supreme symbol of purity- so this natural burning fire was a miracle for people of that time
Current temple of Ateshgah was built in 17th-18th centuries, but alike temple in this area existed already in 10th century, when it was a place for Zoroastrian rituals and worship. When Azerbaijan was introducted to Islam Zoroastrian temple was destroyed, but in 17th-18th centuries Hindus worshipers, who came to this territory with trading caravans started erection of the temple. Inside of the Ateshgah temple you can find some Indian inscriptions.
Structure of Ateshang temple is pentagonal, in the centre of the yard there is altar with eternal fire.
You can find traditional guest room called “Balakhane” and even pit where Hindus burn bodies of dead Zoroastrians.
In the 19th century when the natural burning gas disappeared in that area, Hindus worshippers thought that in was sign of god, kind of punishment for them and left the temple. Now Ateshang Temple is a great tourist attraction, even the fire is artificial now, this place will really blow your mind and make your trip more interesting.