Thursday, May 9, 2013

Atashgah Fire Temple

Azerbaijan is known as the "Land of Fire".  The Ateshgah is an old fire temple in Surakhani; about 30 km (~19 miles) from Baku

A Sanskrit Marker

Many believe that it was a Zoroastrian temple.  Zoroastrians were ancient Iranian fire worshipers.  However, it was actually a Hindu monastery.

The complex consists of a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks with a large alter in the middle.  It was originally built in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Once oil and gas plants were established, around 1883, the complex was abandoned.

In 1975 it became a museum.  One that is under renovation now.  In 1998 it was nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The jury is still out on this one.

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