Ateşgah Fire Temple
- Suraxani east of baku
- admission/camera/guided tour AZN2/2/6
Lonely Planet review for Ateşgah Fire Temple
The unique Ateşgah Fire Temple is one of Azerbaijan’s most remarkable sights. It stands on the site of a natural gas vent that was sacred to Zoroastrians for centuries, though this temple was actually built by 18th-century Indian Shiva devotees. They lived in the surrounding pentagonal caravanserai and performed extreme ascetic practices such as lying on hot coals or carrying unbearably heavy chains. Such eccentric behaviour is depicted by a number of mannequins in the museum section. But the temple’s centrepiece is the flaming stone hearth with four stone side flues that also spit dragon breath. At least when the caretaker bothers to turn on the gas. The original natural vent has long been exhausted, so today the flame comes courtesy of Baku’s main gas supply.