Services of Yanardag and Ateshgah Temple to be free of charge today
By Naila Huseynli
Local and foreign tourists will be able to benefit from the services of the State Historical-Cultural and Natural Reserve Yanardag and the State Historical-Architectural Reserve Ateshgah Temple, on September 27.
State Tourism Agency said that number of events are planned to be held on the occasion of the World Tourism Day on September 27.
A special welcome ceremony will be held at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport for the first time this year on the Tourism Day and each tourist entering the country will be presented with gifts from the national sweets at the border checkpoint.
As a continuation of events dedicated to the Tourism Day, the Baku Tourism Information Center will launch 50 percent discount on Baku City Tour buses to visit Baku's main attractions. Buses will depart from the Government House on September 27, from 10 am to 7 pm, every hour, and only in one day.
During the day, local and foreign tourists will be able to benefit from the services of the State Historical-Cultural and Natural Reserve “Yanardag” and the State Historical-Architectural Reserve “Ateshgah Temple”.
Exhibition of carpet-waver, rug-waver, hat maker, carver, jeweler, pottery artists, as well as national musical instruments, arakhchin, embroidery craft samples, and ceramic, clay, miniature artists' handicrafts will be organized, and master classes will be shown in the Fountain Square.
Honey and national sweets will be demonstrated during the festival, which will last for four days.
Moreover, a live concert will be held at the Fountain Square on Tourism Day.
Yanardag is located on the territory of the village of Mohammedi about 30 kilometers away from Baku. The site of the reserve is a hill, at the base of which the flame constantly arises due to the release of natural gas from the earth.
The history of the monument is shrouded in mystery, but a local legend goes that a shepherd once accidentally lit a fire there and the hill has been burning ever since.
For long period, Azerbaijan's population worshiped the fire. The natural fires of Azerbaijan are considered to have played a crucial part in the creation of a mystical faith centered on ceremonial fire cults - Zoroastrianism, which appeared in the region around 2,000 years ago.
Moreover, the history of the Ateshgah temple goes back to the Sassanid Empire, when Zoroastrianism was the main religion in this region. But when the army of the Caliphate broke into the South Caucasus in 643, the Fire Temple fell into decay. In the 15-17th centuries the Indian fire worshipers, who came to the Absheron with trade caravans, began to make pilgrimage to Surakhani.
Atashgah, included in the UNESCO’s preliminary World Heritage list and considered as one of the most interesting monuments due to its historical value and modern appearance, was built in the 17-18th centuries.
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