Yanar Dag is a natural gas fire which blazes continuously on a hillside on the Absheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea near Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, which itself is known as the “land of fire.” A 10-meter long wall of fire continuously burns alongside the edge of the hill. This makes for the most spectacular view, especially at night.
Yanar Dag flame burns fairly steadily, as it is not a periodic eruption, but a steady seep of gas from the subsurface. Unlike the other mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan, Yanar Dag has no seepage of mud or liquid, so the fire always burns.
The Yanar Dag fire is never extinguished. Around this open fireplace the atmosphere is filled with the smell of gas. The heavy Absheron wind, twisting the flames into bizarre shapes, adds to the mystery of the region. Since Yanar Dag burns irrespective of the weather conditions, the locals consider the mountain to be sacred.
The flames emanate from vents in sandstone formations and rise to a height of 10 metres at the base of a 10-metre wide scarp below a hillside. Amazing place which captured spirit of ancient travellers! Fire comes out of one side of the hill..and burn like it was burned by a hude torch! It is hot and strong,..and you just stay close and could let your imagintaion go through the times…
There are a bunch of local legends about the origin of the fire at Yanar Dag. One story goes that a shepherd accidentally lit a fire by tossing a cigarette, and the hill has been burning ever since. Another says that the area used to be home to a pack of ‘sensible’ wolves who made inscriptions on the walls. Scholars believe that the wolves in these tales might have been primitive men who accidentally set fire to the gas-filled mountain.
Even today, the flames never fail to amaze tourists and locals alike. These natural fires have always inspired humans , and played a crucial role in the creation of mystical faiths like Zoroastrianism, centered on ceremonial fire cults. Yanar Dag is now a protected site, with extensive archeological studies being conducted in the area.