Along with the other monuments of the Old Baku, Ateshgah Fire Temple is one of great interest to many visitors of the city. This is a unique monument of the past, providing the most complete picture of Zoroastrianism followers. It is located thirty kilometers from the center of Baku, on the southeastern outskirts of the village Surakhani, on Absheron peninsula.
Temple of Zoroastrians fire-worshipers, was built on the natural gas field and dates back to the XVII-XVIII centuries. Zoroastrians gathered here to worship the holy fire. It is believed, that the first temple was built at the beginning of our era. The main altar temple erected in 1810 is related to the latest ones, and built as it’s indicated in the inscription on the means of merchant Kanchanagara. During the XVIII century, chapels, cells, caravanserais emerged around the sanctuary. There are stone inscriptions on the cells of the monument that are made in Indian script, davanagari and gumruki.
Many monks who lived in Ateshgah, worshiped fire, led solitary life, causing injury to themselves they believed that, thus they purified their souls. Hermits hung over themselves thirty kilogram chains, laid on the burnt lime untill the immobilization of individual body parts. They did not work and lived on donations from Indian merchants. Hermits believed that the human soul after the death is reborn and returns again to earth. And in what guise - a noble man or any animal, it depends on the karma - the sum of good and bad deeds.
Today Ateshgah - is one of the most popular monuments, attracting a lot of travelers and tourists. Representatives of different faiths come here from different corners of the world. Muslims bring sacrifices, Hindus and fire-worshipers pray.