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Robert Lankenau | all galleries >> Baku, Azerbaijan > Old Zoroastrian Fire Temple
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Old Zoroastrian Fire Temple

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love 21-Dec-2010 17:49
Surekha Jaddoo 19-Nov-2009 15:42
I have been in Baku many times and have not taken such nice pics although have seen all the places except for the are a great photographer..I am here again and will try to take some pics over the week-end. Thank you for sharing. Surekha
Guest 17-Dec-2008 07:12
This is an Atashgah (Fire Temple) of Zoroastrians some where in Gujrat notwithstanding the Trishul (Trident) appearing over it.
Guest 28-Oct-2008 14:38
Temple description
Inscriptions in the temple in Sanskrit (in Nagari Devanagari script) and Punjabi (in Gurmukhi script) identify the sanctity as a place of Hindu and Sikh worship. These inscriptions date from Samvat 1725 to Samvat 1873, which though unambiguous references to the Hindu calendar, cannot be precisely dated since there is more than one Samvat calendar. Samvat 1725 could thus be either c. 1646 CE or c. 1782 CE. However, "local records say that it was built by a prominent Hindu traders community living in Baku and its construction coincided with the fall of the dynasty of Shirwanshahs and annexation by Russian Empire following Russo-Iranian war [of 1722-1723]."[1]

According to A. V. Williams Jackson,[2] the Punjabi language inscriptions are quotations from the Adi Granth. The Sanskrit ones are from the Sati Sri Ganesaya namah, invoke Ganesha, and state that the shrine was built for Jwalaji, the flame-faced goddess worshipped at Jawalamukhi, in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Also according to Jackson,[2] the oldest reference to the temple is in Jonas Hanway's Caspian Sea,[3] a report from 1753 that is roughly contemporaneous with the inscriptions. Hanway apparently did not visit the temple himself, but bases his account on "the current testimony of many who did see it."[2] He refers to the worshippers as being 'Indians', 'Gaurs', or 'Gebrs'[3] (in common usage, 'Gaur'/'Gebr' is synonymous with kafir, that is, a non-Muslim).

Several references from the late 18th century and early 19th century record the site being used as a Hindu temple at that time. Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin's Reise durch Russland (1771) is cited in Karl Eduard von Eichwald's Reise in den Caucasus (Stuttgart, 1834) where the naturalist Gmelin is said to have observed Yogi austerities being performed by devotees. Geologist Eichwald restricts himself to a mention of the worship of Rama, Krishna, Hanuman and Agni.[4] In 1863, the German economist August Franz von Haxthausen observed that the site had recently been rebuilt when he visited it. He notes that the site was in triangular form of about 180 paces to a side, and had been constructed by a Hindu merchant in the eighteen hundreds.[5] In the 1784 account of George Forster of the Bengal Civil Service, the square structure was about 30 yards across, surrounded by a low wall and containing many apartments. Each of these had a small jet of sulphurous fire issuing from a funnel "constructed in the shape of a Hindu altar." The fire was used for worship, cooking and warmth, and would be regularly extinguished.[5]

"The Ateshgyakh Temple looks not unlike a regular town caravanserai - a kind of inn with a large central court, where caravans stopped for the night. As distinct from caravanserais, however, the temple has the altar in its center with tiny cells for the temple's attendants - Indian ascetics who devoted themselves to the cult of fire - and for pilgrims lining the walls."[6]

The fire was once fed by a vent from a subterranean natural gas field located directly beneath the complex, but heavy exploitation of the natural gas reserves in the area during Soviet rule resulted in the flame going out in 1969. Today, the museum's fire is fed by mains gas piped in from Baku city.[7][8
Guest 28-Oct-2008 14:32
Hi! Just a small correction,this is a Hindu temple,& not zorastrian fire place.(P.S.- You can see the "Trishul"a iron weapon of Lord Shiva, in the background

Ram yakub johnson
claire 28-Sep-2008 06:06
this is so beautiful
Nasib 23-Jun-2007 20:50
Yahshi, cardash
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