Don't Miss Places In Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is known for its reserves of crude oil and natural gas. Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan. It is one of the top 6 independent Turkic states. Almost half of all mud volcanoes on earth are concentrated in this country. Surface waters are the main source of water. All the rivers drain into the Caspian Sea which is on the east side of the country.Over half of land mass of this country is covered with mountain ridges, crests and plateaus etc. and rest of land mass contains plains and lowlands. It is mainly an agricultural land.
Azerbaijan is a popular tourist destination. Religious, spa and health care tourism is developing day by day. Some skiing resorts are very popular with the tourists visiting from foreign countries. The official language of this country is Azerbaijani but English and Russian languages are also used widely as second and third languages in the field of education and communication.Freestyle wrestling is the national sport. About 95% of the population belongs to Muslim community. This country has a rich cultural heritage.
Here is the list of some places worth visiting in Azerbaijan that you will not like to miss while your vacations.
The Palace of Shirvanshahs
The Palace of Shirvanshahs, located in Baku, is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. It was built in the early 15th century by Shirvanshahs dynasty. This place is the real image of history of Azerbaijan. This castle includes the museum, DiwanKhana, the Palace Mosque and the Palace bath-house. The interiors are very well decorated. This architectural piece of history attracts a number of tourists every day. It also has an exhibition hall which is opened at certain times. It is advised to take an English speaking guide with you while visiting this place because this place will attract you even more while the guide will narrate you the ancient stories.
The background information is important to understand the surroundings of this place. The visit will take around 2/3 hours. The museum has a great collection of furniture and clothes from various centuries. The creation of hot bath house is worth admiring.The architectural designs and construction techniques of the people of early centuries will make your experience fascinating.It is a great place to click pictures. If you are a student of history or you like historical buildings then you will fall in love with this place.
Maiden Tower is a place not to be missed at any cost while visiting Azerbaijan. It is located in Baku. It is said that it was originally built in 12th century on the shore of Caspian Sea. It is an important part of history as it features on the Azerbaijan currency notes also. It is famous because of a number of stories behind the formation of this tower. As per the local people, the King wanted to marry a young girl named as Maiden. The girl didn’t want to marry the king. She demanded the King to build a tower in order to marry her.
But after the completion of the tower, she threw herself off from the top of the tower. Hence the tower is named Maiden Tower after her. The entrance of this tower is really beautiful and you will not be able to stop yourself from clicking pictures. In order to go at the top of the tower you will have to climb up a number of narrow stairs. The view from the top of the tower is almost stunning. While climbing the stairs, you will be given the choice to wear traditional clothes of the country. So, don’t miss to click a lot of pictures with the clothes on.
This quiet place is located near Baku. It is also known as the ‘burning mountain’. This mountain vents out flames of fire all year and the process is going on for over 1000 years.You will be amazed to see the flames. These flames happen due to the Natural Gas. The most interesting thing is that the flames keep on burning even when it rains.It is located in the middle of oilfields and you will get a chance to see a number of oilfields on your way. Now the entry is not free however you need not to pay for using toilets.
Nearby villages and markets will also attract your attention while visiting this place. It is safe to park outside the hill also. The flames are really beautiful and stunning. You can go on the top of the hill. But it is very hot because of the flames. Because of these flames Azerbaijan is also called as the ‘land of fire’. However no coffee shops are near this place. So you have to visit the nearby villages or Baku to eat something.
This famous Fountain Square is located in the capital city Baku. It is also called as the ‘face of Baku’.It is one of the oldest squares in the city. It is a gorgeous place to sit and watch the passing parade. Sometimes free concerts are also organized over here. This place is the most crowded one in Baku. It is the central meeting point and a lot of social events are organized at this place. You will enjoy walking around the square. This place is ideal to buy the pictures of ‘old Baku’. A number of coffee shops, restaurants are nearby which serve very delicious and best quality food at reasonable prices.
This place looks absolutely breathtaking at the time of night because of the special lights. You will find bars and clubs to enjoy here. It even has some awesome book stores and a museum nearby. This place will come on the top of your list when you want to enjoy a great evening with your partner or friends. The design of the Square is now changed because of the recent restoration. The stonework on the fountains is of excellent quality.
Gobustan Rock Art
Gobutan Rock Art is on the south of Baku. You can easily reach there by hiring a cab from Baku. This historical site is actually spectacular. Ancient Petroglyphs are really very interesting. It seems as the whole history is carved on the rocks. It is advisable to take a guide with you so that you will be able to admire the most important ones. A newly built museum adds to the beauty of this site.
It gives all the required information about the history of Azerbaijan.The rock drawings are just truly incredible. The caves are beautiful and all the surroundings make this place unique. If you are a lover of ancient history, you will be more than delighted after visiting here. There are water holes in the rocks which were used like drums. It is advisable to wear old but comfortable walking shoes because while leaving the place you will have dust all over your shoes.
It is better to come here early in morning because direct sunlight makes it difficult to enjoy the art on the rocks. The whole area is clean and well preserved. Don’t complaint after seeing some of the drawings little faded as it is acceptable because it is 1000 years old.
It is located in Sheki. It is also known as Khansarai. Local people call it by the name of The Palace of Sheki Khans. It was the summer residence of famous Sheki Khans and its walls and gardens were built by Khan Hussein. The historical place amazes everyone with its absolute beauty. The main thing about this Palace is that it was constructed without the use of nails.
There will be a number of guides to tell you more stories about this place. This place is so unique that you will not be able to find exact words to express your feelings. Hugestained glass windows is the main attraction of the place especially because of the beautiful colors.The sun shining through these windows make the place even more colorful and beautiful.
However the only drawback about this place is that you will not be able to click pictures as it is forbidden in the Palace. It is advisable to visit the palace in spring to enjoy the flowers in garden. There is a small restaurant outside the Palace which offers good quality food.
Lankaran city has got a number of tourist attractions. After exploring Baku, all the tourists love to visit this city because of a number of reasons. The most visited place in this city is The Old Prison and Lighthouse. There a few stories about this place. Local people even say that Joseph Stalin was held in this prison for a small time and the President of Azerbaijan helped Joseph Stalin to escape from the prison with the help of an underground tunnel. The tomb of Sayid Khalifa is also situated in a nearby village.
These tombs, built in 19th century, consist of tall and heavy stoneswith pictures of arrows, footprints and hands. This place is sacred because it is the place where many religious saints were buried. Another famous tourist destination at this place is known as Yanar Bulag. YanarBulag means ‘burning spring’. It is a spring that emits water as well as fire. The people believe that this water has remedial properties also. However, you may also wish to visit the Ballybur Castle and see the remains of the castle because most of it is already ruined.
Ateshgah – The Fire Temple
Ateshgah Fire Temple also known as the Fire Temple of Baku is located at Surakhani near Baku. It was once nominated for World Heritage Site List and was declared as Historical- architectural reserve. Nowadays it is no more used as a temple. In fact it works in the form of a museum. It is a perfect photogenic place with the nice views of Caspian Sea. This temple is now rebuilt and reformed but still forms a good impression of how a Zoroastrian Fire Temple worked in past years.
You will have the chance to witness a ground full of escaping gases and flames which happens due to a large amount of Natural Gas in this country everywhere. The inscriptions are either in Sanskrit or Punjabi here which claims that it was a Hindu Temple. No further information is available at this temple. Make sure to take a guide with you as you will find a number of Russian or English speaking guides. This place will look more interesting after listening to the stories narrated by the local guides.
Mud volcanoes are also known as Sedimentary Volcanoes. About 400 mud volcanoes are in Azerbaijan. The largest mud volcanoes of the world are named as Boyuk Khanizadagh and Turaghai are located in this country. This unique kind of volcano does not spit out any lava or magma instead these volcanoes spit out mud. These mud volcanoes are cold instead of being hot like other volcanoes in the world.
However it is advised not to get too close to these volcanic fields as they can be dangerous. So you will get the chance to click pictures but from a little distance. You will be amazed to see these unique kind of mud volcanoes. I am sure you will not to afford this rare creation of nature on your trip to this small yet beautiful country.
Flame towers are very impressive so they attract a lot of tourists every day. These are located in the city Baku. These towers can be seen from anywhere in the city. They seem even more impressive when lit at the time of night. These towers are actually 3 buildings. The TV tower next to it changes colors also. The inside of the tower is modern and the environment is cozy.
These towers are the perfect symbol for a country to pay homage to their unique history and landscapes. So, after all instead of being a small country, Azerbaijan offers a number of places which you will not afford to miss.