Hinduism,Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.
Fire Temple of Baku” is a castle-like religious temple in Surakhani town (in Suraxanı raion), a suburb in Baku, Azerbaijan. The pentagonal complex, which has a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks and a tetrapillar-altar in the middle, was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was abandoned in the late 19th century, probably due to the dwindling of the Indian population in the area. The Baku Ateshgah was a pilgrimage and philosophical centre of Zoroastrians from Northwestern Indian Subcontinent, who were involved in trade with the Caspian area via the famous “Grand Trunk Road“. The four holy elements of their belief were: ateshi (fire), badi (air), abi (water), and heki (earth). The temple ceased to be a place of worship after 1883 with the installation of petroleum plants (industry) at Surakhany. The complex was turned into a museum in 1975.
The Persian toponym Atashgah (with Russian/Azerbaijani pronunciation: Atashgyakh/Ateshgah) literally means “home of fire.” The Persian-origin term atesh (آتش) means fire, and is a loanword in Azerbaijani. Gah (گاہ) derives from Middle Persian and means “throne” or “bed”. The name refers to the fact that the site is situated atop a now-exhausted natural gas field, which once caused natural fires to spontaneously burn there as the gas emerged from seven natural surface vents. Today, the fires in the complex are fed by gas piped in from Baku, and are only turned on for the benefit of visitors.
Surakhani, the name of the town where the Ateshgah is located, likely means “a region of holes” (سراخ/suraakh is Persian for hole), but might perhaps be a reference to the fire glow as well (سرخ/sorkh/surkh is Persian for red). A historic alternative name for Azerbaijan as a whole has been Odlar Yurdu, Azeri for land of fires.
Estakhri (10th century) mentioned that not far from Baku (i.e., on the Apsheron Peninsula) lived fire worshippers. This was confirmed by Movses Daskhurantsi in his reference of the province of Bhagavan (“Fields of the Gods” i.e., “Fire Gods”).
In the 18th century, Atashgah was visited by Zoroastrians. The Persian handwriting Naskh inscription over the entrance aperture of one of the cells, which speaks about the visit of Zoroastrians from Isfahan:
|“||آتشی صف کشیده همچون دک
جیی بِوانی رسیده تا بادک
سال نو نُزل مبارک باد گفت
خانۀ شد رو سنامد (؟) سنة ۱۱۵٨
The 1158 year corresponds to 1745 AD. Bovan (modern Bovanat) is the village near Esfahan. The word Badak is a diminutive of Bad-Kubeh. (The name of Baku in the sources of the 17th and 18th centuries was Bad-e Kube). At the end of the reference is the constellation of Sombole /Virgo (August–September). In the name of the month the master mistakenly shifted the “l” and “h” at the end of the word. According to Zoroastrian calendar Qadimi New Year in 1745 AD was in August.
Interesting information about Zoroastrianism in Baku is given by D. Shapiro in A Karaite from Wolhynia meets a Zoroastrian from Baku. Avraham Firkowicz, a Karaite collector of ancient manuscripts, wrote about his meeting in Darband in 1840 with a fire-worshipper from Baku. Firkowicz asked him “Why do you worship fire?” The fire-worshipper replied that he worshipped not fire, but the Creator symbolised by fire – a “matter” or abstraction (and hence not a person) called Q’rţ’ . Pahlavi Q’rţ’ (from Avestan kirdar or Sanskrit “kṛt” and “कर्ता”) signifies “one who does” or “creator”.scholar, A. V. Williams Jackson, drew a distinction between the two groups. While stating that “the typical features which Hanway mentions are distinctly Indian, not Zoroastrian” based on the worshipers’ attires and tilakas, their strictly vegetarian diets and open veneration for cows, he left open the possibility that a few “actual Gabrs (i.e. Zoroastrians, or Parsis)” may also have been present at the shrine alongside larger Hindu and Sikh groups.
Rooted in Zoroastrianism – the oldest of all monotheist religions – Novruz Bayram has been celebrated since ancient times. The spring new year has been welcomed by holidays in Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and other Eastern countries. Novruz, which means “new day” in Persian is marked in the northern hemisphere on the day of the equinox (21-22 March), which is the beginning of spring.
Zoroastrianism was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago and revolves around the worship of fire.
With a history that stretches back millennia, Baku is home to the Baku Ateshgah or “Fire Temple”. The temple is an ancient Hindu castle-like religious edifice in a suburb of greater Baku, which was initially recognized as a Zoroastrian fire worship place.
The temple is included in the UNESCO’s preliminary World Heritage list and considered as one of the most interesting monuments due to its historical value.