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Discover mysteries of Beshbarmag Mountain – a unique natural site of Azerbaijan with its Khizirzinda Sanctuary

Baku, April 8, AZERTAC

If you are into hiking and interested in witnessing some traditional rituals, then Beshbarmag Mountain, which is just over an hour’s drive north-west of Baku along the Guba highway in Azerbaijan’s Siyazan district, is a must-visit for you.

It is a 382-metre high mountain whose bizarre shape long ago led to it being called ‘Five-finger Mountain’ which is Azerbaijani for “Beshbarmag”.

It is worth hiking the mountain, which is a sacred place for regular visitation by pilgrims.

Legend has it that sometime in the ancient past a prophet called Khidr ventured here in search of a ‘potion of life’ and having drunk from a spring at the summit achieved immortality. Today the mountain is shrouded in mystery with locals coming here to pray for strength and good fortune.

As a tourist attraction, it’s well worth climbing to witness a number of age-old spiritual rituals as well as for the fantastic views of the Caspian Sea from the summit.

There is a mosque at the foothill of the mountain where people donate money. There is also another sacred place on the way to the top: a small donation pilgrims receive, a personal blessing usually performed by whispering prayers and having their shoulders touched a few times with a stone.

Mount Beshbarmag, which is one of the unique natural sites of Azerbaijan, is surrounded by a number of historical and cultural sites such as the settlement attributed to the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age, the Khizirzinda sanctuary, the ruins of a fortress dating back to the early Middle Ages and the remains of a caravanserai of the 15-17th centuries).

A part of the “Caspian Coastal Defense Structures”, the Beshbarmag parallel defensive fortification dating back to the early Middle Ages was included on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding on 24 October 2001.

On June 9, 2020, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order about the establishment of Beshbarmag Mountain State History, Culture and Nature Reserve. Thus, the territory of the natural site of Mount Beshbarmag, located in the village of Galashikhi of Siyazan District, was declared the State Historical, Cultural and Natural Reserve “Mount Beshbarmag”.

What's more, the general area is also one of Azerbaijan’s best birdwatching sites, with the corridor between the mountains and the sea acting as a bottleneck for hundreds of migrating bird species.

 

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