- Posted September 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
The Historic Mausoleum Ateshgah
Servants of the mausoleum during the day often checked the fire, keeping it and not letting it go out again. This tradition continued until the conquest of Azerbaijan by the Arabs. After the adoption of Islam by the Zoroastrian population the mausoleum was forgotten.
Those who wanted to go back to Zoroastrianism were persecuted and for this reason they left the country.
Ateshgah is a pentagonal complex that has an outdoor courtyard with a temple, the altar in the center, which was a place of pilgrimage for worshipers. In the Middle Ages the complex had 24 rooms for pilgrims. In that time Hindus cremated their dead there.
Around Ateshgah there are small pits for water storage.
They say that if some of the people living in Ateshgah were sinners, they were going to one of the 24 rooms, where they remained for weeks alone, and drank only water. As a result of their solitude and austerity their sins were forgiven.
According to some studies, this structure refers to the period before Christ. At present, Ateshgah only exists in Azerbaijan and Northern India.
Photo credit, Aziz Karimov