Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!

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Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!Trip TO Azerbaijan – Magnific Land of Fire!
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Activities in Khizi

Dilman village

Dilman is one of Aghsu’s 16 mountain villages located on the border with Aghsu and is scattered on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Beginning from here, there is more vegetation and greater heights here. The forests surrounding these villages are regarded as picnic paradise. There are several waterfalls inside the forest. The closest Dilman waterfall can be reached within 1.5-2 hours. There is no road here. You can go on horseback in 30-45 minutes. It is worth walking in the open air. From afar, this waterfall resembles milk flowing on a wall. It has created a natural pond in the place where it falls. In order to get into the pond, it is necessary to tread on slippery stones covered with water plants. There are several springs along the road. Although the only famous one is called the Georgian spring, no-one knows why it is called that.

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Soyugbulag

This territory, which neighbours on the Shahdag National Park, has great potential for ecotourism. There is a place called Soyugbulag on the highest point of the ANP. Soyugbulag has springs with ice cold water and is on the territory of a forest on top of a mountain. Only locals and staff of the national park know this place, and they seize every opportunity to come to Soyugbulag for a picnic. According to ANP staff, if you do not make noise here, you will get a chance to see animals living in the park. It is possible to set up a tent and stay overnight here. You will enjoy the scenery. It is a wonderful place for relaxation. You need to get permission from the ANP administration to enter the park.

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Altiaghaj National Park

The Altiaghaj National Park, which is located at a distance of 120 km from Baku, was set up on the basis of a state reserve under the same name in 2004 and is on the territory of Khizi and Siyazan districts. Natural forests cover 90 per cent of the territory of the reserve which was set up with the aim of preserving the natural landscape, flora and fauna of the Greater Caucasus Ridge. There are rare species of plants and animals here. There are nine species of mammals and 12 species of birds living here.

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Bayahmad Yurdu village

This village is situated at a distance of 10 km from the centre and is regarded as one of the most beautiful and pictu­resque mountain villages in Khizi. Locals explain the name of the village by the fact that the territory was the personal property of Ahmad bay before the revo­lution. In fact, Bayahmad Yurdu is a pla­ce name related to a tribe. Representati­ves of the Seljuk tribe of Ahmadli came to Absheron in the 11th century and settled in the Khizi-Barmak region. Ba­yahmad Yurdu is listed as an abandoned village. Its story is a little bit different. The village was bustling with life before the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). As the war broke out, 36 people went to the war from here. In the four years of the war, about 400 people died of hunger here. People who could not withstand the famine during the war started mo­ving to the capital. Most of the popula­tion in Baku’s Papanin settlement are re­sidents of Bayahmad Yurdu who left the village during the Second World War. In general, Khizi-Barmak mountain peop­le who started to migrate to Absheron in the second half of the 19th century merged kindred families in Baku villages and set up their own districts. Residents of the district of mountain people, who maintained their traditions, settled in the upper part of the city.

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Khizi-Barmak region

Its name derives from that of the Barmak tribe that inhabited this place. Khizi pe­ople lived in this region in the second millennium BC. The region was involved in Silk Road trade. It is even believed that Dada Gorgud was originally from the Khizi-Barmak region. The German traveller Adam Oleari, who visited the Khizi-Barmak region, heard about Dada Gorgud from the local people and recor­ded that Darband residents say that his grave is in the city cemetery. They said that Gorgud was a friend of Muhammad, sat at his feet, learnt from him and lived for 300 years after his death. His grave is in a cave on a rocky mountain. The Dada Gorgud ballade told about the Khizi- Barmak region, the Oghuz plateau, the Jighatay plain and Mount Boybayim. It also takes into account many other facts. It is claimed that Dada Gorgud was from the Khizi-Barmak region. He went to the city of Darband from there.

The territory of the Khizi-Barmak re­gion belonged to the Turkic-speaking Sak Massaget state which existed from the 5th century BC. “Barmak” means “bar” – product and “mak” – priest, i.e. a “productive priest”. The knowledge­able Barmaks used cuneiforms. Strabo recorded that there was a “large and densely-populated holy region in Alba­nia. People worshipped Helia (Sun) here. The Albanian name of the God of the Sun is not known. That place was Mount Barmak. The Alins (mountain people) who lived around the mountain wors­hipped the sun. The mountain people of the Khizi-Barmak region worshipped the sun until the 7th century. Along with that, the Barmak tribe worshipped fire. They regarded agriculture as a holy tra­de. Around Mount Barmak, there was a fire temple created due to burning na­tural gas. In the 3rd-6th centuries, fire worship was a state religion in Khizan Kingdom. In the 7th century, the Khizi- Barmak mountain people converted to Islam. It is believed that Roman troops of Emperor Domitian, Caesar Augustus Germanicus and Julius Maximus’s Legio XII Fulminata arrived in Absheron. The legion took control of the coastal areas of the Khizi-Barmak region. They left af­ter spending the winter here. In the first century AD, Hun, Sabir and Khazar Tur­kic tribes passed through Darband and started to settle in the Albanian steppe, including the Khizi-Barmak region. Be­ginning from the 9th-11th centuries, the Silk Road which passed through the Khizi-Barmak region helped establish trade relations with many European and Asian cities. The Khizi-Barmak region was located on the trade road that con­nected Baku, Dagestan, North Caucasus and southern Russian lands. In the Midd­le Ages, the Khizan Kingdom (Khizi King­dom) existed here. After the Russia-Iran war of 1804-1813, it was taken over by Russia together with the Guba Khanate.

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Russians in Altiaghaj

The village used to be populated by Russians. Old Russian wooded houses are now rented out to tourists. The old church is closed. The large church bell is an attraction in the middle of the village. Orthodox Christianity started to spread in Azerbaijan in the early 19th century due to the “policy of resettlement” pur­sued by Russian tsarism in the region. In order to eliminate the heavy conse­quences of the split in the Russian Ort­hodox Church, sectarian Christians were exiled to the Caucasus.

The first Russian settlers in Azerbaijan founded the village of Altiaghaj in Sha­makhy District in 1834. The Russians, who were exiled from tsarist Russia two centuries before and were called Mala­kans, settled in several parts of Azerbai­jan. Since the early 1990s, after the col­lapse of the Soviet Union, the Russians have been leaving this area. Presently, most of the population in the village of Altiaghaj, where 25 Malakan families live, are settlers from Western Azerbai­jan (Republic of Armenia).

The villagers are engaged mainly in cattle-breeding. Altiaghaj is famous for its apple gardens. A cable way has been extended from here to the upper moun­tain and forest zone. All conditions are right for picnics here. Altiaghaj is a very good place for tourism. Many asthma patients come here for a breath of fresh air in summer. The area has great poten­tial for hiking, a type of strolls and tou­rism. There are about 300 houses with a bed for the night in the area. Those who are fond of hiking take tourist trips to Shamakhy and Maraza from here. The office of the Altiaghaj National Park is located at the entrance to the village.

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Gizilgazma

This zone, which has the biggest tourism potential in Khizi, is located at a distance of 8 km from the centre. The large conc­rete road, which leads to a dry and clean place at a height of 1,500-1,600 meters above the sea level, goes through a thick forest. This region, where the difference in temperatures reached 8-10 degrees, is very famous. There is a small mounta­in lake in Gizilgazma. Several large villas have been built in the surrounding area. As you visit Khizi, it is definitely worth seeing this superb place.

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Alishirin village

The 15th century Sheikh Heydar sepulc­hre is located inside an old cemetery near the village of Shikhlar. According to con­temporaries, Sheikh Heydar, the father of the Safavid ruler Shah Ismayil, was an extremely courageous man. He collected a lot of troops and weapons, reached an agreement with his brother-in-law, Shah Yagub, the son of Uzun Hasan, and inva­ded Dagestan and Shirvan in 1483. He returned from this campaign with a lot of spoils of war and captives. In 1487, he launched another campaign and took 6,000 people prisoner. Sheikh Heydar’s successful second campaign frightened neighbouring states, including Sultan Yagub. Fearing that the Safavids will get stronger, he came to help Shirvans­hah Farrukh Yashar during Heydar’s last invasion of Shirvan in 1488. On seeing that a clash with the united troops was inevitable, the sheikh turned to the so­uth, and on 9 June 1488, a bloody battle happened between Shirvanshah’s united forces and Gizilbashes (Safavids) at the foothills of Mount Shahdag. Both sides suffered a lot of losses. Sheikh Heydar was killed. There are different versions about the grave of the sheikh who was buried in Azerbaijan. According to one of them, it is at the ancient cemetery in Khizi’s village of Alishirin (Shikhlar). She­ikh Heydar’s grave is visited as a shrine.

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Khalaj village

The village located at a distance of 4 km from the district centre is called Khalaj. There is a famous 15th century shrine here. This shrine, which is located at an ancient graveyard, is called “Agh Pir”. The old gravestones depict the sun, which was the emblem of the Safavid Empire. The 19th century “White Mill” nearby is listed as one of Khizi’s histori­cal monuments of local importance.

Khalaj is the name of a tribe. They were part of the Seljuk-Oghuz Turkic allian­ce. They were one of the Turkic tribes that participated in the invasion of the Middle East in the 12th-18th centuries. Some Khalaj people still live in Iran and Turkmenistan. The Khalaj people, who lived here in the 19th century, were en­gaged in cattle-breeding. Villages under the same name exist in other parts of Azerbaijan.

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