Published on : Monday, January 16, 2017
Above the Gobustan town of Azerbaijan lie some of the world’s most important petroglyphs – stone and iron-age figures carved thousands of years ago, and is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area has more than 600,000 beautiful paintings, dating as far back as 20,000 years. The rock paintings depict a wide range of figures and scenes, including various hunting scenes, war scenes, trading scenes, and individual animals and people.
Located 56 kilometers from Baku, over 65,000 tourists visited the Gobustan Reserve in 2016. According to the region’s Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of visitors more than doubled in 2016 compared to 2015, where bulk of them being foreigners.
Around 8,155 of the tourists visiting the Reserve last year were from Russia, 6,811 from Arab countries, 1,582 from China, 1,464 from Germany, 1,320 from Iran, 1,215 from Japan, 1,040 from the U.S., 974 from Turkey, 864 from Italy, 852 from England, 620 from France. This growth was linked to various important factors like launch of a new museum at the petroglyph site, whose setting is magical with wide views out across the opal Caspian, as well as promotion work. Besides petroglyphs, there is also the musical gemstone called Gaval Dash, which makes a tambourine-like sound when it is hit in different points. Another interesting spot is a stone slab with a Latin inscription dated by the first century. A trip to Gobustan can be combined with a visit to a lovable series of Mud Volcanoes, little grey mounds and pools that bubble and burp merrily around 10km further south.