Photographer's Note

When I posted this picture, I promised one day to show a general view of Xinaliq, so here it is.

Xınalıq is an ancient Caucasian village going back to the Caucasian Albanian period, high up in the mountains of Azerbaijan. It is located just west of Quba (which is two hours from Baku) in the east of the Greater Caucasus mountains that divide Russia and the South Caucasus. Xinaliq is also the highest, most remote and isolated village in Azerbaijan and among the top highest in Caucasus. Xinaliq has a population of about 2,000 people and although the people of Xinaliq mostly speak Azerbaijani they have their own unique language and are considered to be a different ethnicity.

Because of its dramatic location, spectacular scenery and relative isolation, the village is considered one of Azerbaijan's premiere destinations for hikers and adventure travellers in such travel guides as Lonely Planet.

Xinaliq is amongst the most ancient and still active places in the world, the history of Xinaliq is 5,000 years old. Before the conversion to Christianity of Caucasian Albania in the 3rd century, and Islam in the 7th century, the people of Xinaliq were followers of the prophet Zoroaster, who established Zoroastrianism. Because of the high altitude and remoteness of Xinaliq it managed to survive and withstand many invasions and therefore many historical sites in Xinaliq are still intact and are considered as holy places for Zoroastrianism. In the vicinity there are also many ancient holy caves of early humans, from one of these - facing the village - I took this picture.

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Additional Photos by Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1341 W: 179 N: 3373] (15185)
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