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Gates of Hell Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert
Written by Akshaya Manoharan on May 24, 2023 Share on

The Ever-burning Gates of Hell

Have you Heard of the Burning Volcano of Hell?

The Gates of Hell is located in the heart of Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert. It is a captivating site to witness. This mesmerizing natural wonder is an example of both beauty as well as unpredictability of Earth. The Gates of Hell, with its fiery inferno, rising flames and enigmatic allure, is a must visit spot for adventurous travelers from around the world.

It was in 1971, the formation of the Darvaza Gas Crater, also known as the Gates of Hell took place, as a result of a drilling rig collapse. This created a huge sinkhole that released toxic gases. In order to prevent the methane gas from spreading, people started to light the crater, expecting it to burn off within a few days. However, even after four decades, it still continues to burn brightly, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Visual Treat for Visitors

When visitors near the Gates of Hell, they witness an out of the world scene. The dancing flames from underneath the crater cast a creepy glow, especially during the night. The fire roaring provides a dramatic sound to this captivating display of nature’s power. The intense heat spreading from the crater creates an unforgettable sensory experience.

Since the Gates of Hell is present in a remote location, visiting it will require careful planning and preparation. Visitors can join organized tours or even hire experienced guides who are familiar with the Volcano and its surroundings. In order to stay safe, it is important to have proper safety equipment. This will help you mitigate the effects of the intense heat and gas emissions. Overnight camping near the crater will allow you to witness the glowing flames offering an out of the world experience.

A Haven for Unique Ecosystems

A balance between visitor enjoyment and environmental conservation becomes increasingly important, because of the rise in the popularity of the destination. Continuous efforts are made to reduce the impact of tourism on the delicate desert ecosystem that surrounds the crater. Travelers have to be responsible and follow practices such as leaving no trace and staying on designated paths, which are essential for preserving this extraordinary site.

Location and How to reach

The Darwaza Gas carter is located in the Karakum Desert. This desert is about 260 Kilometers north of Ashgabat which is the capital of Turkmenistan.

There are few ways to reach this carter:

  1. By Car: Once you reach Ashgabat, you can hire a taxi along with a local guide. It will take 3 to 4 hours to reach the Karakum desert.
  2. By Train: There are trains running between Turkmenistan’s capital and Dashoguz everyday. The trains are operated twice a day. You will have to board this train and get down at Darwaza station.

Entry Fees for visiting the Carter

There is fees that is being charged to visit the carter. If you wish to visit the carter by car then it wil be Rs.4000/-. If you are taking a motobike ride to the carter it will cost around Rs.800/-.

Things to know

  1. Ensure you hire a local guide who is well aware of the carter and its surroundings
  2. There is no proper accommodation near the carter. Camping might be the only option.
  3. Take safety precautions while nearing the carter. Maintain safe distance.
  4. Make sure you are updated with all the travel rules and regulations while visiting the carter.
  5. There can be extreme tempreature at the desert.
  6. Ensure to have enough water, food and other essentials.

The Gates of Hell are a mesmerizing reminder of the Earth’s incredible geological processes and the tenacity of life. This awe-inspiring natural wonder has cemented its status as a bucket-list destination for adventurers seeking a truly unique experience. Visiting the Gates of Hell is an opportunity to witness the beauty and power of nature. 

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