Friday, September 23, 2011

The Door to Hell






          “The Door to Hell” is situated near the small town of Derweze. Derweze (Turkmen language: The Gate, also known as Darvaza) is a Turkmenistan village of about 350 inhabitants, located in the middle of the Karakum desert, about 260 km north from Ashgabat. Darvaza inhabitants are mostly Turkmen of the Teke tribe, preserving a half-nomadic lifestyle.The story of this place lasts already for 40 years.


Turkmenistan is very rich in natural resources. Currently a sovereign country, Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. It was during rule of Soviet Russia, back in 1971 when geologists were conducting gas drilling in Kara-Kum desert and discovered an underground chamber close to the village of Darvaza (known in Turkmen as Derweze, but sometimes also referred to as Darvaz).

The discovery of the chamber was accidental and resulted in drilling rig collapsed and all the drilling site with all the equipment and camps got deep deep under the ground, leaving giant gas crater ( a diameter of about 70 metres (230 ft) at 40°15′10″N58°26′22″E.) filled with poisonous gases exposed to the world outside.The concentration of gases within the crater was high so nobody dared to go down there. It was then when someone came with an idea to light the gas in the crater on fire so as to burn it before the poisonous fumes engulf the nearby town of Darvaza.

The geologists thought the idea of burning the gas was smart and went ahead with lighting the crater on fire. So they ignited it so that no poisonous gas could come out of the hole, and since then, it’s burning, already for 40 years without any pause. Geologists had hoped the fire would use all the fuel in a matter of days, but it’s been more than a few day, it’s been more than a few weeks or months. It’s been decades and the gas crater is burning just as it did the day it was first lit. Putting all economical loses from wasted natural gas aside, imagine the ecological impact this burning gas has cause during decades of non stop burning!

However, Turkmenistan plans to increase its production of natural gas. In April 2010, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed, or other measures be taken to limit its influence on the development of other natural gas fields in the area.

The locals from Darvaza have given the burning crater a name that suits it well – The Door to Hell. And everyone who visits Darvaza agrees with the name and finds it appropriate. When you look inside the burning gas crater, you do feel like this is what the door to hell would look like. No one dared to enter the chamber when it was first discovered and no one has dared there since. After all, everyone knows what kind of path a door to hell takes you. And it’s not the path anyone would voluntarily want to embark on. Seeing the door to hell with your own eyes, however is an experience like no other. You will have long stayed in awe after experiencing the viciousness of the fire within the gorge of the burning crater. The Door to Hell would be an amazing vacation experience for the adventurous wanderers.






Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment