Darvaza is a small village of Turkmenista which is situated in the middle of the Karakum Desert. From Ashgabat, the capital of the country, it is approximately 260 km. Very few people actually live in this village which is roughly about 350 or so, but the biggest attraction of this place is the burning crater of Darvaza or Derweze.
Darvaza Gas Crater
The ferociously burning crater of Darvaza though looks scary is one of the main tourist attraction of Turkenistan. It has been burning continuously since 1971 and it shows no sign of stopping or exhausting out. It all started in 1970-71 when a group of geologists were drilling a site where a natural gas reserve thought to have been the biggest in the world was found beneath the surface. But accidently, the surface collapsed into an underground cavern leaving behind a huge crater like structure. Fearing of the leakage of the poisonous methane gas, the scientists decided to set it on fire and stop the leakage. Their estimate of it burning for few days or weeks at max turned out to be inaccurate as it is still burning to this day. The diameter of the crater is nearly 70 meters and depth 30 meters, covering a total area of 5,350 meter square. There is no accurate information too on for how many years it will keep on burning. The word “Darvaza” means door in Turkmen language and people have named in “Door to Hell.”
The crater is subject to great media coverage and has been telecasted in major TV channels. There’s another story revolving around with no firm evidence which goes like a hole appeared in the 1960s in the middle of the desert and was set on fire 20 years later.
Things To Do In Darvaza
Besides admiring the burning pit, the vast Karakum desert offers handful of other activities for tourists to take advantage of. Camping near to the pit is popular among tourists who want to see it in complete darkness, the view of which is undoubtedly stunning. The vast desert can also be used for off road trips, provided you have vehicles for that.