Chirag Gala - History and Facts | History Hit

Chirag Gala

Chirag Gala is a ruined ancient fortress in Azerbaijan which overlooks the Caspian coastal plains north of Baku.

Kyle Hoekstra

24 Aug 2021
Image Credit: Boris Masyura / Alamy Stock Photo

About Chirag Gala

Chirag Gala is a ruined ancient fortress in Azerbaijan which overlooks the Caspian coastal plains north of Baku. Chirag Gala means “lamp castle” in Azerbaijani.

History of Chirag Gala

Chirag Gala is located north of the capital city of Azerbaijan, Baku. It is an ancient fortress and was built by the Sassanid Persians in the 5th century AD. They situated the castle at the top of a mountain in the Guba Forest.

This meant it could function as a lookout post. Its inhabitants were able to warn allies of sudden enemy incursions by lighting its torches. This is the likely origin of its name “Chirag Gala”, which means “lamp castle” in Azerbaijani.

Chirag gala has the shape of an irregular rectangle and consists of 17 towers, which permit extensive views over the surrounding coastal plains. The fortress was part of a defensive system that included fortresses in Baku and Derbent.

Chirag Gala today

Chirag Gala was used as late as the 18th century as a defensive structure. Today Chirag Gala is a historic site in Azerbaijan that is often visited by tourists. Climbing to the top of the mountain is rewarded with great views of the surrounding landscape.

Getting to Chirag Gala

Chirag Gala is a two hour drive from the capital city of Baku. Visitors must climb over the rocky terrain to reach the castle, as it’s nearly impossible to get to Chirag Gala by vehicle from the base of the mountain. Guides also host day hikes from Baku.

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