Darvaza, Дарваза (in Russian)
Derweze is located in Turkmenistan
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 40°15′09.48″N 58°26′21.93″E / 40.2526333°N 58.4394250°E / 40.2526333; 58.4394250Coordinates: 40°15′09.48″N 58°26′21.93″E / 40.2526333°N 58.4394250°E / 40.2526333; 58.4394250
CountryFlag of Turkmenistan.svg Turkmenistan
ProvinceAhal Province
DistrictAk bugdaý District
 (1989 census)
 • Total1,683
Derweze surroundings 2015.

Darvaza (from Persian: دروازه, literally "gate"; Turkmen: Derweze) is a rural council (village council) in Ak bugdaý District, Ahal Province, Turkmenistan of about 350 inhabitants, located in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 km north of Ashgabat. The rural council consists of three separate villages: Aeroport (the administrative center), Ataguýy, and Böri.[1]

Darvaza's inhabitants are mostly Turkmen of the Teke tribe, preserving a semi-nomadic lifestyle. In 2004 the village was disbanded following the order of the President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, because "it was an unpleasant sight for tourists."[citation needed]

Location of Derweze village council, Ak Bugday district, Ahal province, on OpenStreetMap


The Darvaza area is served by the Ashgabat-Dashoguz Automobile Highway and the Içoguz station on the Trans-Karakum Railway. A landing strip for small cargo aircraft is located at the village of Aeroport.[2]

Darvaza gas crater

Panorama of the crater site, 2011
Turquoise Lake Crater, 2010
Mud Crater, 2010

The Darvaza area is rich in natural gas. While drilling in 1971, Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas.[3][4] The ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft) at 40°15′10″N 58°26′22″E / 40.25264°N 58.43941°E / 40.25264; 58.43941 (The Gates of Hell). The fire may have originated from a local Soviet decision to avoid poisonous gas discharge, by burning off the gas,[5][6] and while geologists had hoped the fire would consume the fuel in a few days, the gas is still burning fifty years later.

Locals have named the crater the "Door to Hell".[7]

location of Darvaza Gas Crater on OpenStreetMap

See also


  1. ^ "Districts in Turkmenistan / Ahal welaýaty". Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  2. ^ Landing strip at Aeroport village on OpenStreetMap
  3. ^ Kressmann, Jeremy (2008-03-25). "Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell"". Gadling.com. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  4. ^ "Turkmenistan's "Gate to Hell" is Keeping a Destitute Village Afloat".
  5. ^ "Darvaz: The Door to Hell". English Russia. 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  6. ^ "How the Soviets accidentally discovered the 'Gates of Hell'". BBC. 2020-10-23. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  7. ^ "The Burning Gas Door to Hell in Darvaza, Turkmenistan". Yourenotfromaroundhere.com. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2014-03-02.

External links

  • Photos from the Darvaza Gas Crater or "Gates of Hell"
  • Tourist information for Darvaza
    • Flaming Crater, Darvaza Turkmenistan 1/6 - Phillips Connor on YouTube
  • Pictures and YouTube link
  • Au bord du cratère de Darvaza
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