Attractions in Azerbaijan: Khinalig
Khinalig (“Xinaliq” in Azeri or Khinalug, Khinalugh in English) is the highest mountainous village in Azerbaijan. It is settled in north Caucasian mountains at the height of almost 2400 meters (that’s more than 7800 ft). It is also one of the oldest settlements in Azerbaijan (dating back 5000 years) which is supposedly populated by people who’s ancestors were ancient Albanians.
An ancient Greek scholar Heredot said, “There were 26 tribes speaking different languages in ancient Caucasus Albania (northern Azerbaijan). One of theose tribes was the Xinaliq tribe – an ancient Albanian Manuscribpt was even found in Xinaliq. Xinaliq is an ancient and remote Caucasian village high up in the mountains of Azerbaijan. It is the highest village in Azerbaijan and is nestled in the middle of the Greater (or High) Caucasus mountains that divide Russia and the south Caucasus. Before converting to Christianity in the 4th century, and Islam in 7th century, the people of Xinaliq were devoted follows of the prophet Zoroaster. There are are several wonderful spots in Xinaliq that were considered holy places (Pirs) in Zorastrism. There are some other historical places such as a 12th century mosque, a 15th century mosque, and several ancient cemeteries. An ancient Zoroastrian (often incorrectly called fire-worshippers’) temple dated by the 9-th century A.D. is preserved in the village of Xinaliq, outside Quba.