Darvaza Gas Crater - Door to Hell

Darvaza Gas Crater - the Natural Wonder of the Karakum

There are a lot of pictures and videos on the internet of the ‘Door to the pit.’ You can see a fire erupting in the middle of the desert, which is called the Entrance to the hell, the Crater of the fire. The vision of the desert’s blaze is enchanting and exciting. However, not a lot of them have any idea how it felt, 266 km north of Ashgabat city.

In 1971 soviet geologists began drilling at the site of a cavern full of natural gas in the Karakum Desert not far from the village of Darvaza (also known as Derweze) which was translated from Turkmen times into the “Gate.” The machinery and transportation fall in the big hole during the digging of an accident. Nobody was wounded, but gas came out of the crater. The team agreed to burn it out in fear that the hole would lead to the discharge of toxic gases. In the next few weeks, months and years, all the fuel was wished for by the flames, which still burns today.In 2004, Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov, President of Turkmenistan, gave the order to move the village of Darvaza to another location for safety reasons. Nobody knows how long petrol reserves can burn out or whether the hole is actually shut down because gas is a valuable source that hasn’t gone out of operation for a couple of decades. This fire remains nevertheless one of Turkmenistan’s most riddle-class sights, drawing many visitors each year.


It will be not spectacular and appear like a hole in the ground if you get up the gas crater during the regular period. But as you enter, you will see the crater burning thousands of bits of fuel. Gas is expelled from the hole which flashes the hot air more hotly. In the evening you will enjoy a fascinating view of the sunset, which will eventually open up flames from the crater that will flash vividly. The crater is packed with turquoise liquid and there are few others.It is advised to watch these holes fall on the edge and you can sense the sun and the scent of natural gas throughout the day.

Darvaza natural gas crater varies in its peace and primitivity from many other natural sights around the world. A few tents and yurt camps, and there are no parking spots, hotels and store souvenirs nearby.

The only place you can feed is at the yurt camp (where you stay) or a few kilometers to the south from the crater. In the village of Erbent, 90 km from the crater, are the closest markets. And it is important to be mindful that you have to do so with an off road car while making a trip to the sight. Although the main road that leads to the crater lies in excellent condition, there is still a sandy path a few hundred meters away.