Abandoned Karavansaray in a desert – Garachi Karavansaray.
Not far away from Baku, in a Gobustan desert, between limestone opencasts very interesting XV century karavansaray is located.
First time I spot it more than 30 years ago, during our field trip from the school. We were in a middle school and had whole day field trip to the highest mud volcano in a world – Tourugay. Group was quite big and after couple of meters of ascent we stop for a first break and suddenly saw it. It was quite far from us and we couldn’t understand what it is. From the binocs (yes, all soviet school boys had binocs that time) it was more like an a castle, small castle and we as a true 6 graders decided to provide our own archaeological expedition. We sneaked away from a main group and moved to a new direction, trying to reach strange building. We tried hard but it was like a mirage – you walking, walking, walking and it is not getting closer. We walked around two hours, it became quite late, dusk came down and suddenly someone switch on lights in this strange building. It was like a miracle from some fairy tale. It was really astonishing view – early stars, no civilization around, just a mysterious unreachable building ahead. That period there was not trucks, opencasts or something – just pure desert, as much as Gobustan desert can be pure.
Later I found out Soviet Army occupied it and install huge diesel alternator but this place left at the childhood. Many years I didn’t bring it up to may memory but couple years ago my friend ask me to help him with finding Garachi karavansaray. He had a pictures, very approximate location and we both had google map. In a couple of hours we find it and we were absolutely happy with this fact – discovering an old caravansaray we hadn’t knew about. As Indiana Jones said “Seventy percent of all archaeology is done in the library. Research. Reading.” Nowdays it is google maps 🙂
So, next week after discovering I made a real, not virtual expedition to this place. My love for abandoned, strange, ancient places, churches, castles, cemeteries started from Raiders of the Lost Ark till today hadn’t fall away and such a trips always make me happy. Even the road was quite predictable we lost our road couple of times, little bit offroad and finally we reached.
At first it is not making instantly WOW-effect as Lekit but after five minutes you can start understanding unique of this object. Lost in a middle of the desert it was like a small castle against intruders, home for the tired people, water for the horses, the place people trying to reach after long journey.
Really, this place is necessary to visit. Unfortunately stone opencasts, trucks, landscape changes are destroying Garachi karavansaray very fast and no one can guarantee how long it will stay more.
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