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Qobustan: Tourist destination for mud volcanoes and rock engravings as part of world heritage
Recently, my nephew and Facebook friend visited Qobustan as a member of group tour and was struck by the ancient settlement and tribal culture. He writes with a few pictures that Qobustan is a settlement and municipality in Baku, Azerbaijan with a population of about 15 thousand.

The place is visited by tourists due a good number of rock petroglyphs and mud volcanoes. It is an ancient settlement dating back to the 8th millennium BC which is currently called the Gobustan State Reserve. 

Furthermore, there are inscriptions nearby left by a Roman Legionnaire around 75AD. "It is unbelievable to find an inscription in Gurumukhi at this place. It is such site that confirms to the proverb 'seeing is believing'," informs Mohan. 

It was in 2007 that UNESCO included the 'Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape' in the World Heritage list. Thereafter, the tourist influx to the place increased. Tourism has added attraction since many mud volcanoes are located in the eastern Azerbaijan near the Caspian Sea.

The place offers adventure trip among rock engravings of hunting scenes, people, ships, constellations and animals. Its oldest petroglyphs date from the 12th century BC. 

I am told that place is like an open air museum with 3.6 km walk in the opposite direction of the sea towards the hill with many rocks dotting around the place. The land is barren. The Roman graffiti is on a rock in the middle of a road that branches off from the road at the base of the hill with a housed museum with an entry fee. 

For English-speaking guides and taxi charges one has to haggle and for some, it a charm of socialization, and for some others it is an irritant.

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