The Island in the mountains
Project info

Xinaliq or Khinalug is among the most ancient and continuously inhabited places in the world, with history of over 5,000 years. Because of the high altitude (2300 mt.) and remoteness of Xinaliq it managed to survive and withstand many invasions. The village is located just 65 km north of Quba in the middle of the Greater Caucasus montains. It is considered the highest village in Azerbaijan and among the highest in the Caucasus.
The "Khinalug" ethnic group is supposed to be one of the 26 Albanian tribes which used to live in the Caucasian Albania, they have not lost their own language, customs and traditions and have preserved them until nowadays.
The village of Xinaliq was included on the World Monuments Fund's 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites due to concern over the building of a road between Xinaliq and Quba. Houses built of cobble stones and situated on a slope resemble a multi-storey building. Since Xinaliq has been declared a protected area, it is prohibited to build new houses here. Before adopting Islam religion, the Khinalug people used to be fire worshippers. There is one place located at 4-5 km from Xinaliq at 2600 m. above sea level from which natural gas is discharged, and this place is called "Atashgah". There are several other such places in the surrounding area and all over the country, that’s why Azerbaijan is called the Land of Fire. Xinaliq is also surrounded by caves, shrines, temples. One of the famous shrine is the “Qirkh Abdul Pir” (Pir of the 40 slaves of God) situated two kms from the village.
From October to May Xinaliq is mainly inhabited by women, their children and old people, as the men used to shepherd their flock in the Shirvan region, cause of its mild winters. Women are the protagonists of Xinaliq's daily life. See the series: