Gateway to Hell—a concept we have heard about in almost every culture’s mythology and popularised by the Greeks. A ‘Door to Hell’ is a passage that leads into the underworld, where the creatures of the dead prevail, under the supervision of the God of Hell. Of course, depending on the culture, this so-called God of Hell is known by various names—from Hades to Lucifer, and in our very own Indian culture, it is Yama, God of death. Were you wondering where to head to for your next trip? Here are 6 ‘gateways to hell’, for all you daring and brave peeps out there to put on your bucket list…
1. Darvaza Gas Crater, Turkmenistan
Locally known as Door To Hell, this crater is situated in Derweze, Turkmenistan. Originally it was a natural gas field that collapsed into the ground, and as a result, created a crater sort of shape. Moreover, this is a widely visited tourist spot, with around 15k tourists visiting each year. I don’t know about you, but this is definitely on my bucket list!
2. Mount Osore, Japan
This mountain, located on the remote Shimokita Peninsula of Japan’s Honshu island, is infamous for its volcanic cauldrons. Literally translated, the name means “Mount Fear”. Thus, whilst visiting this area, you can see the Sanzu River—or River of Three Crossings—which according to the Buddhist belief, is a ritual required for souls of the deceased to make their way into the afterlife.
3. Fengdu Ghost City, China
A collection of monasteries, temples, and shrines dating back to 2,000 years, this ghost city is located on the Ming Mountain. This area is known for spirits to transition into the afterlife, therefore, the inscriptions in the shrines and monasteries detail stories of people being tortured for their sins, as well as how they eventually make it into the underworld by passing three important tests.
4. Ploutonion at Hierapolis or Pluto’s Gate, Turkey
Amidst ruins, lies this huge arch type gate dedicated to the God of the dead, Pluto. Numerous archaeologists uncovered these ruins decades ago and found the statues of Hades, the God of Hell and his multi-headed dog, Cerberus. This site is believed to once have been a sacred site to Pluto.
5. Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua
https://www.instagram.com/p/ByENZxrnf9Y/If the picture wasn’t enough to convince you to take a flight halfway across the world, perhaps the story behind it will get you onboard. In the 15th century, people believed that the volcano’s activity can be justified by a persistent supernatural existence. They were sure that within the pits of this volcano lay a sorceress. Whether you believe in ancient witchcraft or not, this story is definitely worth experiencing!
6. Acheron River, Greece
Widely known as ‘The River of Hades’, this river in Greece is one of the five rivers of the underworld. Often mentioned in Greek Mythology by famous poet Homer the river acts as a mode of transport for the dead into their afterlife. As tourists, we can ride on this river, swim in it as well—but at your own risk…Creepy? It sent chills down my spine as well! However, these places are all famous tourist attractions, and definitely ones that you should visit. Did any of these make it to your list? Please let me know in the comments below!Don’t forget to follow @missmalinilifestyle for more updates!