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Zoroastrian Heritage

Author: K. E. Eduljee

Contents

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Zoroastrian
Places of Worship

Early Fire Houses and Temples

Era of No Temples

Advent of Fire Houses and Temples

Fire House Concept

Chahar-Taqi Fire Temple Design

Ani, Armenia, Turkey

Chahar-Taqi Fire Temples in Iran

Surakhani, Baku, Azerbaijan

Surakhani - Hindu or Zoroastrian Temple?

Seven Fires

Modern Fire Temples
Atash Bahram

Grades of Fires and Temples

Atash Bahram / Behram

Iranshah Atash Bahram, Udvada, India

Desai Atash Bahram, Navsari, India

Dadiseth Atash Bahram, Mumbai, India

Modi Atash Bahram, Surat, India

Vakil Atash Bahram, Surat, India

Wadia Atash Bahram, Mumbai, India

Banaji Atash Bahram, Mumbai, India

Anjuman Atash Bahram, Navsari, India

Yazd Atash Bahram, Yazd, Iran

Modern Fire Temples
Agiary, Atashkadeh, Darbe Mehr

Grades of Fires and Temples

Atash Adaran, Agiary, Atashkadeh

Early History of Mumbai's (Bombay's) Fire Temples

Atash Dadgah, Dar-e-Mehr or Darbe Mehr

Suggested prior reading: » Zoroastrian Worship
Suggested further reading: » Zoroastrian Priesthood


Grades of Fires and Temples

Today, there are three grades of fires:
• Atash Bahram (or Atash Behram),
• Atash Adaran, and
• Atash Dadgah.

The three grades of fires have given rise to three principle (and somewhat arbitrary) grades of temples:
• Atash Bahram (or Atash Behram),
• Agiary (in India) or Atashkadeh (in Iran), and
• Darbe Meher/Dar-e-Mehr.

An Atash Bahram and an Agiary (also spelt Agiari) or Atashkadeh have an inner sanctum where the fire is maintained and where ceremonies of the inner circle are conducted. This rectangular sanctuary, demarcated by furrows, is called the pavi (also see A History of Zoroastrianism by Mary Boyce at page 166. Some authors refer to the furrows that demarcate the inner sanctum as the pavi.). Only ritually purified priests can enter the demarcated pavi area. The afargan or fire urn, is placed on an elevated marble platform at the south end of the pavi area. The ritual instrument table called the alat-khwan is placed towards one end of the pavi area.


Atash Bahram / Behram

Atash Bahram or Atash Behram is the name given to both the highest grade of fire and the temple that houses the Atash Bahram (Victorious Fire). Atash Bahrams are usually under the care of Dasturs, high priests, who are assisted by a team of subordinate priests.

The establishment and consecration of an Atash Bahram is the most elaborate of the three grades of fires. Fires are gathered from sixteen different sources, including lightening, fire from trades where a furnace is operated, and the hearth fires of the asronih (priests), the (r)atheshtarih (soldiers and civil servants), the vastaryoshih (farmers and herdsmen) and the hutokshih (artisans and labourers). The fires go through a consecration ritual before they join the others in the united fire. The consecration ceremony requires thirty two qualified priests and can take up to two years for completion. (For a detailed description of the consecration ceremony, see The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees by J. J. Modi.)

There are nine Atash Bahrams: eight in India and one in Iran.


Iranshah Atash Bahram, Udvada, India

The Iranshah (King of Iran) Atash Bahram in Udvada, India, was established 1742 CE. Its fire is said to have been consecrated in 721 CE (roz/day Adar, mah/month Adar, 90 AY) at Sanjan, Gujarat, India, shortly after a large group of Zoroastrians fled to India's Gujarat coast following the Arab conquest of Iran. (For a more complete explanation of the Udvada Atash Bahram, please see our page on Pilgrimage Sites - Udvada).

The Atash Bahram in Udvada is called Iranshah, King of Iran, symbolically taking the place of the deposed Zoroastrian monarchy of Iran.

Atash Behram, Udvada, India
Atash Bahram - Iranshah, Udvada, India
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Zagny

Desai / Bhagarsath Atash Bahram, Navsari, India

The fire of the Desai Atash Bahram in Navsari, India was consecrated December 2, 1765 ACE (roz/day Sarosh, mah/month Ardibehest, 1135 AY)
Address: Tarota Bazar, Navsari, Gujarat.

Atash Behram, Navsari, India
Atash Bahram, Navsari, India
Photo Credit: Christopher / Krzysztof Arciszewski

Dadiseth Atash Bahram, Mumbai, India

The Dadiseth (also spelt Dadyseth, Dadysett, Dadyset) Atash Bahram was Mumbai / Bombay's first Atash Bahram. It was built by Dadibhai Noshirwanji Dadyseth In 1771 CE.

The fire of the Dadiseth (Kadmi) Atash Bahram in Mumbai, India was consecrated September 29, 1783 (roz/day Govad, mah/month Aspandad, 1153 AY)
Address: Dadiseth Agiary Lane, Fanaswadi (near Chira Bazar), Dhobi Talao, (South) Mumbai.

Atash Behram - Dadiseth (Kadmi), Mumbia, India
Atash Bahram - Dadiseth (Kadmi), Mumbai, India
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Zagny

Modi Atash Bahram, Surat, India

The fire of the Modi (Shenshai) Atash Bahram in Surat, India was consecrated November 19, 1823 (roz/day Sarosh, mah/month Ardibehest, 1193 AY)
Address: Sayyadpura, Bhagol, Surat, Gujarat.

Atash Behram - Mody/Shenshai, Surat, India
Atash Bahram - Mody/Shenshai, Surat, India
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Zagny

Vakil Atash Bahram, Surat, India

The fire of the Vakil (Kadmi) Atash Bahram in Surat, India was consecrated December 5, 1823 (roz/day Ardibehest, mah/month Khordad, 1193 AY)
Address: Shahpore, Surat, Gujarat.

Atash Behram - Vakil/Kadmi, Surat, India
Atash Bahram - Vakil/Kadmi, Surat, India
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Zagny

Wadia Atash Bahram, Mumbai, India

The fire of the Wadia (Shenshai) Atash Bahram in Mumbai, India was consecrated November 17, 1830 (roz/day Sarosh, mah/month Ardibehest, 1200 AY)
Address: Princess St, Dhobi Talao, Marine Lines, Mumbai.

Atash Behram - Wadia, Mumbai, India
Atash Bahram - Wadia (Shenshai), Mumbai, India
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Zagny

Banaji Atash Bahram, Mumbai, India

The fire of the Banaji (Kadmi) Atash Bahram in Mumbai, India was consecrated December 13, 1845 (roz/day Sarosh, mah/month Khordad, 1215 AY)
Address: Thakurdwar Road, Charni Rd, Mumbai.

Atash Behram - Banaji (Kadmi), Mumbai, India
Atash Bahram - Banaji (Kadmi), Mumbai, India
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Zagny

Anjuman Atash Bahram, Mumbai, India

The fire of the Zartoshti Anjumanna Atash Bahram in Mumbai, India was consecrated October 17, 1897 (roz/day Ardibehest, mah/month Ardibehest, 1267 AY)
Address: J. Shankarsheth Road, Dhobi Talao, Marine Lines, Mumbai.

Atash Behram - Zartoshti Anjumanna, Mumbai, India
Atash Bahram - Zartoshti Anjumanna, Mumbai, India
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Zagny

Yazd Atash Bahram, Yazd, Iran

The present Yazd Atash Bahram building in Yazd, Iran, was established 1934. A plaque states the flame has "been burning since about 470 ACE and was transferred from Nahid-e-Pars temple to Ardakan, then to Yazd and to its present site."


Atash Behram, Yazd, Iran
Atash Bahram, Yazd, Iran
Credits: Various - photographer unknown. Currently at Wikipedia

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» Early Fire Houses and Temples
» Modern Places of Worship. Agiary & Darbe Mehr

Suggested prior reading: » Zoroastrian Worship
Suggested further reading: » Zoroastrian Priesthood

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