I am at Goolkhush Resort, Bordi talking with Pervez Khurshedji Dastur.
The question:Â The oldest Agiary (Parsi Fire Temple) within India?
Zoroastrian landed within India 1378 years back due to Muslim invasion within Iran. Porbandar, Gujarat was the first land and Sanjan (25/26 km from Bordi, District Thane), Gujarat the next one.
Once upon a time Sanjan was within Mumbai but now within Gujarat.
During that era there was no British rule but yes, there was King’s rule. King Zaderana was the ruler of Sanjan. As shelter was required the request for stay was sent. King Zaderana offered glasses of milk to the new visitors. The Zoroastrian priest added sugar into the milk and the new sweetness of milk was liked by the King. On five principles he gave permission for stay.
(To know those 5 principles one has to read literature or one has to visit Zoroastrian heritage museum, Udvada, Gujarat)
There are two class within Zoroastrian. One is prickly and other one is non-prickly. One who take care of Agiary (Parsi Fire Temple) is called prickly. In-short – Zoroastrians never brought fire from Iran. The Fire was created in India with the help of Alaat – The pious liquid and is till-date burning at Udvada, Gujarat.
When Muslim invasion was within India and Sanjan King Zaderana lost his empire while battling and Zoroastrians also lost their life while battling there was the question how to save the sacred Fire. The fire was kept and preserved at Bharot Caves and was kept for 12 years till finally was placed at Udvada, Gujarat – The oldest Agiary (Parsi Fire Temple) within India.
Currently there is no fire within Bharot caves but yes, people visit as it is historical important. It is approx. 7 km from Bordi, two and half hour walk within mountains. Winter season – The best time to visit as the caves are far.
Knowledgeable – said I. Knowledge enhanced. Thanks to Pervez Sir.
How to Reach Udvada from Mumbai?
Gujarat Express, FZR Janta Express, Saurashtra Express morning trains having stoppage at Udvada. It is 3-4 hours journey depending upon which you train you are traveling.
Train fare General Class from Borivali, Mumbai to Udvada, Gujarat Rs. 55.
(While returning to Mumbai from Udvada you can catch Surashtra Express at 14:41 pm)
Once you reach Udvada Railway Station take a sharing auto for Jhanda Chowk. Rs. 10 per passenger. The distance between Udvada Railway Station to Jhanda Chowk is 7 km approx. Once you reach Jhanda Chowk walking the best option to reach fire temple.
I met Kersi – Priest of Fire Temple. I was told Atash Behram is the oldest and the biggest fire temple in India.
Knowledge enhanced. Thank you – said I.
During the visit I had lunch at Hotel Ashishvangh few meters distance after Iran Shah Fire Temple. And then a walk towards the Zoroastrian Information Centre also known as Museum.
Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
At Museum you can enhance your knowledge by talking to Aspi S. Sepoy (0 – 99097 96422) – owner of Meher Collection.
And then towards the beach near by.
While returning I stop at Irani Bakery to purchase Kaju Biscuit (Rs. 400/kg) and Mawa Cake (Rs. 13 per piece). Delicious bakery products. In short a fantastic tour. One should visit.
Please read Atash Behram, Udvada, India