Iran Shah (Atash Behram) – Oldest & Biggest Fire Temple in India

Iran Shah Fire Temple, Udvada, Gujarat, India

April 2010

I am at Goolkhush Resort, Bordi talking with Pervez Khurshedji Dastur.

The question: The Oldest Agiary (Parsi Fire Temple) within India?

Zoroastrians landed in India 1378 years back due to the 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 a 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 staying.

(To know those 5 principles one has to read literature or one has to visit the Zoroastrian heritage museum, Udvada, Gujarat)

There is two class within Zoroastrian. One is prickly and another one is non-prickly. One who takes 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 the Muslim invasion was within India and Sanjan King Zaderana lost his empire while battling and Zoroastrians also lost their lives while battling there was the question of 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 historically important. It is approx. 7 km from Bordi, two and a half-hour walk within mountains. The Winter season – The best time to visit as the caves are far.

Knowledgeable – said I. Knowledge enhanced. Thanks to Pervez Sir.

September 2013

How to Reach Udvada from Mumbai?

Gujarat Express, FZR Janta Express, Saurashtra Express morning trains have a stoppage at Udvada. It is a 3-4 hours journey depending upon which 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 is the best option to reach the 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 distances from Iran Shah Fire Temple. And then a walk towards the Zoroastrian Information Centre also known as Museum.

Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Tuesday Closed

At Museum you can enhance your knowledge by talking to Aspi S. Sepoy (0 – 99097 96422) – the owner of Meher Collection.

And then towards the beach nearby.

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