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Zoroastrian Fire Temple

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

In fact the history of Zoroastrianism is mysterious. According to historians, Iranian have been monotheist since, at least, the second millennium B.C, they were Zoroastrians. In Zoroastrianism, there are quarto sacred elements which are air, water, soil and fire. In addition, many fire temples were built in all around the country. However after the invasion of Arabs most of them were destroyed or converted to a mosque, still some are remained. It is fascinating to visit a 1574 years old fire and the most important Zoroastrian’s fire temple in Iran, Yazd.

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

The history

Although Zoroastrianism is at least dated to the second millennium B.C, the oldest fire temples backs to Sassanid dynasty, 1800, years ago, probably before the Sassanid era the holy fire was not kept in a specific building. Fire temples are quarto vaults structures with a dome. Then, this structure became a primer plan for the mosques. The Zoroastrian’s fire temple in Yazd was built about 80 years ago by a Zoroastrian family, Amanat. In their diary it’s written that after traveling five times to India, finally they convinced “Indian Parsi Zoroastrian Association” to allocate a budget. This also is called “Varahram” or “Bahram” fire temple, meaning the fire of victory and belonged to kings.

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

The Zoroastrian’s fire temples

The first advent of fire temples refer to 1800 years ago, during Sassanid dynasty. It seems that before Sassanids the holy fire was kept in an altar, but not in a temple. Then, some specifics structures were constructed. They were rectangular, quarto vaults buildings with a dome. Many of them were constructed in all over the empire, but some were more important. In fact there were 3 major fire temples, “Azargoshnasp” for noblemen, “Azar Borzin Mehr” for magus, and “Azar Faran Bagh” for people. Unfortunately, after the conquest of Arabs, many of them were ruined or changed to a mosque, probably that’s why the Islamic architectures, specially mosques, are influenced by their architecture.

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

Yazd fire temple, like other fire temples, has a simple architecture, adopted by Achamanids’ architecture and also the architecture of Zoroastrians’ fire temples in India. The fire temple is constructed on a 8-step platform, 22 meters higher than the surrounding area. In front of it, there is a pond which is the main feature of fire temples, in fact Zoroastrian’s quarto sacred elements are gathered. In addition, above the entrance there is the symbol of “Faravahar”. It is an immortal, supernatural, luminary power that was existed before the creation, accompany creatures and after the death refers to the spiritual, luminary world. Moreover, the interior part is decorated with the portraits of Zoroaster and inscriptions of Avesta, Zoroastrian’s holy book. But the most important part is the 1500-year holy fire, standing in the middle on an alter and enshrined by a glass chamber. A mage, called Hirbod, is responsible for protecting and preserving the holy fire. According to historians, it used to be located in an ancient fire temple, called “Karian”, and after the annihilation of Sassanids has not been lighted off and after a long journey, moving and transferring to different areas , finally settled in this fire temple.

Zoroastrian Fire Temple

Although, Yazd fire temple is a contemporary site, the holy fire dates back to 1500 years ago. It is prohibited to enter to the sanctum, except for Zoroastrians, but it can be visited behind a glass chamber. “Hirbod,, a mage, is protecting “Bahram or Varahram holy fire” which was belonged to kings, reciting Yashts, a part of Zoroastrians holy book, Avesta. Actually there are nine “Bahram fire” that one is keeping here and others are in India.

About the author

Hamid Noori is a local tourist guide in Iran. He borned in june 3, 1991. First he studied industrial engineering at Shiraz university and worked in that field for a while but later he decided to pursue his dreams dealing with history. Now Hamid is a professional tourist guide.

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