Temples and Pilgrimage

There are two grades of fire temple according to the category of fire within (there is also a third grade of fire which can be set by any Zoroastrian at home). The grade is determined by the type of consecration.

The highest grade of temple is the Atash Bahram sometimes referred to as ‘Cathedral’ Fire Temples. These are often the foci of pilgrimage. The Fire Temple in the small Indian village of Udwada contains a fire which continues to burn following its consecration after the Parsis arrived in India (probably eighth century CE) and which has been tended by teams of priests ever since. It is popularly known as Iranshah- the King of Iran.

In recent times, a custom has developed of trying to visit all eight Indian Atash Bahrams in one day (all located in Mumbai and Gujarat) to derive spiritual power from all the most sacred fires.

The ‘ordinary’ Dar-i Mihrs or agiaris have the second grade of fire – Adaran. They might aptly be called spiritual power houses as one stands in the presence of the divine. There is no set architectural style although most are decorated with motifs from the ancient royal Iranian palace of Persepolis dating from the sixth century BCE.

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