The Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd, also known as Yazd Atash Behram, is a place of great historical and religious significance located in the city of Yazd, Iran. It stands as a testament to the enduring faith of the Zoroastrian community and is a striking example of Achaemenid architecture. In this article, we will delve into the rich history, architecture, and spiritual importance of this sacred site.
A Historical Treasure:
The history of the Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd dates back to its construction in 1934. The temple was funded by the Association of the Parsi Zoroastrians of India and was built under the guidance of Jamshid Amanat. This magnificent temple houses the Atash Bahram, the “Victorious Fire,” which is believed to have been burning continuously since 470 AD. Its origins can be traced back to the Sassanian era when it was first kindled in the Pars Karyan fire temple in Larestan’s southern Pars district.
Over the centuries, this sacred fire was carefully transferred to different locations, finally finding its current abode in the Yazd Fire Temple in 1934. The journey of the fire from one place to another reflects the Zoroastrian community’s dedication to preserving their faith.
The temple’s architecture is a fine example of Achaemenid style, characterized by brick masonry. Its design was influenced by architects from Bombay and is reminiscent of the Atash Behram temples in India. The temple is surrounded by a lush garden with fruit trees, creating a tranquil and serene environment.
An intricately designed winged deity of Ahura Mazda graces the temple’s entrance, symbolizing the core beliefs of Zoroastrianism. Inside, the sacred fire is enclosed behind amber-tinted glass. Only Zoroastrians are allowed into the sanctum area, while non-Zoroastrian visitors can observe the fire from outside the glass chamber.
A Sacred Flame:
The Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd is home to one of the most enduring flames in Iran, known as the Behram Fire. This flame has been burning for over 1,500 years and has never been extinguished. Its history and continuous burning symbolize the unwavering faith and devotion of the Zoroastrian community.
To complete the sacred setting, a pool was constructed near the temple. Traditionally, Zoroastrian fire temples were located near a spring or stream to represent the harmonious coexistence of all four elements – earth, fire, water, and air.
The holy fire is maintained by an individual named “Hirbod,” who ensures its perpetuity. Visitors can now view the eternal fire through a glass wall, creating a connection to this ancient and revered tradition.
The Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd stands as a beacon of Zoroastrian faith, a testament to the enduring power of belief, and a masterpiece of architectural beauty. Its history, the consecration of the sacred fire, and the traditions that surround it provide a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest religions. A visit to this sacred place in Yazd is not only a journey through history but also an opportunity to witness the flame that has burned for centuries, igniting the hearts of believers and visitors alike.