Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Notes and Communications

Some observations on the history of the Parsi Dar-i Mihrs

Firoze M. Kotwal

Within a few years of their landing at Sanjan in Gujarat, in A.C. 916, the Parsis established a great sacred fire there, an Ātaš Bahrām. This was a costly and laborious undertaking, which must have taxed the resources of the small new colony to the utmost. One of the most exacting tasks was to fetch by land from Iran ash from an old Ātaš Bahrām, to be used in the preparatory rituals. Through this the Ātaš Bahrām of the Parsis acquired a physical descent, a silsila, from the sacred fires of Iran; and once they had enthroned it, with rites which took months to complete, the Parsis were content to let this be their only temple fire for hundreds of years. A second Ātaš Bahrām was not installed until 1765. Since then another six have been consecrated, making a total of eight of these great fires.

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