Zoroastrians' Fire Temple
All year long and especially during Nowruz holidays, the Fire Temple is packed with tourists from all over the world as well as Iranian visitors. All tourists who go to Yazd over Nowruz would like to visit the Fire Temple as they consider it a place of pilgrimage.
The Atashkadeh (fire temple) of yazd is located on Kashani Street, was built in 1934 under the supervision of Jamshid Amanat on a piece of land donated by the Amanat brothers. Although its building is only 80 years old, the fire burning in it is more than 1500 years old.
The fire temple is said to be Iran’s only temple housing Atash Bahram (the Victorious Fire). The name Atash Bahram has now come to mean the temple that houses the highest grade of fire used in zoroastrianism.
The fire inside the temple is believed to have been burning for 1500 years. This fire originated from the flames of the Pars Karyan Fire Temple in Larestan, Fars province, which was brought to Aqda, Yazd province and was kept alight there for 700 years. In 1143, it was taken to Ardakan where it burnt for 300 years.
Subsequently, in 1473, it was transported to Yazd where it was initially kept in the home of a high-ranking priest named Tirandaz Azargoshasp in a neighborhood called Khalaf Khan Ali. It was finally placed in its current location upon the completion of the fire temple.
These days, the fire temple is a tourist destination, especially during Norouz (the Iranian New Year that begins on March 21).
The main building of fire temple sits in the middle of a large garden and is surrounded by pine, cedar and cypress trees. Designs on the columns, walls and Farvahar are the work of craftsmen from Isfahan who completed the work in their hometown and then transported the finished stones to Yazd. The Farvahar above the main entrance of the temple and the adorned stone columns magnify the venue’s glory. The plaque at the entrance of reads: " this Zoroastrians’ temple was built in 1934 in a site belonged to the Association of the parsi Zoroastrians of India under the supervision of Jamshid Amanat".
A pool lies ahead of the entrance. The overall structure is heavily influenced by Parsi fire Temple in India. There is no exact data about Zoroastrians’ population, though based on some sources, it is about 35,000 to 90,000 now.
Zoroastrians observe certain entry rules to their temples, which of course are not required of other visitors. as well as observing cleanliness, Zoroastrians enter their places barefoot and wear white or light-colored clothes. Men wear white caps and women sport white scarves.
The fire is burning inside a bronze vessel and visible only from behind a glass wall. Only priests who are official members of the Fire Temple may enter the innermost sanctum. There are no lights in the inner sanctum other than that of the fire itself.
In 1999, Yazd Fire Temple was registered on Iran’s National Heritage List.