One of the attractions of Yazd is the peaceful coexistence of religions in it. You can get to this conclusion easily by paying attention to the various religious buildings in Yazd. In the heart of the city, Yazd Varham Fire Temple stands out, and just a few blocks away, you can see the Yazd Grand Mosque.
Today we want to take you to one of the Zoroastrian religious buildings. Few people pay a visit to Yazd and do not ask the address of this fire temple. Anyway, the doors of this place are open to everyone. By this, the public has the opportunity to visit the fire temple. It’s the Zorostrians’ way to reach out to the people and present a part of their culture.
So let’s see why Varham Fire Temple is so popular among tourists?
First of all, it is one of the most important Zoroastrian buildings in Iran. Second of all, this fire temple is more than 1500 years old. Third, it is one of the main attractions of Yazd and by visiting the exhibition of this fire temple, you will get to know Zoroastrian customs. And at last, it has a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere.
Introduction to Yazd Fire Temple Zoroastrian shrine
The fire temple is a kind of Zoroastrian shrine where the fire has a particular value. In addition to that, they say their most important religious prayers, including the recitation of Avesta and Gathats, in front of the fire.
Yazd Varham Fire Temple is one of these shrines that they built during the first Pahlavi dynasty and is of great value to Zoroastrians. This place is also known as the Fire Temple of Verheram, and it houses the sacred fire of Varheram, which we will discuss in detail below.
It is good to know that the doors of this place have been open to visitors since the 1960s. Moreover, its name has been on Iran’s National Heritage List since September 13, 1999.
The Architecture Of Yazd Fire Temple
Passing through the entrance of Yazd Fire Temple, your eyes fall upon a pool, which is directly in front of the main building. One of the characteristics of fire temples is the availability of water next to them. You can see this in the structure of all these buildings. From long ago, fire temples were simple, glamorous buildings, and usually had no decorations on any of them. The fire temple of Yazd has followed the same rule. Its construction has traces of the architecture of the Persian fire temple building in India and the architecture of the Achaemenids, especially Persepolis.
The main building of this fire temple is located and designed to get the most sunlight possible. As a result, a lot of energy remains in it.
To supply the required water in the temple they had several options. The most important ones were the water reservoir and qanat. All these amazingly structured places are open to visitors. There are also old bathrooms and toilets in the complex, which introduce visitors to the lifestyle of the people 80 years ago.
The Main Building And The Courtyard
The main building of the fire temple is located in the middle of the courtyard and on a platform 21 meters above the ground. After climbing up the stairs, by taking 8 steps you will get to the entrance door. The courtyard of the fire temple is always green and cypress and pine trees stand out in it. There are stone columns in front of the main building and the walls are decorated with flowery stones. All these stone works are done by Isfahani artists. They cut the stones in Isfahan and then transferred them to Yazd. Upon entering the building, we see the walls adorned with images of Zoroaster and quotes from the Avestan Book, and a little further you will run into the sacred fire.
Sights Of Yazd Varham Fire Temple
In Yazd Fire Temple, you can see interesting parts and visit the following attractions:
1- The Statue Of Faravahar, On The Forehead Of The Building
One of the most attractive decorations of the Yazd Fire Temple building is the faravahar or Faravashi statue, which stands out above the entrance. Faravahar is one of the forces of the spiritual world. According to Zoroastrianism, existed before the emergence of beings. And after their death and destruction will ascend to the spiritual world and remain there. This force, which some might call the essence of life, is immortal and never dies. The Faravahar of every being is present in the spiritual world before its material creation. And after creation, it descends and accompanies the desired being. After the death of every creature, its faravahar returns to the Faravashi world.
Faravashi statue of Yazd Fire Temple is a Yazdi’s tile work. It has a special elegance and beauty.
2- The Holy Fire Of Varham Fire Temple
One of the reasons that this particular temple is very important for the Zoroastrians is the preservation of the sacred fire of Verhram in it. This fire is more than 1500 years old and is very sacred to the followers of Zoroaster. During the reign of the Sassanid kings over Iran, three fires were more respected due to their high antiquity. People called them “Fire of Varhoram” meaning “fire of victory”. One of the three respected fires was in the Adur Farnbag fire temple in Kariyan in Fars Province. This fire was brought to Yazd in the tenth century to escape the invasion of foreigners. Then they placed it in the big fire temple of the city. But this fire temple was destroyed around the year 1117.
The Holy Fire Leaves Yazd Again
Zoroastrians hid the sacred fire in a cave on the mountain of Ashkaft Yazdan, which was located between Aqda and Pars Banu. They did so to keep it safe. This fire remained in this cave for 30 years until they transferred it to one of the Zoroastrian villages around Yazd. And then again they transferred it from one village to another for 200 years so that it would not fall into the hands of the invaders.
In 1348, most of the Zoroastrians of Yazd, especially the priests traveled to Turkabad village, near Ardakan. They took the sacred fire with them as well. And it remained there for 300 years. But later on, with the beginning of the disintegration of the Zoroastrian community in Turkabad, they transferred the holy fire to Sharifabad.
The Holy Fire’s Return To Yazd
Around 1780, the Holy Fire reached Yazd again. They secretly sheltered it in one of the great priest’s house in the Yazd Dastaran neighborhood. In the following years, they built a small fire temple to store this fire so that they could better protect it.
With the announcement of Reza Shah Pahlavi’s consent for the construction of the Yazd fire temple, the location of this fire was also determined and it was moved there in April 1942.
Visiting The Holy Fire Of Yazd Fire Temple
You can see the holy fire in the fire temple of Yazd. The fire is kept in a large bronze container covered with a glass box. It is located above ground level. The sacred fire is in a large room away from the sun. And the rooms for worship are built around it.
One person is responsible for keeping the fire burning, known as “Hirbod”. He maintains this fire by adding a piece of dry wood several times a day. The woods are more resistant than others. They are mostly woods such as almond and apricot wood. The remaining ash is worthless and they empty the container when needed. Visitors can see the fire through the glass as human breath should not come into contact with the pure fire. It is interesting for all tourists that this fire has been burning for this long. They can even smell some of the fire while looking through the glass.
3- Varjavand Hall
It was in 1939 that Mr. Jamshid Amanat built a hall and a water reservoir in the Yazd Fire Temple complex in memory of his wife. The hall building was destroyed and unusable in 2002 due to old age. Engineer Parviz Varjavand renovated this hall and completed the renovation in 2008, keeping its old style. He did this in memory of his parents, Dr. Fereydoun Varjavand and Dolat Rostami, and the name of Varjavand remained on the hall.
Now, Varjavand Hall has become an exhibition where you can learn more about Zoroastrians, traditions, and religious customs. There are different mannequins, photos and there. In one corner there are a bride and a groom and you read about them, and in another corner, you get information about the Nowruz and the ceremony of the followers of this religion. You can learn about the Zoroastrian prayer, the religious customs, and the ritual of dressing in the same hall.
4- Water Reservoir Of Yazd Fire Temple
Jamshid Amanat was the one who built a water reservoir in the Zoroastrian fire temple. Today, you can visit this reservoir be on the ground floor of Varjavand Hall. On the ground floor, before entering the reservoir, you will encounter an exhibition space where you can see pictures taken by various photographers on subjects related to Zoroastrians. From Nowruz to prayers and religious customs, you can see and learn about them in these photos.
In a corner of the exhibition hall, you have to go down the stairs to enter the water reservoir. The end of the staircase was blocked in the past. And people used a faucet installed at the bottom of the water tank to get the water they needed. Now this faucet and the wall are not there anymore, so tourists can enter the water reservoir room and pay a visit. It’s the water of the qanat that flows through the upper valve of the reservoir so that people can access it.
The History Of Yazd Fire Temple
In 1934, Reza Khan expressed his satisfaction with the construction of a fire temple in Yazd so that Zoroastrians could also enjoy a magnificent place of worship. In November of the same year, a Persian Zoroastrian named “Hamabai” considered the capital of the Yazd province, meaning Yazd city, for this purpose. He chose a 6881 square meter plot of land for the construction of this fire temple. Several Iranian Zoroastrians commemorated this land. Amanat brothers were among them. They did so as a dedication to their father, “Ardeshir Mehraban Rostam Amanat”.
Persian engineers designed the building. And Jamshid Amanat, one of the Amanat brothers, supervised its construction. He writes in his memoirs that he traveled to India five times to obtain the consent of the Association of Indian Persians – a group of Zoroastrians of Iranian descent – to pay for the construction of the Varham Fire Temple in Yazd. He says he traveled to India four times by steamship across the Indian Ocean and once by foot and camel from the sand dunes of Baluchistan, Iran, and Pakistan.
Manners Of Entering The Varham Fire Temple
Yazd Fire Temple is a sacred place and there are etiquettes to enter it. One, men and women should be clean when entering this place. Two, the sanctity of this place among Zoroastrians is like a mosque among Muslims, and women who enter this place should not be in their period. Three, Zoroastrian men wear white hats when entering, and women wear white scarves with light-colored clothing and take off their shoes. And finally, no one should get close to the sacred fire because the human breath pollutes it.
The Holy Fire Of Varhoram
If you are interested follow us to learn more about the importance of the sacred fire of Zoroastrians and how to prepare it.
What Is The Holy Fire?
In general, Zoroastrian sacred fires are several types with different rituals or mythological stories. and there are special rituals for setting them up. Fire in Zoroastrian religion is one of the best favors of Ahura Mazda – the only god of the ancient Iranians and Zoroastrians. And it is a mediator between the Creator and the creature. In Avesta, fire is the son of Ahura Mazda. And for the same reason, the religion of Zoroaster has special rules for it. For example, no one should blow on fire and pollute it. Even the protector of the fire has to put a special mask that they call “Padam” on his mouth and nose.
How Do They Prepare The Varhoram Fire?
One of the highest fires in the ritual of Zoroastrianism is Varhoram, the preparation of which requires a lot of time and money and is rarely set. To prepare this fire, they need to collect sixteen different fires. The fire that these people use; painters, king or governor, potter, bricklayer, dervish, goldsmith, blacksmith, weapon maker, baker, army commander, Shepherd, religious leader, and so on. But the interesting thing is one of the fires is the one that the lightning creates.
This fire is purified 1128 times during a ritual ceremony in a year. And only a priest who has gone through the most difficult stages of purification can participate in this ceremony. During each cleaning, the dried wood of a seven-year-old tree is set on fire, and when the firewood catches fire, it is considered a sign of being cleaned once.
The ceremony of carrying this fire is also special. They place it on a throne and the four priests carrying it recite ritual prayers to reach their destination. The Zoroastrians, refer to putting fire in its place as “setting the bed on fire”.
This fire must always be lit because according to religious beliefs, it belongs to all people and everyone has a share in it.
How To Get To The Yazd Zoroastrian Fire Temple
Address: Yazd province, Yazd city, Ayatollah Kashani street
The western entrance is for visitors and the eastern entrance belongs to the Zoroastrians. To use public transport, take buses that cross Ayatollah Kashani Street. The bus station is a few steps from the entrance of the fire temple.
Visiting the Zoroastrian fire temple will take you to another world and make you better understand other Iranian religions. Here you can get to know another religion and get to know the customs of its followers. When traveling to Yazd, do not miss other attractions of this amazing city. And make sure you do not miss the food and delicacies of Yazd. You can read more about Yazd and its top attractions at this address.
Thank you for joining us on this trip. I hope you have enjoyed reading. If yes please leave us a comment and let us know. Your words are worth the world to us. If you need more information or you wish to book a tour with Tappersia you can reach us via the contact information below the same page.
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