About Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Yazd
Zoroastrian Fire Temple is one of the religious tourist attractions of Yazd which is located in the Zoroastrians’ neighborhood of the city. A fire temple in Zoroastrianism is the place of worship for Zoroastrians. The building of this temple was constructed in 1934. But since 1960, it was open to the public. The Zoroastrian Fire Temple was registered in Iranian National Site list in 1999.
Brief History of Zoroastrian Fire Temple
In the Zoroastrians’ religion, fire is an important element. They believe that fire is the most sacred given thing from Ahura Mazda (their God). In parts of their books is mentioned that the fire is Ahura Mazda’s son. Therefore, it is so important to them to keep this fire burning. And they were also successful in doing that because the sacred fire in this temple has been burning for almost 1500 years. Someone is responsible to always keep the flame on. This person is called “Hirbod”. To keep the fire burning, Hirbod lights up the fire twice a day with the cherry wood.
The name of the fire in the Zoroastrian Fire Temples is “Varhoram Fire” (also calls Bahram Fire) which means “Victorious Fire”. Its creation dates back to the Sassanid era. In that time, the fire was burning in a fire temple in southern pars district of Larestan which name was Pars Karyan fire temple. Then it was transferred to Aqda (in the city of Ardakan in the Yazd province). The fire kept in that fire temple for 700 years but again it transferred to another fire temple in nearby Ardakan and kept there for 300 years. As the history shows, the most sacred fire in the Zoroastrians’ religion didn’t have a stable place. And the fire temples were not like what we see today as the Zoroastrian Fire Temple. It is the only fire temple in Iran which has the Bahram Fire and its flame is still burning.
It was in the first Pahlavi era when Reza Shah ordered to construct a fire temple for the Zoroastrians. Since then, the fire kept in the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd.
The Architecture Style of the Zoroastrian Fire Temple
When you enter the building you see a big pool in the yard and in front of it, there is a building which is built in Achaemenid architecture style in brick masonry which is the main building of the temple. The Zoroastrian Fire Temple is like the temples in India. These temples are so simple and don’t have any luxurious look. A garden of fruit trees surrounds the building which makes a great atmosphere in this temple.
Moreover, the building of the Zoroastrian Fire Temple is located in an area where it can benefit from the sunshine which causes the building more energize. It is also 21 meters higher from the ground so by stepping up 8 steps you can reach the temple. The columns at the entrance of the building are made in Isfahan and the symbol of Zoroaster at the top of the building is the tiling art made by Yazd artists.
The sacred fire is installed inside the building behind an amber tinted glass enclosure. Only Zoroastrians are allowed to go to the sanctum area of the fire. The public and Non-Zoroastrians should see it from behind the glass. The flame is burning is a large copper container which is situated upper from the ground to show its importance and holiness.
Symbol of Zoroaster
Above the entrance of this building, there is symbolic bird-man which is the symbol of Zoroaster. It is one of the most magnificent designs you can see in this temple. This symbol has a holy meaning in the Zoroastrian religion. The symbol shows a half man half bird creature which holds a ring in one hand which symbolizes loyalty. The other hand is held up which indicates respect. The three-layered wing of this symbol reflects the Zoroastrian belief which says you should think, speak and act decently.
Places nearby the Zoroastrian Fire Temple
The Zoroastrian Fire Temple is located in Kashani Road near the Basij Boulevard. The nearest hotel to this tourist attraction of Yazd is the Seneek Traditional Hotel which is just 5 minutes far from this place. The Zoroastrian Fire Temple is almost 30 minutes away from the old town and its historical attractions. However, it is easy to get to the old town by car which might only take less than 10 minutes.
How to get to the Zoroastrian Fire Temple
The Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd is easily accessible from all around the city. It is so easy to take a taxi wherever you are. But if you would like to use public transportation, there is a bus stop near the temple which name is Hafez. Then by 10 minutes walk, you can reach the temple. The fire temple is also 6 km away from the Yazd International Airport.
The Zoroastrian Fire Temple is open every day (except on Fridays) from 8:00 am till 11:45 pm then will open again at 16:00 pm till 19:00 pm.