Tbilisi Ateshgah – An ancient Zarathushtrian Fire Temple


Tbilisi Ateshgah

The Tbilisi Ateshgah (آتشګاه, aka Atashgah or Fire Temple) was under restoration in 2007. That work is now complete and, mercifully, the restorers have been gentle. The old brickwork has been cleaned, and in a few places discreetly repaired, but has largely been left “as is”, without any gross tampering. A Perspex roof has been added to protect the site from the elements.

 

Authentic Zoroastrian fire temples are extremely rare, especially outside Iran (the Atashgah at Baku is an 18thcentury Zoroastrian construction). According to the sign outside the Tbilisi temple, it is believed that it was built between the 5th and 7th centuries, and later spend a while as a mosque, while retaining its old name as “Ateshgah”. This seems reasonably plausible as Tbilisi was under Persian occupation and influence for a while. Zoroastrianism (like Christianity) was loosely tolerated under Islam, so the Ateshgah might easily have survived in active use for several centuries after the 7th c. Arab invasion.

The Ateshgah exterior is a largely featureless brick cuboid, perhaps 20 feet on a side. There are steps leading up to a pair of stout wooden doors just to the left of the Ateshgah. These open into what at first looks like a private family courtyard, but if you turn right actually leads into the Ateshgah interior. There is a new wooden floor, but they have left parts of the original floor exposed. There are no windows, but instead there are blank arches on each face.

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NOTE: the site  has  been updated on Google Earth, you will have a  better  view if you  look for the VIEW in 2008/ 2009 as the 2013 view shows  changes…………RUSI SORABJI.

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One Response

  1. Dear Yezdi,Thank you for sending me this well of Knowledge and am really impressed. Please continue to do so.
    This is very informative link and should be shown in parts in Farohar Film production Humata Hukta Huvarashta. Also if films and such talks are made obligatory to all the agyaries in the country and the world it will enlighten the younger generation and re-kindle their faith in our religion once again . Of late due to lack of knowledge and no concrete answers to their ignorance and questions, they turn away from the rituals and religion, unlike Zorastrians of older order who blindly followed what their ancestors did even though they did not understand the meaning of it or agreed to it Purely out of respect.I would sincerely want this to happen . Also books on Shah Behram Varjavand and many more are only available in BBy. what about the other states? People don’t even know such things exist. Our religion has so much of rich culture and text in so much depth that should be brought out.
    We cant and should not wait for a miracles or Shah Varzavand to come and do something we have to start and help create a base. No body is a leader without followers.

    If I can be of any help to the committee or fellow Zorastrians with the above mentioned deeds I would be only too happy to volunteer.Hoping to hear from you soon in the positive. In fact I want the 2nd edition Of Behramsha Nowroje Shroff’s book[part II] and cant get it. Pls help me to avail it.Warm Regards Pervin
    Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 05:51:09 +0000
    To: pervinmerchant@hotmail.com

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