In the year 1297 AD, Gujarat was ruled by King Karan Vaghela, one of the descendants of King Jadav Rana. In the very same year, the Mughal ruler, Allaudin Khilji sent his army under the command of Altaf Khan to conquer Gujarat.
King Karan needed help. He sought the same from the Parsis who had settled there since 1233 AD in the village of Sanjan under the great king, Jadav Rana.
It was here that the Parsis decided to build the First ever Fire Temple of the Highest Graded Order, i.e., ATASHBEHRAM and dedicate it as a thanksgiving to the Supreme Lord, ‘Ahura Mazda‘. The Fire was called IRANSHAH, giving it a kingly status and dedicating it to Iran, the country of Prophet Zarthustra’sbirthplace. The fire so consecrated is kept burning and alive even to this day and is presently located at Udvada, about 60 kms from Bordi in Gujarat.
So to get back to the story of Bahrot Hills. A brave Parsi commander named Ardeshir Babekan responded to the call of King Karan. Ardeshir created his own battalion of 1400 soldiers and fought a brave battle and won against Altaf Khan. However Altaf Khan renewed his forces, mustered a large battalion of 5,000 soldiers and attacked again.
Ardeshir then went straight to the Fire Temple and invoked Ahura Mazda’s guidance and blessings.
Legend has it that whilst praying, he fell into a trance and an YAZAD (Angel) told him that in the even of danger, the Holy Fire must be shifted to the caves in the Bahrot Hills and also guided him to it. Ardeshir at once reported the incident to the High Priest Dastoor Dinyar and to his brave son Shapur. He instructed Shapur that in the event of his defeat, all Zorastrians at Sanjan along with the Holy Fire be shifted to Bahrot.
Ardeshir was defeated and killed in the battle that ensued. Sahpur his brave son did as his father had bid him to do.. The Holy Fire was then properly ensconced in one of the three caves and guarded. For 12 years among many intrusions the Holy Fire was kept in the Caves and looked after. When peace reigned again, the Holy Fire was then shifted to Vansda near Valsad and later to Navsari in 1419. It remained in Navsari for almost 300 years and for a short period was shifted to Surat before being brought back to Navsari. Finally in 1742 AD, it was installed in Udvada. To this day the Holy Fire is alive and burning as the Highest Grade of Consecrated Fire in the World.
Courtesy : Bhikhu Variawa