Udvada: The Land Controversy

It’s a change of different sort, a not-so-nice one, where one of the world’s most ancient religions finds its nook of worship threatened. Parsi-Irani Zoroastrians in India and around the world have been a worried lot after 200 acres of lush agricultural land in the backyard of Udvada’s sacred fire temple were handed over to a private developer to set up industry. Shailesh Bhatia and photographer Ashish Rane visit the coastal hamlet in Gujarat to see a 1,250 year-old fire that’s survived Muslim invasion, seastorms and political turmoil, now wrestle with industrialisation

It’s not any old fire. It’s not even any old sacred fire. With a complex constitution that involves the blend of over 16 types of flames sourced from a potter’s kiln, a goldsmith’s furnace, a burning pyre, even lightening itself, the Pak Iranshah fire has been burning continuously, day and night, for over 1,250 years.

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Courtesy : Behram P Dhabhar

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