Monthly Archives: February 2013

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.

Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess & Zoroastrian Yazata

Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess & Zoroastrian Yazata


This book is the most extensive study of the figure of Anahita in recent years, and includes new and never published before research.  Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata is essential reading for all those interested not just in this Goddess and her history, but also all those interested in Persian and Middle Eastern history.

Available from:

Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata is a collection of papers, art and poetry celebrating this fascinating Goddess from more than 25 esteemed international academics, Zoroastrians, artists and writers. Each in turn share their research and insights leading the reader on a journey of discovery – from the Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions featuring Anahita and Mithra, to the possible relationships between Anahita and the Dame du Lac of Arthurian Legend, representations of her in Sassanian art, William Morris Hunt through to Anahita as the pre-Christian Virgin Mother of Mithra, as well as her role in purification and purity.  Studies of the Sassanian rock reliefs, hot mineral springs, and her water ritual in Mahāyāna Buddhism, in addition to an examination of the Sassanid stucco discovered in the Barz-e-qawela in Lorestan province of Iran and women in ancient Elam are all brought together illustrating the significance of Anahita throughout Persian and Middle Eastern history.

Inter-faith group in the Moreton Bay

Greetings to whom it may concern,

I am writing to you on behalf of Nooreen Harris from Caboolture Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS). We are planning to start an inter-faith group in the Moreton Bay region and would like to invite anyone in your community who may be interested to be a part of it. The time has not yet been decided as we are still seeking contacts from various communities of belief. Would you please be able to mention this opportunity to share your beliefs and learn about those of others to your community? If anyone is interested in being a part of our group, please ask them to contact Nooreen either by email or phone on (07) 5432-4220.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

Yours peacefully,

Michael Astle

CAMS Volunteer

Indo-US Research Fellowships for Indian Researchers

The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) in association with Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India announces the lndo-US Research Fellowships with the objective to enable young researchers from India to carry out research in frontier areas of science and technology at a premier institution in USA.
Eligibility/ Application Requirements

Academic Qualifications : Ph.D. in Science, Engineering, Technology or Medicine. Applicants must provide proof of independent work in internationally recognized academic journals.

Age : Upto 40 years as on 31 December 2012

Employment : A permanent position in a public funded R&D lab/ S&T institution (non-private)/ recognized universities/colleges in India.

Areas covered under the Fellowship

• Atmospheric and Earth Sciences

• Chemical Sciences

• Engineering Sciences

• Lite Sciences

• Medical Sciences

• Mathematical and Computational Sciences

• Physical Sciences


Place of work :

The applicant should have letter of acceptance from reputed US scientific/ techno-logical institution where the applicant will be undertaking the research work under the Fellowship.

Fellowship includes

• Monthly stipend • Preparatory allowances

• Return airfare • Conference allowances

Fellowship Duration : Minimum 3 months and upto 12 months.

Proposal Guidelines and Format refer to

Application Deadline: 8 March 2013
For any further information, please contact: Dr. Smriti Trlkha Indo-US Science and Technology Forum 12 Hailey Road, Fulbright House, New Delhi-110 001 Email: