Save Bahrot Caves
Director-General, Archaeological Survey of India,
More Info at:
Archaeological Survey of India,
New Delhi 110011
We the members of the Zoroastrian community worldwide, wish to make this petition for the conservation of the Bahrot Caves. These caves are situated about 15 kms. from Sanjan (a station on the Western Railway) in the state of Maharashtra, India. They are of deep religious and historical significance to the entire Zoroastrian community as the Iranshah, the most sacred fire of the Zoroastrians was preserved there for 12 years when Sanjan was attacked by Alaf Khan. Hence, the Zoroastrian connection with these caves dates back to about the end of the 14th century. Even to this day it is a place of pilgrimage. Every year, large number of Zoroastrian pilgrims visit the caves and perform the Jashan ceremony. References to these caves are also to be found in several historical records.
At Bahrot, there are a total number of seven caves. Unfortunately, a part of the main cave has already collapsed and needs urgent attention. Every year, further damage is caused due to total neglect. Besides this, there is not even a proper pathway leading to the caves, hence devotees have to struggle through 6 kms. of forest to reach the caves. As a result, a number of persons have a fall and are injured every year. During the monsoon season, it is impossible to reach these caves due to the heavy foliage in the forest. Moreover, there is no water or electric supply.
It is heartening to know that on March 16, 2010, the Parliament of India passed a bill amending and making more stringent the law for the protection of ancient sites and monuments. This reflects the Governments determination to preserve and protect our priceless heritage. Since the Bahrot Caves is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Government of India, we urge you to conserve these caves urgently and provide a road to enable pilgrims to reach these caves safely.
Dr. Homi Dhalla who holds a degree from the Harvard University initially spearheaded the move to conserve these caves some years ago. As the Founder-President of the World Zarathushti Cultural Foundation, he has embarked on a number of cultural projects to promote Zoroastrian culture. In coordination with the ASI, he has prepared exhaustive documentation of these caves. Over the years, it is he who has been liaising with the ASI and the Government departments in this matter. In recent months, he has been corresponding with Dr. B.R. Mani, Jt. Director General, ASI, New Delhi. He has the full support of the entire Zoroastrian community and shall forward this petition to you for necessary action.