Previous page  
List of subjects |  Sources |  Feedback 

Share |

Discover in a free
daily email today's famous
history and birthdays

Enjoy the Famous Daily

From Persia to India: 8th - 10th century

At some point between the 8th and the 10th centuries a group of Zoroastrians migrate to India, seeking a place in which to worship Ahura Mazda without interference. Their Persian homeland, in which for some 1500 years Zoroastrianism has been the predominant and often the official religion, is now part of the wide Muslim empire of the caliphs.

They settle in Gujarat as a small agricultural community, achieving the quiet independence which they are seeking. But they find a much wider role after 1668, when the island of Bombay is ceded to the East India Company.

When Bombay becomes the seat of government of the East India Company in western India, complete religious toleration is declared to be the policy of the new territory. This immediately attracts the Parsee community of Gujarat, eager to adapt their talents to the entrepreneurial skills of commerce, trade and shipbuilding. They become the leading partners of the British in the development of Bombay.

The city has remained the centre of modern Zoroastrianism. The Zoroastrian rituals of sacred fire are maintained, and until recently the dead have been exposed to vultures in Bombay's famous 'towers of silence'.

Previous page