by Mr. Farzan B. Mazda

"TO CLIMB STEEP HILLS, REQUIRES SLOW PACE AT FIRST, as the famous Shakespearean saying goes, 30 Parsis from Bombay (Men,Women and mainly Children) trekked the gigantic mountain of Bahrot on the 22nd of October 2000. The group was led by "Mrs.Rati D.Wadia" (ex principal of Queen Mary High School Bombay) and the trek was conducted by "Mr.Homi Mehta" of Bordi.

Bahrot is the 1500 feet mountain 20 kms south of Sanjaan on which our brave Zarathosti ancestors took refuge from the Muslim invaders for 13 long years, in the year 1351 AD. They also took along with them to Bahrot their greatest shrine, the "IRANSHAH FLAME". It was amazing to see how those brave Parsis of the past lived in such harsh conditions of Bahrot just in order to keep their Faith in Ahura-Mazda burning.

A beautiful Sunday Morning it was, when the hikers from Bombay began their trek to the long forgotten Bahrot Caves. A "Hum Bandegi" was performed at the base of the mountain, from where they began to climb at around 6:30 am. From the youngest trekker being 3 years of age to the senior most being around 65 each one of them were determined to explore the land, which their forefathers once called "home".

The first half of the climb was quite tiresome for we had to cross 2 huge hills before reaching our final destination. It was a 4-hour tedious walk after which, on seeing the underground caves at a distance, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

"WE HAVE FINALLY REACHED THE LAND WHERE PAK IRANSHAH ONCE FLAMED IN ITíS GLORY!" as said by one of the seniors of our group, they were truly very contented as they got to see the magnificent Holy caves at least once in their lifetimes.

When inside the main cave, the two Dastoorjis, "Ervad Adiba D.Govadia" and "Ervad Behram Karangia" who had accompanied us began to perform a Jashan inorder to pay homage to those brave men who sacrificed their lives on Bahrot just so that the Iranshah Atash Behram may remain burning forever. It was really a sight worth seeing! Most of us felt as if the Iranshah was actually burning in front of our eyes and the two Dastoors who were praying together also seemed to look really very saintly!

After the 45 minute long Jashan, we finished with the snacks and then got ready to set back for Aswali village at the base. Our walk down began at around 12:30pm and ended at 4:30pm. The descent downwards seemed to be more exhausting than our walk up. A few of the seniors as well as some young children found it a bit difficult to keep up with the rest of the group, but finally, we all made it back, maybe tired, but with a feeling of satisfaction in our Hearts that we had left nothing but our footprints behind on Mt.Bahrot {No plastic bags etc were left behind}

The trip upto Mt.Bahrot was a huge success thanks to the organizational skills of Mr.Homi Mehta, though most of the participants were of the common opinion that further climbers up Mt.Bahrot should be forewarned that it is not a stroll in the park getting up to the caves, but a 3 to 4 hours tedious trek.

Pleasure follows pain and so it was with us... the satisfaction of having visited the Grand Bahrot caves drove away all memories of tumbles, thorns and thirst and we all ended up with a warm glow of one-ness with our Faith!

The next trip to Bahrot is going to be organized by Mr.Homi Mehta on the 25th of November 2000. Any one interested in the trek, then please do let me know.

***USHTA TE***


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