Udvada is a small peaceful town in Gujarat, known for Iranshah Atash Behram. This coastal town of worship is the oldest nonetheless-functioning example of its kind and has set up as a religious center for Zoroastrians from all the world over. Its 200 Km from Mumbai by a road trip.
So apart from just being known as a worshipping town, there are few more things which you should not miss during your trip to Udvada
1) IRANSHAH ATASH BEHRAM (THE HOLY FIRE)
So here the history speaks, during the Muslim conquest in the 10th century one group of Zoroastrians fled from Khorasan (Iran) to the west coast of India in an effort to uphold their spiritual customs, dignity, and ideals. Upon touchdown, the refugee Zoroastrians founded the settlement in Sanjan, which lies approximately 30 km south of Udvada. That time ruler king Jadhav Rana allowed this peaceful community to stay in order if they follow few of their customs here in India. The Milk and Sugar Bowl story is still known today.
When Sanjan was attacked via troops of the Delhi Sultanate Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Parsis fled again, into caves close by Barhot hills, 14 km south of Sanjan. The sacred fireplace went with them. Numerous years later it turned into set up in Navsari. inside the18th century, a decision was made to return the holy flame to Sanjan, but along the manner, the clergymen preferred to staying Udvada, in which the hearth temple turned into consecrated in 1742.
So if you are a Zoroastrian obviously the first purpose of the visit should be to offer your prayers inside this holy shrine and if you are not then still you can have a glimpse of this lovely shrine from outside as Non-Zoroastrians are not allowed inside.
2) THE HERITAGE HOUSES OF PARSIS
When you are at Udwada you cannot miss having a glimpse of the old heritage houses of the Parsis who are residing in this peaceful town for so many years. This houses built has its own charm look more alike bungalow but the décor is very antique. The main residence of these heritage houses is mostly the priest who offer their services to this holy shrine of Iranshah. Every house will be accompanied by a corridor where a swing or a big relaxing chair is known as “Izzichar” in the Gujarati language. You cannot miss the sight of an old priest uncle relaxing on a swing or getting himself updated while reading the Gujarati Newspaper.
3) SUMPTUOUS LUNCH
Foodies are the other word known for the Parsee’s Zoroastrians. Their fond for food is humongous. So when you are at Udwada there are many Parsi restaurants known for Serving lovely heavy lunch. One thing which you cannot miss is the delicacy of “BOI” Indian White Mullet coated with homemade spices and deep fried. Served with Dhansak and Russian cutlets. If you are a soft drink lover you cannot miss the fizzy Masala Soda and Ice Cream Soda from a local company “SUNTA”. The food is so heavy that you cannot afford to be woked up in the afternoon, a nap post lunch becomes mandatory.
4) ZOROASTRIAN MUSEUM AND INFORMATION CENTRE
Many of your Non-Zoroastrians are curious in knowing more about this culture and living. Then if the trip is made to Udvada one should not miss devoting few minutes visiting this informative museum. This museum is only one in whole India which will give you a more detailed information about the Parsi community and tell you the entire tale of the Zoroastrian invade in India. It would also feed you with the knowledge about the significant contribution done by a Zoroastrian people and community in upbringing the feature of India. How do the Zoroastrian culture works this place will give you a deep insight.
5) A SHORT TRIP TO DEVKA BEACH
As Daman and Devka are close by Udvada you can have a short trip to the Devka Beach in the evening. It’s a Union territory where the booze lovers can find the top brands of liquor in very reasonable prices but have a care you cannot carry the liquor along with you as you cannot afford to face the legal consequences if caught while crossing the state border. Though there is a flexibility to party in lovely resorts and restaurants in Daman and Devka. The beach is surrounded by the gardens and shopping centers.
6) SHOPPING MINT LEAVES AND PARSI SWEETS
When you are above to leave this historical place you cannot miss to buy fragrant peppermint leaves which can produce a delicious aroma for your morning tea and dry jujubes from the local villagers who are into this business from so many years. Usually, there would be a group of Village ladies who would pursue you to buy only from them as an Individual. Well, it all depends on who sells at a better cost as bargaining is welcomed. Also one cannot miss to carry back lovely Parsi sweets Bhakras known as sweetbreads back home. The milk puff is a must have at Udvada. The sweet milk is churned and a puff is created at the top of the glass.