Bhika Behram Well

Jul 25, 2012, 10:00 IST | Fiona Fernandez

Located at one end of the Cross Maidan, the Bhika Behram Well is one of the most sacred places of worship for the Zoroastrian community in the city. Also known as the Bhika Behram-no-kuvo, it is a freshwater well built in 1725.

The striking fact about this well is that it always has fresh water despite its proximity to the sea. During the Zoroastrian month of Aran, when the divinity of water is worshipped, this well is lined with oil lamps, transforming it into a breathtakingly beautiful site. The site has an interesting history. Bhikaji Behramji came from Broach (in Gujarat) to Bombay in 1715.

He was arrested and imprisoned by the Marathas, who mistook him for a Muslim. It was only after he showed them his sacred vest (sudreh) and cord (kusti) that he was released. He had earlier vowed that if set free he would build a well for his community and he kept his word.

The well and its canopy were named after him ten years later. In fact, in its early days, during high tide, seawater would lap its outer perimeter, yet the water inside was always fresh water. Today, it is a heritage site and still continues to yield abundant water throughout the year. 

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