Ava: A Living Tradition of Reverence for Water Among the Zoroastrians

  • Shernaz Cama
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


Traditional systems of water preservation assume significance in a world facing acute water shortage. When Zoroastrians fled from religious persecution in Persia to live in India (8th–9th century A.D.), they carried their ancient wisdom of conservation of water. The Parsi cistern (tanka-s) of Bharuch are testament to the fact that they adapted their ancient badgirs to local circumstances. This paper examines the traditional tanka system used in Parsi houses of Gujarat in perspective to historical Zoroastrian water harvesting systems from Central Asia. It takes the water management system used in Parsi houses of Bharuch as a study case which proves capability, today, of answering urging water issues. Studying the tanka could offer a solution to rejuvenate this “Dying Wisdom”.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shernaz Cama
    • 1
  1. 1.Lady Shri Ram CollegeNew DelhiIndia

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