Towers of Silence: 3 Ancient Structures with Mystical Power

CCalvin September 30, 2023 7:16 AM

The Towers of Silence, also known as Dakhmas, are ancient structures that have stood the test of time, etching a mystic narrative into our collective consciousness. These towers, found mainly in Iran and India, were used in Zoroastrian rituals to dispose of the dead, a process that was deeply entwined with the mystic beliefs of their time. Let's explore three of these ancient structures that still resonate with mystical power.

The Towers of Silence in Iran

The Iranian Towers of Silence or Dakhmas are perhaps the most well-known of this ancient structure. Located mainly in Yazd, a city known for its Zoroastrian heritage, these towers became the final resting place for deceased Zoroastrians. Their bodies were laid on the towers to be consumed by vultures, a practice rooted in the belief that decomposing bodies would pollute the elements of earth and fire.

One of the most famous Towers of Silence in Iran is the Yazd Dakhma. Standing on the outskirts of the city, this tower is a stark reminder of a bygone era. It was in active use until the 1960s, when traditional Zoroastrian sky burials were prohibited by law. Today, it stands as a monument, echoing with mystical power and the stories of the souls it once helped to free.

Towers of Silence in India

In India, the Towers of Silence are known as Dokhmas. These towers, primarily located in Mumbai, were integral to the Parsi community, the Zoroastrians of India. Like their Iranian counterparts, the Indian Towers of Silence were used for sky burials.

The Malabar Hill Tower of Silence is one of the most well-known Dokhmas. Although no longer in use for its original purpose, it remains a vital part of Parsi history and culture.

Lesser Known Towers of Silence

Apart from Iran and India, there are a few lesser-known Towers of Silence. One such is the Tower of Silence in Turkmenistan. Although not much is known about its history, it is believed to have been used in similar Zoroastrian rituals, adding an extra layer of mystery.

The towers of silence, despite their grim purpose, held a sacred and mystical significance for the Zoroastrian community. These ancient structures were more than just burial towers; they were a link to the divine, a testament to their beliefs in the purity of the elements, and a physical representation of their spiritual journey.

Let's take a closer look at these three towers in the table below:

Tower Location Notable Features
Yazd Dakhma Yazd, Iran Well-preserved tower, clear demonstration of Zoroastrian burial traditions
Malabar Hill Tower of Silence Mumbai, India One of the oldest and most significant Dokhmas in India
Tower of Silence in Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Lesser-known tower with mysterious history

Each of these towers, steeped in history and mysticism, continue to captivate us, drawing us closer to the enigmatic world of the past. The Towers of Silence, with their imposing stature and eerie silence, still resonate with the mystical power that once permeated their stones.

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