BHARUCHAS, the name of a group (panth) of Parsi Zoroastrian priests who had their headquarters at the ancient port of Bharuch (Broach) in Gujarat. Their ancestral founder was Bahrām Mōbed, brother of Zarthošt Mōbed, who founded the Bhagarias. Their territory stretched between the rivers Narmada and Māhī. They produced learned dastūrs and two famous scribes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries a.d., Rām Kāmdīn and his son Pešōtan. In the early sixteenth century Broach was repeatedly raided by the Portuguese, and was sacked by the Mughal emperor Homāyūn; and though the Parsi colony survived, no Bharucha records are preserved. An able young Bharucha was one of three Parsi priests who studied at Surat with the Iranian Dastūr Jāmāsp “Welayātī” in the 1720s, and thereafter a number of Bharuchas became Kadmīs. In 1783 their leader, “Mollā” Kāʾūs, became the first high priest of the Kadmī Dadyseth Ātaš Bahrām in Bombay.

The Bharuchas maintained close ties with the Bhagarias, and after the destruction of Sanjan (q.v.) they obtained ritual necessities from Navsari (q.v.), and sent their sons to be initiated priests there.



M. N. Kutar, Navsārīnī vadī darēmehrāh thaylā nāwarōnī fehrest (List of nāwars made in the Vadi Dar-e Mihr of Navsari) I, Bombay, 1929, introd., pp. 23, 29.

D. S. Meherjirana, Dastūrān-dastūr meherjirānā yādgārī granth (Dastūrān-dastūr Meherjirānā Memorial Volume) I, Bombay, 1947, pp. 474, 480, B. B. Patell, Pārsee Prakāsh, I, Bombay, 1878, p. 2 n. 1.

(Mary Boyce and Firoze M. P. Kotwal)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: December 15, 1989

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Vol. IV, Fasc. 2, p. 195