A Hindu temple in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas suffered extensive damage in a fire last month. According to reports, Iranian officials blamed the temple fire on ‘religious artefacts catching alight’.
Iran International posted video footage of the aftermath of the fire inside the Hindu temple –
فرجام دانش، مدیرعامل سازمان آتشنشانی شهرداری #بندر_عباس از وقوع آتشسوزی در غرفههای ضلع شمالی معبد هندوهای بندرعباس خبر داد و گفت آتشسوزی اطفا شده است و اکنون نیز در حال علتیابی هستیم. pic.twitter.com/VqhQeuSRTu
— ايران اينترنشنال (@IranIntl) May 16, 2020
The extensive damage to the temple, and the fact that it was one of three religious minority sites in Iran – a Christian cemetery and holy Jewish site being the other two – that caught fire on 3 successive days, gives rise to suspicion over the official version behind the fire.
As per reports, there is just one Hindu temple in the whole of Iran (the one in Bandar Abbas), and 11 total in the Middle East with Yemen surprisingly having 5 temples.
According to persiadigest.com, the Hindu Temple or ‘Bot Gori’ (Bot Goran) in Bandar Abbas was built in 1892 CE by Hindu merchants, in part to serve the religious needs of Indian soldiers who launched a military expedition under the British colonial army in the south of Iran.
“The (temple) building “has an area of 100 meters and consists of a middle rectangular room made of wood in the northern part, three rooms on the north side, one room and a staircase leading to the dome on the western side and two rooms on the south side…The dome of the temple, unmatched in Iran, is located over of the main hall.”
However, going by TripAdvisor reviews, the temple appears to be more like a museum and the visitor photos show a Buddha statue and Sri Krishna painting kept inside – it is not clear if the temple has deity who is worshipped regularly.
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