What is the importance of the Alburz mountains in Zoroastrian religion? (TMY – Jame Jamshed of 30-7 and 6-8- 17)

  1. The Alburz/Alborz mountain range is situated in the Northern part of modern day Iran. It stretches from the borders of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the west, runs through the southern part of the Caspian Sea, and ends in the east at the borders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
  2. Alburz is the longest mountain range in West Asia. It is 60 to 130 kilometers wide and consists mainly of sedimentary rocks over a granite core. Its highest peak is Mount Demavand which is located in the city of Amol in the province of Mazandaran.
  3. Alburz is referred to in cosmological, historical as well as religious Zoroastrian writings. In the Avesta, Alburz is referred to as Hara-bereza, and is remembered at several places, including Sarosh Yasht Vadi, where it is mentioned that Haoma worshipped Sarosh Yazad at the summit of Alburz. In  Pahlavi, Alburz mountains are known as Harburz.
  4. In the Zamyad Yasht it is referred to as the first mountain to appear on the earth. Ahura Mazda created it for Meher Yazad, so that the heavenly bodies could go around it. At its peak there is no darkness, no night, no cold or hot wind, no pestilence nor diseases. No clouds can reach there. It helps the Ameshaspands to oversee the entire material world. The heavenly bodies stars, moon and the sun moves around its peak. According to Pahlavi sources, rivers flow down from the Alburz to Khvaniras.
  5. The Shahnameh has several references to the Alburz range. Firdausi, often used the word Alburz as a simile to indicate anything enormous. Faridun’s mother Faranak left him on Mt. Alburz in the care of a holy man at the age of three, where he was trained. At the age of sixteen he came down from there along with Kaveh to defeat the evil Zohak.
  6. Saam, the king of Zabulistan, cast away his son Zaal, who had golden hair all over his body, on the Alburz, where a saintly man, who could metamorphose himself into the bird Simurgh, looked after him. He was found sixteen years later and brought back to the city.
  7. Decades later, Zaal sent his son Rustam to Alburz to look for Kae Kobad and bring him to take over the reigns of Iran by commencing the Kayanian dynasty. King Kae Kaus, its second king, ordered the foot of Alburz to be excavated to serve as stables for war horses.
  8. The Alburz range is also the dwelling place of Peshotan, brother or king Kae Vishtasp, who was given the blessing of an immortal body by prophet Zarathushtra.
  9. According to certain Zoroastrian traditions, the Alburz range, especially Mount Demavand is house to several exalted souls, called Abeds and Magavs, who reside in an invisible dimension and look after the welfare of Zarthoshtis in particular and the people of the world in general.

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