Alls Well: Bhikha Behram Well in Fort Mumbai

The Parsi community may not be the biggest in terms of numbers, but when it comes to culture and

heritage they have plenty to offer. The Bhika Behram Well in Fort, a Grade I heritage structure, is one such monument.

The vast expanse of Cross Maidan was a matter of concern for travellers who came there during the summer season. It is to address this concern that a prominent Parsi named Bhikaji, who had come from Bharuch, dug this fresh water well. Situated at the southern end of Cross Maidan, near the Central Telegraph Office, it first opened to travellers in 1725. The pavilion was added in the 1950s. The well and its stone canopy are decorated with beautiful stained glass.

Behram, a Parsi, was passing through this region, when he built this well for travellers. The well has a perennial source of sweet water, which is remarkable as most of the water in the area is brackish owing to the proximity to the Arabian Sea. The site is held sacred by the Parsi community.

The well and pavilion premises are highly venerated by the Zoroastrian community. It has received structural and management care in the form of philanthropic contributions. The structure had reached a state of disrepair and needed urgent repairs. The conservation committee took over to see that the repair specifications are taken into action without damaging the essential architectural and historic character of the building.

The Parsis treat the well and its surroundings as sacred because it contains fresh water even though it is close to the sea. They pray here with their foreheads pressed against the stone rim. It is said that if anyone lights a lamp near it, all his wishes would be fulfilled.

  • Roshan Mehta

    As this well is now a holy place I assume it is closed to those of other faiths. If this is the case, is it not sad that a well dug by a parsi for the use of travellers is now barred to travellers by its ‘holy’ status.

  • rustom

    Most of those who belittle the community from within due to ignorance, and for personal tastes.
    Your assumption is wrong Roshan as even water tankers fill up from here.

    As far as maintaning the sanctity, please refer to all religions that maintain theirs and are respected be it the hindus, muslims chrisians etc..

    Also all their principles are respected and most think it would be morally wrong to either fault their beliefs or tey and change it.
    By such I mean the vaticans, the holy communio0n, the various hindu consecrated temples, the mecca etc..

    Ofcourse for you those who built the agiaries and atashbehrams, the dakhma were all fools since they laid down rules….
    but alas we see your contribution towards what you have gained from in comparrison of those whose principles you mock who gave for the likes of you to criticise