Hinduism was in existence in the Caucasus Region, Iran and Urals.
The Ancient Kingdom was known as UttaraKuru.
Before Zoroastrianism came to hold its sway in Persia Hinduism was practiced.
I shall be posting on Zend-Avesta, the Scripture of Zoroastrians and The Vedas.
The Temple at Baku Ateshgah Azerbaijan contains inscription stating with Shri Ganeshaya Namah, the traditional Hindu way of praying.”
Sanskrit (above) and Persian (below) inscriptions from the Ateshgah (fire temple) of Baku, Azerbaijan. The Sanskrit inscription is a religious Hindu invocation in old Devanagari script while the Persian inscription is a couplet. The Sanskrit invocation begins with: I salute Lord Ganesh (श्री गणेशाय नमः), a standard beginning of most Hindu prayers. The second line venerates the holy fire Jwala Ji (जवालाजी). The inscription is dated to Vikram Samvat 1802 (संवत १८०२, i.e. 1745 CE). Unlike the several Sanskrit (written in Devanagari) and Punjabi (written in Gurmukhi) inscriptions in the temple, the Persian quatrain below is the sole Persian one and, though ungrammatical, also refers to the fire (آتش) and dates it to Hijri 1158 (١١٥٨, i.e. again 1745 CE). (From the source, “a quatrain in not very good Persian, the mistakes of which might have been made by a Hindu imperfectly acquainted with the language …”.)
The Baku Ateshgah (from Persian: آتشگاه Atashgāh, Azerbaijani: Atəşgah or “Fire Temple” is an ancient Hindu castle-like religious temple dedicated to Jwala Ji in Surakhani, a suburb of greater Baku, Azerbaijan, which was initially recognized as a Zoroastrian fire worship place. “Atash” (آتش) is the Persian word for fire. The pentagonal complex, which has a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks and a tetrapillar-altar in the middle, was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was abandoned after 1883 when oil and gas plants were established in the vicinity, ending the flow of natural gas to the temple and extinguishing the holy fire.
The Baku Ateshgah was a pilgrimage and philosophical centers of fire worshipers from Multan (now in Pakistan), who were involved in trade with the Caspian area via the famous “Grand Trunk Road”. The four holy elements of their belief were: ateshi (fire), badi (air), abi (water), and heki (earth). The temple ceased to be worshiped after 1883 with the installation of petroleum plants (industry) at Surakhany. The complex was turned into a museum in 1975. The annual number of visitors to the museum is 15,000.
The Temple of Fire “Ateshgah” was nominated for List of World Heritage Sites, UNESCO in 1998 by Gulnara Mehmandarova — president of Azerbaijan Committee of ICOMOS—International Council on Monuments and Sites . It was also featured on an episode of Globe Trekker.’
Azar’, meaning ‘fire’ in Old Persian, is derived from Avestan ‘atar’ which means ‘fire’.
Avestan is closely linked to Sanskrit. In Sanskrit, ‘agira’ (अगिर), ‘ashira’ (अशिर ), ‘agni’ ( अग्नि ), and ‘ushij’ (उशिज् ) all mean fire.
The Avestan ‘atar’ derives from Sanskrit ‘agira’, just as the Latin ‘igneus’ derives from Sanskrit ‘agni’.
The Avestan ‘Payegan’ which means ‘Protector’ derives from Sanskrit ‘palaka’ (पालक) which also means ‘protector’.
The suffix ‘gana’ (गण) in Sanskrit means ‘a group’ or ‘troop’. ‘Palak-gaan’ in Sanskrit would therefore mean ‘protectors’ or ‘guardians’.
In Rigveda ‘groups of gods’ were referred to as ‘devagana’ ( देवगण)
The first syllable of ‘Zarath-ustra’ may well be a distortion of ‘harit’ meaning ‘golden’. In Persian ‘zarat’ also means ‘golden’ and is derived from Sanskrit ‘harit’ via Avestan.
The Sanskrit ‘ash’ (अष्) means ‘to shine’. ‘Zarathustra’ then means ‘one who shines like gold’.