Holy fire of Parsis was once protected by guards of Baroda State. The royal Gaekwad family also supported Parsi community and safeguarded holy fire for centuries together.
In 18th century, few people from Parsi community approached Maharaja Pilajirao Gaekwad for protection, which was offered by Maharaja & also since then holy fire was also been safeguarded.
Pilajirao Gaekwad, who ruled Baroda State from 1721 to 1732, had taken upon himself the responsibility of defending the Parsi holy fires in his realm by establishing “Bawaji ni Paltan” (Parsi platoon). Contingents of 200 members of the force were located in each of the towns of Bulsar, Udvada, Sanjan and Navsari for the protection of the sacred fires during turbulent times.
“My fire cannot be orphaned,” is a quote ascribed to Damajirao Gaekwad who ruled from 1732 to 1768, when asked to spare troops for the Third Battle of Panipat where the Maratha Empire encountered Afghan troops in 1761.
In time of battles also, the royal Gaekwads never withdrew guards which protected Parsi Community, harassed by invaders.
Maharaja Sayajirao had once said…
“The word of promise given by a Parsi is as precious to me as My Own Gaekwari ‘Rapaiya’ currency. It is bound to be honored.”
Partial Source: ToI