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A few in number but most vivacious Parsi clan thriving in the garden city Bengaluru

  • Written By अनुभा जैन, लेखिका पत्रकार on Tuesday, September 21,2022
Photo Credit Goes to अनुभा जैन, लेखिका पत्रकार

The Parsis are a nature and peace-loving community. People in this community fear from almighty and worship fire. According to them apart from fire, earth, air, and water, all four elements of nature are sacred. Burial and cremation are prohibited in their community. Their temple is called Agiary (Fire Temple). Built-in rare Iranian architecture like structure, the Parsi Fire Temple in Bangalore is located on Queen's road. In the Sanctum Sanctorum of the fire temple there is an eternal fire burning all the time. They use the only sandalwood for this fire. Only the priest of the Parsi community is allowed to enter the Sanctum Sanctorum. Similarly, The Parsee Tower of Silence - also, know as the Dokhma or a well - was built in 1940 by the Parsi clan so that the Zoroastrian way of disposing of the dead would not be affected. To prevent the pollution of earth or fire, the bodies of the dead are placed in the Dokhma and exposed to the sun, and even for birds to prey upon.

Parsis connection with India dates back to 9th century. At the time of the Mysore Wadiyar dynasty Parsees were seen in Karnataka. Between 1888-89 they migrated to Bengaluru city and allowed to follow their tradition and custom. Following the ideology of simple living but high thinking, Parsis with ease adopted the lifestyle and way of living of Bangalorean too.

Now, there are about 300 Parsi families in Bangalore. Parsis are staunch believers of their religion and religious beliefs. The Parsi families who were working for the British army settled in the cantonment area in the city. According to Bengaluru Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman Trustee member Yezdi N Unvalla, “There are merely 700 community members of Parsi clan in Bengaluru”. Though small in number the community is quite active in the city.

In an interview with DNA, Phiroze Bharda, former president of the Bangalore Zoroastrian Association, said, “Parsi settlements in Bangalore dates back to the early 1930s. At that time there were only 150 Parsis in the whole of Bangalore. Most of them were working in the Indian army. Another group of retired community men flocked from various parts of the country to the city because they wanted to settle down in the Pensioner’s Paradise. But there were very few who came hunting for business prospects. However, it was the IT boom that drew most of the younger lot to Bangalore. They are keen on pursuing a career in the industry.”