Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Mhow and Dahanu Agiaries Celebrate their Salgreh

Today is Adar Roj nd Sherevar Mahino, YZ 1381. Tuesday, 24th Jan 2010.

The agiaries of Mhow, Madhya Pradesh and Dahanu, Maharashtra celebrate their Salgrehs.

Mhow (Indore) Agiary : The Mhow Anjuman Daremeher (Adarian) was consecrated in the year YZ 1215 ( 5 March 1846) and is thus 165 years old today.

The History panel in Mr. Giara’s book, Edition 1, says: “Mhow boasts of an agiary, the only one in North and Central India to house an Atash Adarian.” Is this true? I thought Kanpur in North India too had an Atash Adarian.

We also read that “In 1840, when the Mhow dokhma was built, an atash dadgah was also installed in the daremeher built out of public contributions by the Anjuman. On Roz 9, Mah 6, 1215 A.Y. 5th March 1846, an adarian was consecrated under the guidance of Dastur Hormasji Jamaspji Jamaspasa. The main contributors were Seth Pestonji Meherwanji Dotiwalla, Seth Jeevanji Edulji Appoo and Seth Meherwanji Rustomji Masalawalla. An atash adarian was consecrated in 1887.

The Agiary was renovated, reconsecrated and opened on Roz 9, Adar Mah 11, Bahman, 1285 A.Y., 16th July, 1916 A.C.

The agiary was rebuilt at a cost of Rs 16.5 lakhs and consecrated by Ervad Jehangirji and Farrokh Turel in 1996. Mr Jehanbux T. Billimoria, architect, Bombay and Mr. Adil Marfatia, Engineer, Indore helped and guided the reconstruction work.

It is a recent RCC structure with a total absence of any motifs except the farohar at the entrance porch.

Mhow is a semi hill station situated on the Malwa plateau, less congested, economical and has an exhilarating climate.”

Dahanu Agiary : The Seth Cawasshah Irani Daremeher (Dadgah) was consecrated in the year YZ 1309 (11 Feb 1940) and is thus 72 years old today.

Congratulations to the Dahanu agiary too, for its Platinum Jubilee by turning 70 today. A lot of Irani Zarathushtis reside in Dahanu and they have chikoo, nariel (coconut) and other plantations in their wadis.

The History portion in Mr Giara’s book mentions “On 11th February 1940, Roz 9, Mah 7, Kadmi 1309 A.Y. Dr. Dadiba Navroji Saher of Bombay opened the daremeher and its two buildings at Dahanu built at an appropriate cost of Rs 15,000/- He thanked Seth Cawasshah Irani who donated land for the daremeher and built the hall as also Seth Hormuz Kaikhushru Irani who made valuable contribution of Rs 15,000/- for the daremeher. (Parsi Prakash Vol. VII, P.605). Seth Darabshah Ratanji Vakil donated a plot of land near the station, in memory of his late brother, Cooverji, for the Dahanu agiary to build houses and use the income towards maintenance fund. (Vol. VII, P. 610)

In the absence of a place of worship even to perform a jashan or rituals, Zoroastrians had to go to Gholvad (12 kms from Dahanu) to fetch a mobed and to leave him. As the population increased the founder Hormusji Kaikhushru Irani and other fellow Zoroastrians helped to establish their own lovely place of worship. Ervad Manekshah Bhada served for 35 years.

A simple structure with a farohar in the entrance porch.”

Info received via email from Tehmton Adenwala