Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Get a glimpse of Gujarat’s fire temple in city

For the next ten days, the city’s art and history enthusiasts can get a glimpse of the timeless charm of the Zoroastrian pilgrimage capital, Udvada, enclosed in 60 odd photo frames. As part of the exhibition titled Udvada, city-based photographer Shantanu Das has captured the quiet hamlet of Gujarat in its distinct charm. The exhibition has been organised by industrialist Parvez Damania, who belongs to one of the nine priestly families of Udvada.

Published in the Hindustan Times

“I realised there is no photographic record or documentation of Udvada that is home to the 270-year-old Iranshah Atash-Behram,” said Damania. “Renowned not just for its old-world charm, but also for being a concentrated microcosm of the Parsi community, there are not more than 60 residents surviving in the town today,” said Damania, adding that there are not more than 7 priests in all.

For Das, capturing images of the rituals practised inside the temple was a challenge because he was not allowed to step inside.

“Since I do not belong to the nine priestly families, I had to capture the images of the devotees and customs through the iron gates,” said Das, who has been working on this assignment since December 2010.

“I tried to capture the town in all its distinct glory by highlighting the religious identity and lifestyle of the locals. They were very hospitable and enthusiastic,” he added.

The organisers are planning to publish the photographs in a book format apart from exhibiting the pictures in other cities.

The exhibition is being held at Tao Atrium Gallery, Sajan Plaza, 165, Dr Annie Beasant Road, Worli and will be open from 11am to 7pm up to April 7. It will be open on Sundays.