Mumbai

Della Tower to get own fire temple

Devotional space: Architect Jimmy Mistry, who is also a resident of Della Tower, at the fire temple coming up on the premises.  

Mumbai: Della Tower in Dadar Parsi Colony will soon have a fire temple of its own, says prominent Parsi architect Jimmy Mistry. The well-known apartment complex was also designed by Mr. Mistry, who drew from Persian architecture and the ancient Achaemenian style of building.

Mr. Mistry said the enthronement of the fire temple will be performed on Thursday by high priests Dr. Firoze Kotwal from Mumbai, Khurshed Dastoor from Udwada and Cyrus Dastoor from Surat.. “The dadgah saheb (fire temple) will have a unconsecrated fire. The priests will perform rituals as per requirement. We have also taken approvals and guidance from religious scholars.”

He said the fire temple will be housed in a room on the ground floor of the 20-storey building. The ceremony on Thursday will also involve 14 more priests, who will perform rituals. The ceremony will be open to the community.

According to Mr. Mistry, a Persian exhibition centre will also come up on the ground floor by next year, which will house a collection of documentary and pictorial references and depictions of Parsi history. “Parsi youth have a sort of disconnect with history and the rituals we follow. While I am aim to keep the exhibition centre open for all, I hope it will attract a lot of community youth as well.”

‘Purity fears unfounded’

The fire temple will have a full time priest who will interact with the community youngsters who want to know more about their history and culture. “I have founded the Parsi Resource Group, comprising priests. I plan to get an interactive priest for the fire temple, who can engage with youngsters easily. He needs to speak the language that the youth understand.”

Meanwhile, some community members have expressed their reluctance to having a fire temple on the ground floor of a residential building, fearing it would affect the holy fire’s purity. Laying to rest all doubts, Mr Dastoor said it will be similar to a holy fire at home that Parsis have always had.

He said, “Earlier, every Parsi household would have a holy fire. This is also a similar unconsecrated fire. There are three types of holy fire: atash behram, the holiest of consecrated fires; atash adaran, the second-grade fire, and the atash dadgah, the simplest form of sacred fire. “The atash dadgah can be consecrated or unconsecrated, like in this case.”

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Printable version | Nov 17, 2020 12:36:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/della-tower-to-get-own-fire-temple/article24018334.ece

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