The Bai Maneckbai Nusserwanji Chenoy ‘Agairi’ or Zorastrian Fire Temple turned 111 on Saturday. One of the oldest structures in the city, its foundation stone was laid by Putlibai Manecksaw Chenoy and the Fire Temple was consecrated on October 16, 1904. It was awarded the HUDA Heritage Building award in 2001.
To mark the occasion, Parsis in the city had a prayer which was followed by ‘Humbandagi’ homage to the founder of the Agiary- Bai Maneckbai Nusserwanji Chenoy. As is customary among the Parsis, it was followed by light refreshments. Ervad Mehernosh H Bharucha, head priest, said, “The Aafrin-prayers is not just about the welfare of the Parsi community but for the well being of all.”
In the evening a contributory thanksgiving ‘Machi’ prayer was offered to the ‘Padshah Saheb’ or Holy Fire in the temple. The second and third prayers of ‘Atash ni niyash’ were said in total darkness with the only illumination being the light from the flames inside.
The Parsi community in Hyderabad though small in number has contributed a lot for the social, economic and political development of the state. The Zoroastrians of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad thus renewed their spiritual strength. The Parsi population today stands close to 1,200.