Home > Calcutta (Kolkata), General > Parsi (Zoroastrian) Fire Temple, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Parsi (Zoroastrian) Fire Temple, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Zoroastrianism is a religion based on the teaching of prophet Zoroaster. Founded in the 6th century BC, Zoroastrianism is considered one of the oldest religions of the world.

Parsi Fire Temple, Metcalfe Street (Bandook Gali)

Parsi Fire Temple, Metcalfe Street (Bandook Gali)

The Parsi first arrived in India well before the birth of Christ and settled in the West Coast of India. About 200 years ago the Parsis first settled in Calcutta (Kolkata). The first Parsi Temple was first set up in 1839 but it was abandoned.

Foundation Plaque, Parsi Fire Temple, Calcutta

Foundation Plaque, Parsi Fire Temple, Calcutta

The present fire temple of Anjuman Atash Adran was established in 1912 by  Ervad Dhunjeebhoy Byramjee Mehta and operates to this day. Anjuman Atash Adran Temple is located on the Metcalfe Street (Popularly called the Bandook Gali) in the Boubazar area of Central Calcutta (Kolkata).

The Parsi are fire worshipers and the holy flame eternally burns in the Parsi Fire Temple. The Parsi Temple is out of reach of Non Parsis . But the during the first week of December 2010 the temple was repaired and holy fire removed from the alter. Non Parsis were allowed in the Fire Temple and I was luck enough to shoot inside the temple.

Faravahar, Primary Symbol of Zoroastrianism

Faravahar, Primary Symbol of Zoroastrianism

The ground floor of the Parsi Temple consists of a large hall usually used for social gathering. It also contains a century old grand father’s clock. The walls contain a bras plate of Faravahar, the Primary Symbol of Zoroastrianism. Faravahar consists of a winged disc, with a male upper body.

The second floor consists of a similar hall, with beautiful  marble flooring. The circular alter, at the centre of the hall housed the holy fire (removed during my visit). Opening in the roof above the fire allowed the smoke to escape but prevented the rain from coming in.

Stained Glass, Parsi Fire Temple, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Stained Glass, Parsi Fire Temple, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Each of the doors and windows are crowned with a semi – circular stained glass, depicting different aspects of Zoroastrian iconography, ranging from the holy fire to the winged disc of Faravahar. The fire temple also houses beautiful frosted glass work.

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List of my Blog entries on Calcutta (Kolkata)

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  1. October 31, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    as a bengali married to a parsi i found this quite an interesting read. where exactly in boubazar is this? used to hang around there a lot in my college days

  2. November 14, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Thanks Kalyan, intermarriages in the Parsi community is the rarest of rare things. Nice to meet a non Parsi marrying a Parsi.

    If you are heading from the Cental Ave towards lal bazar along Bou Bazar St. the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) will be on tour right and exacatly on the opposite is a lane called Metcalf St (or Bandook Gali). Just 10 mts down the lane will take you to the Parsi Temple. It will be on the right opposite Agha Khan Palace.

    Most likely you or even your wife will not be allowed to enter the temple.

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