The Parsi Fire Temple at Royapuram – Madras

The Parsi Fire Temple

Though a small community with a few thousand at its peak population, which has shrunk to around 200 now, the Parsi community has still left an impact on the history and culture of Madras. They shot films, built theatres, had tea shops and even fashioned the water supply of Madras. Parsis first arrived in Madras around 1800 but it took a century before they built a fire temple for themselves. Jal Phiroj Clubwala Dar E Meher, popularly known as the Royapuram fire temple, is located on Arathoon Road.

Sir Dinshaw Petit of Bombay (whose granddaughter was Jinnah’s wife) donated a large sum. Phiroj Muncherji Clubwala donated another large corpus and land after he was bereaved. The grateful Parsis named the temple after Clubwala’s son.

Only Parsis and Zoroastrian Iranis are admitted into the sanctum sanctorum. The fire at the temple has never been extinguished since the construction of the temple (for over a century now). Priests tend to the fire five times a day during prayers, once even at midnight. When the German ship Emden bombed the neighbourhood, the Arathoon road became empty except for the priest who maintained the fire.



Astad Clubwala writes:

The extract from DT NEXT article on Royapuram, under “The Parsi Fire Temple at Royapuram – Madras” has incorrect information regarding the donation of the Fire Temple.
The brochure issued on the Centenary Celebrations of the Jal Phiroj Clubwala Dar-e-Meher contains a section on the background and brief history of the Zoroastrians of Chennai.
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