Category Archives: Doongerwadi Process

Can we revive the Dokhma at Surat ?

Dear Friends,

These are a few snaps of our Dokhma at village Damka near Hazira, Dist Surat, (About 20 Kms from Surat city) which had been built in the year 1915. It is really constructed in a very scientific way.   Today it is just a history, as it is lying unused on a barren land, which ofcourse can be revived with a little refurbishment and plantations around.   The area is thriving with good number of vultures, moreover the Nature Club Surat,(  is working hard since 2005 on vulture conservation project and have attained success by increasing its population.    Why can’t we parsis extend a helping hand to the nature club to increase vulture population in its natural habitat and revive this dokhma in its real sense by reviving the missing component of the system “Vultures” ?     

Regards   Zubin B. MistryInsurance Surveyor & Loss Assessor Surat.Mo. 098241 11138

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Association for performance of Death Ceremonies


A Society by the name of The Association For Performance Of The First Year Necessary Death Ceremonies Of The Parsi Zoroastrians was founded in the year 1942 for the purposes of performing the essential death ceremonies of Parsi Zoroastrian individuals who desire to perform the same, but do not have any relatives who will get it performed. Presently considerable expenses are incurred for after death ceremonies and many of our brethren may not be aware of the ceremonies necessarily needed to be performed. The reasons for these are many, ignorance being one of them. There are Pa rsi Zoroastrian who do not have any heirs or for several other reasons harbor fear whether after their life time, essential death ceremonies will be performed or not for the purpose of peace of their Ruyan and it is the aim of the Society that the death ceremonies are performed of the said individuals keeping in mind the sentiments attached to the Zoroastrian tenets.

Presently, the activities of the Society are being revived based on the need of several Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians, who have requested revival of the same. The Society is headed by Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Karanjia, Chairman of the Association, and ably guided by:

Ervad Aspandiar Dadachanji, Trustee, Panthaky, Vatcha Gandhi Agiary.

Ms. Shernaz D. Mehta, Trustee, Vice- Chairman, Zoroastrian Co-operative Bank Ltd.

Mr. Ma nek J. Kalyaniwal la, Trustee, Advocate & Solicitor, High Court, Bombay.

Ervad Pakzad Y Katpitia, Administrator, Panthaky, Mithaiwala Agiary.

The Society is in talks with various Agiaries/Atash Behrams for a tie up for the performance of the first year After Death Ceremonies of the Zoroastrians, according to the area in which they live, and even the Zoroastrian individuals living outside Mumbai/lndia can avail of the Scheme offered by the Society.

The Society has presently two Options. It covers the essential after death ceremonies for one year including Muktad and is presently priced at Rs. 40,000/-. Option 2 is the economical scheme priced at Rs. 25,000/-, further details can be obtained from the Administrator from the Association’s office. The Zoroastrian individuals desiring to become members of this Scheme can contact the Society at the following address: Ervad Pakzad Y. Katpitia, Mithaiwala Agiary Compound, Jehangir Daji Street, Sleater Road, Grant Road (West), Mumbai 400007. Phone No. 8080222227, email: Zoroastrians who desire to get their first year after death ceremonies performed should become members of the Society by paying a nominal sum of Rs.51/- and thereafter can opt for any of the schemes mentioned above.

The Society is registered as per the Society’s Registration Act and also under the Bombay Public Trust Act and is being looked after by its Board of Trustees. Community members may take advantage of this Scheme depending on their needs. A General Meeting of the Association will be held on Saturday, 276 August 2011 at the administrative office of the Association at 10 am.

Process of Consigning to Doongerwadi , Mumbai , from Overseas

Baname Khuda.

Process of Consigning to Doongerwadi , Mumbai , from Overseas

Why Dokhmenashini ?

Importance of Dokhmenashini:Please refer to recording by Dr.Chiniwalla on Dokhmenashini  at BPP website, linked through

Returning the deceased for his/her last rites requires proper pre planning and teamwork.

The project needs to be broken up in smaller parts and each part needs to be executed with precision.   It is not difficult if properly planned and coordinated.  Total costs thus far have been less/compatible to burialexpenses, if one person / family member is accompanying  the corpse.

This full brief is based on various personal experiences on consigning toMumbai  from California, USA, only, and is predicated on proper planning and back up support in Mumbai.  Hopefully with this initiative,  volunteers from other countries, will share their process as  requirements  of each county/ state/province/country differ.  It also assumes death due to natural causes only, without contagious disease.Before deciding to consign to Doongerwadi please refer to official website of BPP at  to ensure procedure/eligibility etc. at Doongerwadi.

The various parts of the project are:

  1.  Most important-Tarikats (spiritual disciplines) to be followed.. Please contact your family in Mumbai.
  2.  Contact  your panthak and family mobed  in Mumbai,in case you are not sure about 4 day obsequies.
  3. Arrangements to be made immediately upon death.
  4. Documents to prepare for a) Arrival in India and Doongerewadi b) Indian embassy c) Transportation. Clearly all these documents have to comply with US Federal and state regulations.
  5. Arrangements  to be made prior arrival of the ruvaan at Mumbai.
  6. Clearing the body in Mumbai and transporting to Doongerwadi  the same day.

1. Pre planning :

A) Identify an experienced and established mortuary .  It is a great support system to advice on latest requirements , documents  procedures, shipment  and travel rates,   and relevant website of Indian Embassy(keeps changing) .

B )Bein touch with your family members in Mumbai and start 4 days obsequies (except Geh Sarna ) immediately upon last breath,  with your family panthak in Mumbai. In addition, you may also carry out the same obsequies(except Geh Sarna)  at place of death, if you have an access to a mobed.

C) Plan on someone to personally hand carry required documents (listed below)  to be notarized by Indian embassy in US.A proper contact needs tobe establishedto save time.  With advanced planning this can be done in a day.

D)It is important to bear in mind that corpses to India can  be cleared only if embalmed . This consists of removing blood from the body and injecting  formaldehyde in its place to delay rigor mortis (decomposition).Embalming adds to transshipment weight. An elegant, light coffin is necessary to limit costs. White coffins are available.

2. Arrangements upon death :

A) Light a diva at deceased’s head and have someone pray Ashem Vohu continuously

B) Arrange for the body to be transported to morgue immediately

C) Start four day obsequies see 1 B)

D)Ask morgue to prepare body for air shipment to Mumbai .Embalm the body as soon as possible

E) If possible, wash the body with Taro with help of family/humdeens.

F) Prepare relevant documents.

G) Alert family members in Mumbai  see 4 below. Also alert volunteer team detailed in 4, 5 .

I) Always double check with Doongerwadi and volunteers in 4,about all  documents required prior shipping the body from overseas. Make sure all original sets for India and place of departure are prepared.

3. Documents

Death certificate (cause of death-natural cause ),embalming certificate , a certificate stating that death was not due to any contagious disease, flight schedule on airline letter head.  All documents need to be notarized by Indian embassy.Prepare seven copies of each document ,including two originals. In addition  a no objection certificate will have to be obtained or arrival Mumbai,.see 5) Clearing the body.

4. Arrangements prior to arrival In Mumbai :

A) Inform family members who should coordinate with flight details to have Doongerwadi Hearse ready upon arrival,notifying bungli etc. All Doongerwadi details, phone numbers are available on BPP website, or they can be made  available through volunteers below.

B) Mr. Mehernosh Fitter  has kindly volunteered to help in this  process. His experience , connections can be very helpful for swift, seamless clearance . If you need to contact him he can be reached at Mumbai ( Tel 2412 2999, Cell; 98201 57534, Fax; 2416 2886)   He has received  consigned bodies at Sahar airport in the past and helped clear them with family members.

C) Ms. Kashmira Rao has kindly consented to volunteer   to help out with the coordinating process(at Doongerwadi only). She can be reached at Mumbai cell 91- 9833199985 e-mail:

5 Clearing the body :

Since volunteers have kindly consented to take care of this detail please advise family members to contact and thoroughly  plan the procedure with them .It involves clearing the body with customs and health department, making statements at Sahar airport police station who may ask to open the coffin and site the corpse,  making a panchnama and obtaining a no objection certificate. Police,Customs , Health Doongerwadi all need copies of relevant documents.It must be stressed to  family members that planning saves a lot of time  to consign to Doongerwadi .

The whole process with proper planning and coordination  takes about six days from US .

Kindly note that the whole process is to facilitate the last rights of the deceased and the very important GehSarna Ceremony which can only to be carried out in a Dokhma and nowhere else .

In US, Ms. Silloo Mehta has helped and guided  several families in these procedures. She can be reached at: 949-551-5252 

Courtesy : Sam Billimoria, Mehernosh Fitter, Kashmira Rao

Late Jehangirji Chiniwala Recording on Dokhmenashini

Following is recording in MP3 format of lecture delivered by Late Jehangirji Chinwalla on Dokhmenashini, date unknown, and is available on line. This recording is the 1st baj no melavdo of Late Ervad Dr. Edulji Hormuzji Koyaji(Poona).The chief guest is Late Dasturji Dr.Hormazdiar K Mirza.The transcript of this lecture will surely be found in the Parsi Avaz newspaper files.This recording is done by the kshnoomn lover Late Diniyar Mistry (Jogeshwari, Malcolm Baugh). The above info is given by KK.

Thanking Behram Dhabhar and Aspi Tavaria for digitizing and distributing this lecture.
The link is provided below:-

Best wishes,

Firdosh K. Sukhia

Mehernosh Fitter

If ever a Zarathosti would like to transport a corpse to Mumbai’s Doongerwadi, it shall be a great pleasure for me to serve my community in a very small way. Should there be a need for any help, I shall be always there, you can put my name, my e-mail;

My address is Mr. Mehernosh P. Fitter, 676A, Faradun Terrace, Road No. 13, Parsi Colony, Dadar, Mumbai; 400 031, Tel 2412 2999, Cell; 98201 57534, Fax; 2416 2886.

Click Here for more

BPP link for Doongerwadi

The Doongerwadi phone nos. are as under :

Doongerwadi (Office) +91-22-2367 5974

Doongerwadi (Upper Bungli Office) +91-22-2367 1676

Doongerwadi (Mehtaji’s Office) +91-22-2367 5949

Doongerwadi (Manager) +91-22-2367 5925

The BPP has a procedure in place for consigning the dear departed from within Mumbai, out of Mumbai and even from abroad. Click Here for details. It also includes details of the documentation and the procedure for each location

From California to Doongerwadi – Mumbai

The following procedure/documents applicable from California US
Pre planning should include identifying an experienced,established mortuary at origin of death, liaising with Indian emabssy (their website if available,) alerting and preparing  family members in Mumbai
Pre planning saves a lot of crucial time. A helpful mortuary will save  loads of time and effort and even advise  with regulations and latest documentation required. . They can even advise on economical fares/costs.
 Upon death :
 Local legal procedure :
1. inform the local mortuary to take the body away .
2. Ask the mortuary  to get all required documents. embalm the body.
 a)  Official Death certificate by city , state or county -cause of death is important to be stated e.g mostly natural causes.
b) body needs to be embalmed and this cannot be avoided at all .Indian health officials need a proper embalming certifcate
the process of embalming the body is removing blood and then injecting formaldehyde.
c) Transit permit for airlines to transport the corpse .
d) Certificate by county or state or province  showing that death was not caused due to a contagious disease(if that is the case). -also referred to as entry permit for health in India.
e) Indian embassy will also require the flight schedule for the body on mortuary letter head.
the full set of documents needs to be notarized by Indian Embassy . Suggest to designate  someone to hand carry((v/s overnight mail) if Indian embassy is not present at place of death.
this saves valuable time for the parted soul. In most cases this phase  should be  pre planned in setting up a liaison with Indian embassy as it  helps to save critical  time.
 In 90 per cent of cases this should take care of  documents required by airlines, Indian authorities and Doongerwadi BUT  Always always double check, before flying the body (specially on Indian end and Doongerwadi). rules and requirements are subject to change)
1.start four day prayers in Mumbai and place of death, if mobed availbale)  immediately do everything except Geh Sarna , which is to be done only at Doongerwadi   
. In India:
2. apply taro to the corpse at the mortuary , if possible.
ask family members to meet at Mumbai airport , with hearse from Doongerwadi;
the body is cleared form cargo area, cleared by customs and taken to Sahar police station for Panchnama(I think doognerwadi will need to see all these clearances.)   It is then taken to a local magistrate for his signature.and taken to Doongerwadi
Note: this e-mail is copied to relevant people who i think may have something to contribute/suggest as something could have slipped my mind on Indian/tarikat  side of procedure.
Mehernosh Fitter has kindly agreed to oversee the procedure in Mumbai, his e-mail is and cell number 98923 01884 .He has good contacts  and know how which makes clearance procedure a breeze. Kashmira Rao ( mobile no. 9833199985) has also offered to help.
Please also be guided by Er, Hathiram . In  the past ( I think) he has done the four day obsequies for ruvaans from overseas .

Sam M.Billimoria

Doongerwadi process from USA to Mumbai

In response to various points made for dokhma :
1. It took only  about six days to consign the body.  Don’t know where three weeks comes from. That means you do the leg work , expedite and prepare in advance.In my case, I flew to San Francisco Indian embassy to get documents notarized.flew in the morning , returned same night.
The cost of the whole process was much less than burial in US  at the time. I was able to even get concessions from airlines.
2. That being said it is true that it should be consigned as soon as possible. That argument is nothing new and everytime the topic of dokhma came up at VD Meherji Rana’s camp is US he has  pointed out over and over again the nagararashni to  the body is far more important than the delay . Nature compensates for the unavoidable delay. 4 days ceremonies can be started as soon as the body is deceased, in Mumbai  . only Geh Sarna cannot be done without the physical presence of the body .
3. Also we should take into account that today swift transportation has and technology has made things humanly if not ideally possible. . the whole approach  is to be aware and plan,so that precious time is not lost , once a Zarathushti soul.
If at least one attempt is made due to this information than the goal is achieved (as they say many times if only one life is saved it is worth the trouble)  . There will be many (a vast majority I would imagine) of course who will choose for any amount of reasons stated  not to pursue . It sounds too much work and overwhelming. Actually my experience was not difficult at all . IMHO, it should be the duty of everyone to do the best for the deceased soul.
I know of at least five instances where the bodies were returned and Silloo was able to guide most of them through  my experience .
when there is will there is a way.

Sam M.Billimoria

Paidast on Internet


The Board of Trustees of Bombay Parsi Punchayet hereby announces that effective from July 4, 2009 (Shehansahi Roj Behram, Mah Bahman) all deaths of Parsi / Irani Zoroastrians consigned at Doongerwadi are available on the Internet on the Net address given below –

This will include information of the name of the deceased and the place, date and time of demise, as also the address of the deceased and the names of close relatives of the deceased. This will also· include information about Paidast ceremony and Uthamna ceremony and its place, date and time.

On a daily basis this announcement would be updated twice in a day so that all deaths will be available on the Net to Parsi / Irani Zoroastrians spread all over the world for the bodies consigned or to be consigned at Tower of Silence, Mumbai.

This facility is for the prompt information to all concerned. All community members can avail this facility by logging on to the above Net address.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees

(D.R. Mehta)


A guide to Dakhma Services for overseas Parsis.

A guide to Dakhma Services for overseas Parsis including Flying the body to India.

This article is divided into these main components.

 SECTION A – Dokhmenashini – A Prescription in Vendidad



SECTION D – Doongerwadi Help Details from Mehernosh P. Fitter


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