Category Archives: Iranshah Udvada


                                                    GENESIS OF
                                      IRANSHAH UDVADA UTSAV  
                                           – Dinshaw K. Tamboly, 
                        Trustee, Foundation for Development of Udvada
History of Foundation for Development of Udvada (FDU):
Foundation for Development of Udvada (FDU) was established on September 22, 2003, and has already a very vibrant history.
FDU was formed purely due the initiative taken by Prime Minister Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. In January 2002, during his stint as Chief Minister of Gujarat State he was present at the ‘Foundation Stone’ laying ceremony of the Institute of Hotel Management at Ahmedabad along with erstwhile Hon’ble Minister (Tourism & Culture), Government of India, Shri Jagmohan.
At that function he very graciously acknowledged the positive role played by the Parsi community in nation building, ever since their arrival from Persia over 1300 years ago.
Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. mentioned that the most sacred religious place of Parsis was Udvada, where the holy fire – Iranshah – was perpetually maintained and appreciated that ever since the Parsis arrived as migrants they had abided by a code of conduct which preserved their identity without offending the sensitivities of any other community.
He went on to mention that Udvada today showcases the glorious history of the Parsi community of over 1300 years and thereafter made a suggestion to the erstwhile Hon’ble Minister (Tourism & Culture), Government of India, to project Udvada as a place of harmony, religious tolerance and opportunities provided to a miniscule community to realise their full potential. This was appreciated by the erstwhile Hon’ble Minister (Tourism & Culture), Government of India who held that Udvada symbolised one of the finest examples of the cultural tradition of our country.
Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi thereafter requested renowned hotelier, Mr. Jehangir Cama (now Late) who was present at the function with his wife Mehru to proceed in the direction of setting up suitable infrastructure of converting these thoughts into reality.
A proposal was thereafter submitted to the Government of India for providing certain basic facilities, which would enable the State of Gujarat to project Udvada as a unique place in our country symbolising traditions of tolerance, harmony and progress through partnership with the Parsi community.
The Government of India accepted this proposal and released a grant-in-aid amount of Rs. 97.27 lakhs to the Government of Gujarat. The Government of Gujarat has also allocated an amount of Rs. 24.32 lakhs for the project making a total of Rs. 121.59 lakhs.
It was the recommendation of the Government of Gujarat that the project should encompass the following areas:
Establish a Museum & Cultural Centre at Udvada.
Establish a Heritage Walk at Udvada.
Organise an annual festival of Parsis at Udvada, where Parsis from all parts of the world could congregate.
Organise a tourist circuit of the places where the holy fire – Iranshah – was lodged prior to installation at Udvada.
After discussions with various members of the Parsi community, it was decided to establish and register a Foundation to be managed by well known Parsi’s and a nominee of the Government of Gujarat, who would undertake responsibility of directing and executing the project. FDU was thus established as a result of the abovementioned initiatives.
Genesis of Iranshah Udvada Utsav (IUU):
In June 2014, Hon’ble Narendra Modi, just a couple of weeks after assuming office as Prime Minister, invited Dasturji Khurshed, Homai Engineer, late Jehangir Cama and me, all of us being connected with FDU to meet him and provide an overview of the strategic plan to develop Udvada as a pilgrim centre being undertaken by UADA (Udvada Area Development Authority) set up by the Government of Gujarat.
At that time he reiterated what he had mentioned earlier when FDU was under formation, that our community’s contribution towards nation building was without parallel. He reiterated that Udvada showcases the glorious history of the Parsi community of over 1300 years and repeating what he had told us earlier about his keen desire to project Udvada as a place of harmony, religious tolerance and opportunities, reminded us to organize the first ever festival at Udvada where Parsis from all over the world could congregate.
He urged us to organize Iranshah Udvada Utsav (IUU), when community members from all over the world would be able to visit Udvada, and participate in the celebrations. He also recommended that we plan the same, from time to time, sometime in December as many Indians residing overseas visit our country at that time of the year.
Honouring the wishes of our visionary and dynamic Prime Minister, Foundation for Development of Udvada & the Udvada Samast Anjuman along with a group of dedicated volunteers has together participated in bringing this project to fruition.
IUU – 2019 to be held on December 27-28-29, is the third such event following similar events held in 2015 & 2017.
A galaxy of eminent Parsees attended IUU – 2015, when Mr. Ratan Tata, the leading present day icon of our community was felicitated on December 27, 2015. Noted philanthropist Mr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Chairman, Serum Institute of India, has very graciously agreed to sponsor IUU – 2015 in memory of his loving wife Late Villoo C. Poonawalla. Late Cabinet Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley graced the occasion with his presence when Mr. Ratan Tata was felicitated.
IUU – 2017 was celebrated with equal enthusiasm and passion, with Mr. Vijaybhai Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat State and Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister for Minority Affairs, Govt. of India, inaugurating the event. Eminent physician Dr. Farokh Udwadia was felicitated by H.E. Vice President of India Shri Venkaih Naidu. IUU – 2017 was sponsored by Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Pvt. Ltd and Gujarat Tourism.
Union Minister Hon’ble Mrs. Smriti Irani, has attended both the earlier editions of IUU and has confirmed her participation for IUU – 2019 as well. She has been friend, philosopher, guide and an ardent supporter of all our activities for which we are very honoured.
Trustees, volunteers, well wishers and supporters of FDU are all very grateful for the trust reposed in us by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supported the various initiatives undertaken by us.
All Parsi Irani Zoroastrians can take legitimate pride in the fact that Iranshah Udvada Utsav, is illustrative of the acknowledgement by our nation’s leader of the contributions made towards nation building by our miniscule community, adhering in letter and in spirit to the pledge of loyalty, our revered ancestors made when seeking sanctuary on Indian soil 1389 years ago.

IranShah Global Initiative 2020

Please Share This Email Within The Circle Of Your Family, 
Friends And Local Associations On December 27, 2019
The Flame Goes Higher 
When Your Heart Is On Fire
May The Flame Of IranShah
Shine On You And Your Family
IranShah Global Initiative 2020
A Celebration With 
Education, Inspiration and Donation
BaNaMeh Ahura Mazda
My dear Global Zarathushti Leaders:
With Immense Joy and Pride, coupled…
With the blessing of our High Priest of IranShah Udvada, Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, 
as well as unanimous support from all our Global Zarathushti Adult and Youth Leaders…
We would like to announce this very special Global launch of
The IranShah Initiative 
At the 2019 Udvada Ustav on Dec 27.
Under the guidance of FEZANA VP Arzan Wadia, this interactive website has been created by our very own IranShah Initiative Ambassador Tinaz Karbhari from Hong Kong, for our Future Generation across the globe to get involved through Education, Inspiration and Donation.
On this website, we have a Special Icon titled: ASK NOSHIR for our future generation to liaise directly with him for any specific queries pertaining to IranShah.
Our immense gratitude to our BPP Trustee, Noshir Dadrawalla  for his scholastic guidance and kind support towards this first step on promoting Global Education about Iranshah.
This website will be launched at the opening ceremony after the iconic presentation of our very own FEZANA President Homi Gandhi.
For more details, please visit…
Furthermore,  for the first time in the history of Iranshah…
We are also planning for a Global Birthday Celebration in honor of IranShah on April 21, 2020.
And would like to get you all involved as an integral part of this unifying Global Initiative in honor of our Sacred IranShah.
More information about this Celebration to follow in January 2020.
In the meantime…
Here is some exciting news at a Global Level:
1. FOZYA under the Leadership of President Mabrin Nanavatti,  is committed to mobilize our Zoroastrian Youth of India by promoting this launch via a special session organized by FOZYA on December 27, at the
28th All India Zoroastrian Youth Meet, Panchgani December 27-29, 2019
2. Jehaan Kotwal, our Global Youth Director of World Zarathushti Chamber Of Commerce,  has graciously offered to promote this initiative among our Global Zarthushti Youth Entrepreneurs and inspire them to participate actively.
3. Mojdeh Hamavand, Chair of the Zoroastrian Youth Of North America, ZYNA (FEZANA) has graciously offered to reach out to our Zoroastrian Youth Of North America.
4.  Sherri Kapadia, Chair of the 2023 8th World Zoroastrian Youth in United Kingdom and Chair of the Young Zoroastrian Group of ZTFE, has offered to reach out to our Zoroastrian Youth of United Kingdom.
5. IranShah Initiative Representatives from our Motherland Iran
From Tehran: Kaveh Gheibi
From Kerman: Arash Khosropour
From Yazd:  Sasan Foroodi
From Shiraz: Behnam Khodadadi
6. IranShah Initiative Representatives from Pakistan
A. Kermin Parakh, Principal
     BVS Parsi Boys High School
B. Furengeez Tampal, Principal
     Mama Parsi Girls High School
C. Natasha Mavalvala, Joint Secretary
     Young Men Zoroastrian Association
7. IranShah Initiative Representative from Singapore
Xerxes Ghista [Parsi Zoroastrian Association of Singapore (PZAS)]
8. IranShah Initiative Ambassador and Representative from Hong Kong
Tinaz Karbhari  (The Incorporated Zoroastrian Charity Funds of Hongkong, Canton and Macao)
9. IranShah Initiative Representative from New Zealand
Delshad Sidhwa [Zarathushtrian Association of New Zealand  (ZANZ)]
10. IranShah Initiative Representatives from Australia

Adil Bodhanwalla [Zoroastrian Association Of Victoria  (ZAV)]

Bravo To All Of Them For Their Unconditional Support.
Let’s Join Hands With Each Other
And Walk Together 
As Torch Bearers of
The Light Of IranShah
Be Blessed and Stay Blessed.
Happy Holidays and a Prosperous 2020
To You And Your Respective Families.
With Love, Light, Appreciation and Gratitude 
Meher Amalsad, Westminster, California, USA



TOGETHER Let Us Create An Inner Desire To Support Our Sacred Fire


The sleepy village of Udvada is poised for its rightful place on the global map of renowned religious, historical and cultural sites with improved infrastructure, enhanced facilities and better security. This would be in keeping with it’s now officially recognized status of a global heritage village, bestowed by the government of India. The Udvada Atash Bahram is the oldest consecrated fire temple of the highest grade in India; and represents the historical, cultural, spiritual and religious bond with our Motherland Iran.

The divine flame of Iranshah Udvada is one of the oldest and holiest fire that is revered by Zartoshtis across the globe since over a millennium.

Let us join hands together

  • To keep this flame live and alive
  • For the benefit of our future generation
  • Through Education, Inspiration & Donation


To make Udwada the global centre for showcasing OUR Zoroastrian heritage, culture and way of life


To provide a continuous stream of global financial support to perpetuate the Legacy Of Iranshah Udvada – Our Precious And Timeless Heritage


TO PRESERVE the Sanctity Of Iranshah by honoring​, ​helping and supporting ​all those who take care of ​this great spiritual power-house ​with utmost dedication and selfless commitment – Especially our senior and respected Mobed sahibs​ who have dedicated their ​entire ​lives towards serving OUR Sacred Iranshah with impeccable sincerity, devotion, ​dignity and integrity.

TO CREATE a monetary incentive for our present Mobed Sahibs and to inspire our future Mobeds to pursue the noble profession of Mobedi as a career. This is of vital importance for the survival and revival of OUR Sacred Iranshah.

A great scholar had once said: “no priest, no religion or religious institution”.​

TO KEEP the flame alive by providing firewood (Kathi).  The Kathi Fund needs to be increased substantially to meet the rising cost of Kathi.

TO MAINTAIN the structure that houses our holiest fire. OUR Sacred Iranshah, which is over a thousand years old, and the building in which Iranshah is enthroned; requires periodic infrastructure updates as well as major renovations every 10-12 years.

TO PROVIDE round the clock (24/7/365) Security Service for the premises of OUR Sacred Iranshah.

In addition, we also need the voluntary services of devoted and sincere Parsi helpers to keep the premises clean, tidy and presentable for the local, national and global devotees/pilgrims who visit Udvada to pay their homage to OUR Sacred Iranshah.



Together, Let Us Create An Inner Desire, To Support Our Sacred Fire


From USA – Click Here

From India – Click Here

Please Await updates from Other Countries


Udvada Samast Anjuman was proud to co-host the ‘Iranshah Udvada Utsav’ (IUU) with Foundation for Development of Udvada (FDU). Going by responses gathered from all over the world, IUU held on 25th to 27th December 2015, was undoubtedly a stupendous success.

Over the past few weeks, post the Iranshah Udvada Utsav, various write ups, comments and views, both positive as also negative, have appeared in various print & social media channels about hosting of the Utsav. Some have been very encouraging, heart warming, providing suggestions for improvement and some downright negative, discouraging and personally attacking and defaming the IUU, Udvada Anjuman and our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor.

It is a well known fact that the IUU has received adulation from most quarters, it has resulted in Udvada being poised for infrastructure development and progress that will be of immense benefit to all those who are fortunate to reside and visit Udvada. We shall provide some information on the benefits that shall accrue to Udvada later in this communiqué. However, before we enumerate these benefits, it is essential that we inform the community at large about negative politics that a few from our community have indulged in, post the conclusion of the IUU.

In all communities and societies, there are some individuals with holier than thou mindsets who perceive their word to be the final word on how others should conduct themselves in all walks of life. Our community too has its fair share of individuals who have narrow visions and revel in fomenting discord. These disgruntled elements see a hidden agenda in everything. Their efforts are always to foist their views on everything under the sun and should their views not be adhered to, they are at their vituperative best in criticising and maligning those who have not complied with their viewpoints.

Over the past many years, we have experienced a few individuals/groups, who have made it their mission to malign our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor in any and every positive initiative that he has taken for Iranshah & Udvada.

This same group of individuals, who have been ventilating their negative views about IUU in the media, both published and social, are well known to have a personal animus against our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor ever since the FDU was established around 2004. They misguided the community even then as they are doing now. We may add that the FDU has never sought to influence or interfere with the working of our Udvada Anjuman.

Lest such disgruntled individuals misconstrue our silence to be an acceptance of their misguided and mischievous statements, Udvada Samast Anjuman has decided to issue this one and only statement for the information of the community.

  1. Our forefathers, members of the Nine Athornan Families, have over centuries and generations, often at a great sacrifice, have been willingly doing ‘khidmat’ of Shreeji Pak Iranshah with all the necessary ritualistic discipline, maintaining the sanctity and purity of the holy fire and the precinct of Iranshah, which has been continued by us of the present generation and we shall ensure the same will be continued by our future generations.

  1. We put to rest once and for all the controversy created by the speech given by Mr. Darius Khambata. It has already been stated that Mr. Khambata was expressing his personal views, with which our Anjuman & Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor are not in agreement. Neither our Anjuman nor our Dasturjis, Dasturji Khurshed & Dasturji Peshotan have ever encouraged conversion or mixed marriages in any form whatsoever.

  1. The canard spread by these disgruntled elements that other Dasturjis were not invited for the IUU is absolutely false. Dasturji JamaspAsa, Dasturji Kotwal & Dasturji Mirza were not present at the IUU due to their prior commitments (performing Navjote / Wedding ceremonies in Mumbai). It may be noted that Dasturji Kotwal & Dasturji Mirza have, along with Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, willingly contributed learned and informative articles in the souvenir released at IUU. As regards to Dasturji Meherjirana of Navsari, keeping in mind his ill health, it was thought best not to inconvenience him with a visit to Udvada. It must also be mentioned that many members of the Nine Athornan Families of the Udvada Anjuman attended and participated on all the three days of the IUU, thus nailing the mischievous and misleading comments of those who were antagonistic to the holding of the IUU.

  1. It was amusing to read the frequent comments of Ervad Yazdi Unwalla deriding the IUU and Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor. Though being part of the Udvada Anjuman, he has not contributed an iota towards Iranshah nor Udvada and has the audacity and temerity to comment against our Anjuman and our Dasturji only displays his prejudice against the Anjuman and our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor.

  1. Er. Marzban Hathiram, has recently written an article ‘Sleepless Nights In Udvada’, in which he has mentioned that if a poll by secret ballot was conducted solely of members of the Anjuman, the result would serve as a jolt for both the Dasturjis. All that we can say about Er. Hathiram is that, he himself needs to first introspect before endeavouring to make sanctimonious statements about our Shreeji Pak Iranshah and our Anjuman or trying to drive a wedge between our Anjuman and both our Dasturjis by recalling and remembering what in the first place caused him to leave his Panthak at the Behram Baug Agyari, and come and settle in Udvada for which we do not even need to conduct a poll by secret ballot. Let the healer first heal himself before trying to heal others.

  1. It is unfortunate that Mr. Yazdi Desai, the present chairman of Bombay Parsi Punchayet, sought to issue a loose statement to the media without first verifying the details and facts with either the Anjuman or Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor. It would have been proper had he done so.

  1. Some individuals have commented that rather than organising a mega event such as IUU, the funds should have been more fruitfully utilised for the welfare of underprivileged Zoroastrians at Udvada. Those holding this view point will do well to note that our Anjuman takes good care of the welfare & medical aid of all their practising & retired Mobeds, Goranis, widows of late Mobeds, helpers at the Iranshah and those that carry out duties in other various capacities in the Udvada gaam.

  1. We urge the 185 year old publication, Jam-e-Jamshed and our Parsi journalists reporting in the cosmopolitan media, to act more professional and responsible and to verify the facts either with our Anjuman or our Dasturjis before reporting inflammatory, fabricated and false propaganda just to sensationalise the issue at the cost of the dignity and reputation of our own community.

By holding the IUU at Udvada, we, the khidmatgars of Iranshah, did not find anything that was incorrect, harmful, amiss or detrimental to our Shreeji Pak Iranshah and its precincts.

In all the ridiculous noise and din created post the Utsav, the fact that hosting the Iranshah Udvada Utsav brought about a lot of POSITIVES for the community, in general and Udvada village in particular, has been lost sight of. We wish to take this opportunity to highlight the tangible benefits that have accrued and share them with the community at large.

The fact that around 4000 Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians from all over India and other parts of the world attended the IUU and participated with enthusiasm and vigour is illustrative of its success.

The below mentioned points are illustrative of the positive results achieved by the IUU: –

  • It is the formation of FDU and the efforts of our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor that has been instrumental in getting funds allocated and disbursed to carry out infrastructure development in Udvada.

  • There are now proper roads across Udvada village, more so around the Iranshah, to avoid congestion near its entrance.

  • A parking lot has been assigned specifically for the devotees visiting the Iranshah.

  • Regular supply of electricity is now available and CCTVs are being installed for the safety of our residents.

  • A local police station is to be established and regular police patrolling to be done in the village.

  • Refurbishment of the Zoroastrian Information Centre and Dasturji Kayoji Mirza Hall & Library will be undertaken from the funds sanctioned specifically for these purposes, as was announced by Mr. Saurabh Patel, Minister, Gujarat State, at the inauguration of the IUU.

  • Construction of a Persian Gate, from funds sanctioned by the Government, will shortly be undertaken at the entrance of Udvada village (near Doongerwadi) as was also announced by Mr. Saurabh Patel, Minister, Gujarat State, at the inauguration of the IUU.

  • Planning for the construction of a concrete wall structure to stop ingress of seawater into our village shores is being done.

  • Most importantly, Udvada gaam and our Iranshah was saved from the clutches of some individuals who had planned to build an industrial-cum-residential zone on a large stretch of 160 acres of land close to the vicinity of Iranshah Atash Beheram, due to the timely intervention of Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, who took up this matter with the concerned government officials at Gandhinagar and the then Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.

  • Instructions issued to the local authorities by Mr. Arun Jaitley, Union Minister, and Mr. Saurabh Patel, Minister, Gujarat State, to halt further construction of high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Iranshah will be invaluable to preserve the sanctity of Iranshah and Udvada.

We are confident that FDU & our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor shall continue to work with the concerned authorities to follow-up and get the above benefits officially documented and implemented.

Udvada Samast Anjuman takes the opportunity, to once again make it explicitly clear to one and all, that it has never interfered in the affairs of other Anjumans / Associations and in turn shall brook no interference in our affairs. It is the bounden duty of our Anjuman to protect and preserve the sanctity of Iranshah & Udvada, which we have done over the centuries and are perfectly capable and committed to do so, now and in future.

To our detractors, we reiterate that Udvada Samast Anjuman and our Dasturjis are not answerable to any outside agencies or small pressure groups and shall not respond to any further communications with regards to our Anjuman or any of our Dasturjis.

Before concluding, the Udvada Samast Anjuman extends its whole-hearted gratitude to our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor and Team IUU for the hard work put in by them to successfully organise the mega event and assures them of their continued support in future editions of IUU at Udvada that are intended to be held at regular intervals.

We conclude with a prayer and a hope that peace, good sense and serenity may prevail in our community!

Unanimously approved by all the committee members.

For & On Behalf Of Udvada Samast Anjuman,

Sd/- Secretary

Copies of communiqué sent to:

Parsi Times,

Jame Jamshed,


Fezana Journal,


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