Agiary: The fire templeHistorical places — By Kadambari on October 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM
A place of worship for Zorastrians, the Agiary also known as the fire temple is located in Nana peth. Agiary, which means house of fire in Gujarati, was originally built in 1824 by Seth Sorabji Ratanji Patel. He was an affluent Parsi Sardar during the Peshwa regime.
Dastur Jamaspji Edulji of Navsari was chosen to be the first high priest of the Parsis in the Deccan region. Following his death, his son Dastur Noshirwan Jamaspji took his place for the next 38 years and looked after the agiary. It was during his time that the temple was rebuilt and also constructed the Patel hall with his own expenses.
The structure bears sober looks. Once you enter the temple, you are greeted by a large foreground with a cluster of old coconut trees. The walls of the structure are painted white and have patterned cornices, floral reliefs, patterned arches, square pillars and a motif of feathered Asho Farohar, a symbolic representation of the unborn soul.
It houses several ancillary prayer halls located on single storeys with flat roofs. Only a part of main temple is two storeys and has a tiled roof. The temple has a well in the centre and next to it is the heap of firewood. There are rooms above the temple which are used to accommodate priests visiting the temple.
The highlight of the temple is the worshippers’ hall adjoining the entrance veranda. It is adorned with patterned flooring, rich chandeliers and decor with perfect finishing. The hall simply looks elegant. Its inner chamber, delineated with beautiful arches is an example of smart architecture.
The temple is looked after by Sardar Sorabji Ratanji Patel Agiary trust. A place of worship, a part of it is now leased to the co-operative bank, which interferes with the natural beauty of the architecture. The beautiful Varanda has now become a dumping place for broken furniture and unwanted things.