A Brief note on some of the

Parsee Zoroastrians

Of Bangalore



1.         Late Seth Dinshaw Cawasji

Late Seth Dinshaw Cawasji, the founder of our Dar-E-Mehar. Before coming to  Bangalore in 1924, he was a resident of Khandala and Bombay. During the years 1927-30, he was member of the Bombay Municipal Corporation. Having been blessed with religious parents, Seth D. Cawaji was a staunch Zoroastrian and had firm faith in the teachings of our religion. His coming to Bangalore coincided with the move of the local residents to establish a Dar-E-Mehar in Bangalore. Seth D. Cawasji came forward with, donation of Rs.25,000/- towards the construction of the Dar-E-Mehar. Aside from this, Seth D. Cawasji also donated, on various occasions, sums amounting to Rs.12,000/- for the Kathi Fund (Fire wood, or the Sacred Fire). His philanthropy extended to other deserving institutions of our city also; namely The Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospital and Vani Vilas Hospital for which he donated generous amounts of Rs.15,000/- each. His business venture which he started in Mysore State in 1924 is still going strong after 50 years bringing credit to the Zoroastrian Community of Bangalore and many a Parsi found employment in his firm during those difficult times in the years 1935-40.


2.            Behramshah Sidhwa

Mr. Sidhwa came to Bangalore in 1946 as the Agent of the Central Bank of India, and immediately in 1947 was elected as a Trustee. Since then he has been rendering very valuable services to our Anjuman, except for a short space of 3 years from 1960-63 when he was transferred as a Manager to the London Branch of the Bank. He was re-elected in 1964 and in 1966, on the death of Seth Nusservanji Adenvalla, was elected the President.  Mr. Sidhwa has seen to it that the Funds of the Anjuman are always handsomely endowed, and has carried out various Fund Raising Drives very successfully. His notable contribution for the Anjuman is the Kothari Hall Annexe building. This building of the Anjuman was put up at a time when there was an accute need for flats for middle income group Parsi families. Mr.  Sidhwa saw to it that ample funds were made available in the shortest possible time and had the building built within a year's time. In this project he was ably supported by our Panthaki Saheb, Ervad Nadishah Unvalia. Mr. Sidhwa extended the present Kothari Hall at his cost of Rs.30,000/- and was the President of Bangalore Parsee Association for nearly 10 years. Mr. Sidhwa was also associated with many other local and International Organizations. He is a very active Rotarian, having been the President of the Club in 1956-57 and the District Governor in 1959-60. He is also the Founder President of the local unit of the International House, an organization which cares for foreign student's hostel accommodations. He was also active with and was the President of People to People International Bangalore Centre.



2.                  Dr. Burjor Bharda

Dr. Bharda was the second Parsi doctor in Bangalore practising as a Homeopath. Dr. Bharda was a very kind and generous man who did not consider his practice as a  business, but an avenue of service to his community and fellowman. There was nothing unusual for him to give free medicines to poor and deserving families. In his death, the community lost a noble servant, and the then Anjuman passed a condolence resolution recording his  services to the community.


3.                  Seth Bejan H. Tarapore

Seth Beian Tarapole came to settle down in Bangalore in 1927, with his family. He was with the Singer Sewing Co. and his work with the Sales Dept., of his firm kept him out of Bangalore most of the time.  After retiring from the company he took a very keen interest in the, affairs of our Anjuman, and was elected a trustee and the Hon. Secretary in the vacancy created by the resignation of Dr. Tehmurasp Kapadia, in 1947.  Unfortunately for the Anjuman, Seth Tarapore Passed away after a short illness in the Year 1953 and his valuable services were recorded at a condolence meeting.                                                                            


4.                  Seth Edulij K. Palia

Seth Edulji Palia came to Mysore city in 1930 to start a timber business. After 5 years he came to Bangalore in 1935 and with a keen business acumen established a flourishing furniture business. Seth Palia was a staunch orthodox Zoroastrian and practised the precepts of our religion most zealously. He was elected a Trustee in 1940 and on the death of Late D. Cawasji was elected the President of the Anjuman in 1943, and in which Position he served the Anjuman till his demise in 1961.


5.                  Seth Nusserwanii Adenwalla

Seth Nusserwanji Adenwalia was the descendent of the well-known Parsi firm of Seth Cawasji Dinshaw & Bros. He was a regular visitor to Bangalore along with his father the Late Sir Hormusji Adenwalla who owned hundreds of acres of land in and around Bangalore, and was managing this vast estate of his father. Recognizing the services of this family to the Parsi community, Seth Nusserwanji was made a Trustee in 1942 and on the death of Seth Edulji Palia in 1961, was elected the President Of the Aniuman. Seth Nusserwanji was also a staunch Zoroastrian and his carriage and personality was typical of the old Parsi Sethias. His family gave very generously towards, the Anjuman funds notably Rs.10,000/- towards the Dokhma Maintenance Fund in 1940 and another Rs.40,000/- in 1965. The passing away of Seth Nusserwanji in 1966 was a great blow to our Anjuman, which has recorded his valuable services.


6.                  Ervad Pestonji Unvalla

In 1925, when the Anjuman was busy with the construction of our Dar‑E‑Mehar, they were also on the look out for a deserving Person to take charge as the Panthaki Saheb. The Boyce brothers, who were Prominent Members of our Anjuman,  were impressed with the work of Ervad Pestonji Unvalla who was then a Panthaki of our Agiary at Sukker (now in Pakistan). They met Pestonji Unwalia and requested him to take charge of our new Dar-E-Mehar as the Panthaki Saheb. Ervad Unvalla accepted this offer on a very meager salary and came with his family and settled down in Bangalore. Ervad P. Unvalla was responsible for starting religious classes to impart knowledge about our religion to the members of the Anjuman, who were not well-versed about the religion at that time. Ervad Unwalla also took a leading part in establishing the “Dokhma” in Bangalore and rendered very useful services to the Trustees towards this project. During his life-time, Ervad Unwalla was instrumental in collecting nearly Rs.1,25,000/- for the various Anjuman funds. In recognition of his services, the Anjuman resolved to install his portrait in our Agiary Hall. In all his activities Ervad Pestonji was ably supported by his late wife Meherbanoo. Ervad Pestonji passed away in 1965 and his son Ervad Nadirshaw, a very deserving choice, was appointed as the Panthaki Saheb.


7.                  Seth Ratansha Chamarbaghwalla

The word R.M.D.C. is synonymous with Football Pools to sports lovers and sports readers. Late Seth Ratansha came to Bangalore in 1948 to start this very popular R.M.D.C. Crosswords and gave it all-India fame. He was very much interested in the youth movements and took a very keen interest in their activities. He donated the R.M.D.C. Elocution Contest Shields to the Bangalore Zoroastrian Association, to encourage public speaking among the local Zoroastrian boys and girls. Being a firm believer of our religion, he started donating Rs.100/- per month towards the Dar‑E‑Mehar Maintenance Fund, and contributed various other sums to the Anjuman amounting to Rs.25,000/-. Recognizing his services, the Anjuman elected him as a Trustee in 1957. Very soon thereafter, he gave in his resignation as a trustee as he had to leave Bangalore. Seth Ratansha passed away in Bombay on 1-1-1975, and his portrait was installed in our Agiary Hall on 2-11-1975 (on his Chiamsi) in recognition of his services to the Anjuman.


8.                  Seth Burjorji J. Entee

Seth Burjorji Entee was a very well-known and reputed Engineer who came to settle down in Bangalore after his retirement. Mr. Entee was a man of few words but well read. He took a very keen interest in our Anjuman and extended monetary help from time to time. His most notable contribution, which we shall always remember is the B.J. Entee Dharmshala. In 1957, he fulfilled the need of the Dharmasala for Bangalore, by purchasing an old bungalow in Benson Town, and presented it to the Anjuman after fully furnishing it.  The Anjuman in turn reciprocated this gesture by naming the Dharamshala as the B.J. Entee Parsi Dharamshala. When in 1960, the Anjuman constructed the additional 3 rooms at a cost of Rs.11,000/-, the major contribution of Rs.7,000/- was from Mr. Entee. Being a well read man, he had a well stocked library worth Rs.25,000/-, which he gifted to the Public Library in  Bangalore. The then Mysore State Government recorded this generous gesture of Mr. Entee and had his portrait was unveiled by the hands of none other than the Late Sir C. V. Raman, in the Library's reading room. Mr. Entee passed away from the local scene in 1959.


9.                  Late Seth Nadirshah D. Manekji

Of all the Trustees who put in long years of dedicated services for the Anjuman, one whom we cannot forget is Seth Nadirshah Manekji. He was elected as a Trustee in 1941 and till 1957, he served the Anjuman in various capacities, being also its Hon. Treasurer and Secretary at one time. He was the nephew of the Late Seth Meherwanji Merchant, a well wisher and the first President of our Anjuman. Seth Nadirshah passed away in 1959 and his valuable services were recorded by the Anjuman.


10.              Dr. Sarosh Patel

Whenever our Anjuman remembers its well-wishers, it cannot forget its noblest son, Dr. Sarosh Patel, who in his prime of life left this planet at a young age of 36. Dr. Patel rendered selfless service to his profession and also to our community. Dr. Patel was attached to the St. Martha's Hospital where considering his profession as a Divine call, served humanity without any personal gain and sacrificed his time and leisure for the benefit of others. His death in 1971 spread grief and sorrow not only to his family and the entire Zoroastrian community of Bangalore, but also to the other communities in Bangalore where Dr. Patel was well known and respected.


11.              Seth Cawas B. Fatakia

Seth Cawas B. Fatakia was a man who rose from humble means to become a man of worth through sheer hard work. He came to Bangalore in 1929 and started life on a small salary with Seth Cawasji Dinshaw Bros. Seth Fatakia rendered very silent services to our Anjuman without any desire for publicity. During the difficult years of 1937-47 Mr. Fatakia rendered very valuable services to our Anjuman. He was instrumental in getting the extensive land of 14 acres for our Doogarvadi for only Rs.6,000/- which even in those days was a big sum. He was elected a Trustee in 1967, but resigned in 1972 due to ill health, and died of heart failure in 1975.


12.              Mrs. Manekbai P. Framji

Mrs. Manekbai was nominated as a Trustee in 1940 as per the condition of Late Seth D. Cawasji to nominate 2 Trustees from his family. She served in this capacity till 1969 and took a very keen and active interest in the Anjuman.


13.              Mr. Pheroze E. Palia

Mr. Palia is a resident of Bangalore since the past 35 years and was carrying on the family business after his father's death. He was elected the Trustee after his father's death in 1961 and served in that capacity till 1972, having also served as its Hon. Treasurer for 3 years during that period. Mr. Palia donated Rs.6,000/- towards the construction of an office block in our Agiary compound in the memory of his Late Father Seth Edulji Palia. Mr. Pherose Palia is also none other than the famous Test Cricketer P. E. Palia, who represented India in the 1932 and 1936 cricket tours of England. He is also a very active member of the Lions Club of Bangalore (Host) having been its President in 1963-64 and also the District Governor of Lions International for District 304-52 in 1970-71. A very active social worker, he is at present the Hon. Treasurer of the Divine Light School for the Blind and the Bangalore Cheshire Home.


14.              Seth Ardesher Billimoria

Mr. Billimoria though a resident of Calcutta has been one of the select band of well-wishers of our Anjuman. He has been a regular visitor to Bangalore since the past 20 years and has been a regular contributor towards the Anjuman funds. In 1967, when the Kothari Hall Annexe was built by the Anjuman, Mr. Billimoria gave a handsome donation of Rs.10,000/- at the drop of a word from our Panthaki Saheb.


15.              Mr. Nariman S. Banker

Mr. Banker was in the true sense of the word a banker. He was the Agent of the State Bank of India and then the State Bank of Hyderabad, Dadar Branch in Bombay. After his retirement he came to settle down in Bangalore in 1952. He took an active part in the Anjuman affairs and was elected Trustee and Hon. Treasurer in 1960. He rendered very valuable services during his tenure as a Trustee but had to resign soon due to health reasons. He is at present settled down in Deolali.



17.              Mrs. Allu D. Cawasji

Mrs. Aloomai Cawasji was nominated as a Trustee in 1943.  She has taken a very keen interest in the affairs and management of the Dar-E-Mehar, founded by her Late husband Seth D. Cawasji, and is always ever happy to see more and more people derive the benefits of a place of worship. In her own capacity she has been  responsible for donating large sums to the various funds of the Anjuman.


18.              Mr. Kali D. Cawasji

Son of a noble father, Mr. Kali D. Cawasji has been the Trustee of the Anjuman ever since the time he was nominated in 1965. Since 1967 he has been the Hon. Treasurer and has been looking after the funds of the Anjuman ever since. A very soft-spoken and a quiet man, Mr. Kali D. Cawasji has always taken a very leading part in the activities of the Anjuman.  Mr. Kali D. Cawasji is also the Life Member and the Hon. Treasurer of the Deaf-Aid Society, an unique institution in Bangalore, providing education facilities to the deaf and the dumb.     


19.              Seth Cawasji Nusserwanji Dinshaw

Seth Cawasji Adenwalla is the descendant of the well known Adenwalla family, with various business interests all over India. Our Anjuman elected him as a Trustee on the death of his father, Late Seth Nusserwanji in view of the sincere fidelity of this family towards our Anjuman. Seth Cawasji has been very helpful in looking after the Anjuman affairs in Bombay, and has been very generous with his donations to our Anjuman funds.


20.              Seth Rustomji P. Talaty

Seth Rustomji is one of those who has rendered long meritorious services to our Anjuman as a Trustee. Originally from Nagpur, where he was connected with the Empress Mills, he came to settle down in Bangalore in 1956 after his retirement. Seth Rustomji is a staunch orthodox Zoroastrian, who has dedicated his retired life for the cause of our religion, Seth Rustomji was elected as a Trustee in 1957, and is still giving us his valuable time and service, having also served as Hon. Secretary till 1972.


21.              Mr. Fredoun P. Seervai

Mr. Seervai came to Bangalore from Madras in 1960, and was a Trustee of the Anjuman in Madras before he came to Bangalore. His enthusiasm to work for the Anjuman was recognized and he was elected as a Trustee in 1963. But he resigned in 1965 as he was transferred to Bezwada. He was once again elected in 1972 when he returned to Bangalore and has been giving the benefit of his experience and advice for managing the affairs of the Anjuman ever since. Mr. Seervai is also a very active member of the Lions Club of Bangalore (Host).


22.              Mr. Bahadur J. Saher

Mr. Saher is a partner in the firm of Architects known as Saher & Ghadiali Architects. He came to Bangalore in 1963 along with his partner  Mr. Dara H. Ghadiali and by dint of dedicated and sincere hard work set up a very well known Architectural firm. Both Mr. Ghadiali & Mr. Saher rendered very useful service to the Anjuman, when in 1967, they offered free Architectural service to the Anjuman for the Kothari Hall Annexe building. Ever eager to spare his time from his busy practice, for the cause of our Anjuman and religion, Mr. Saher was elected as a Trustee and Hon. Secretary in 1972. It is an honour done to the younger generation, for Mr. Saher happens to be the youngest elected to this position. Mr. Saher has been very useful in looking after the properties of the Anjuman. Mr. Saher is also a very active member of the Lions Club of Bangalore (Host).


23.              Ervad Nadirshah P. Unvalla

Ever since the death of Ervad Pestonji Unvalla, his son Ervad Nadirshah has been rendering yeoman service to the Anjuman as the Panthaki Saheb. It has been the experience of one and all that after having met Ervad Nadirshah, his faith and belief in his religion is more firmly established and has created a new found respect for the Mobeds in general. Ervad Nadirshah is a very dedicated and a sincere worker of our Anjuman. He has always been a source of inspiration and encouragement to the Trustees in taking up deserving causes for the Anjuman. Ervad Unvalla along with our President Seth Behram S. Sidhwa was responsible for the building of the Kothari Hall Annexe to provide accommodation to middle income group Zoroastrian families. He has also continued the good work started by his father, in imparting religious knowledge to the local Parsees on several occasions and plays a leading role in inviting Zoroastrian scholars to visit and address the local community. A silent worker that he is, Ervad Nadirshah has been collecting funds regularly for our Anjuman from its well wishers. A keen sportsman, Ervad Nadirshah was an important player of the local Parsi cricket team along with such stalwarts as P. E. Palia and K. B. Tarapore. Ervad Nadirshah's family has also been rendering very valuable services to the Anjuman, in particular his wife Manizeh, who is a source of inspiration to him in his work.


24.              Mrs.  Kumari Naheed D. Vatcha

Though copying is by no means regarded as the best means of studying fine arts, one who has seen the paintings of Mrs. Naheed D. Vatcha of Bangalore may have to concede that it has its advantages. Naheed, whose mother has qualified from the Royal Academy of Art, has sought her wav to fame by recreating some of the world-famous miniatures. As is well-known, the technique is one of the finest specimens of Indian art. But there are very few recognized Artists practicing it today. So much so, there are quite a few among Artists and art writers who have mistaken the technique for its size.  For Naheed, however, the technique may well serve as a springboard to take up fine arts seriously. She has had no formal training in art, save one or two prizes for her juvenile attempts at School. But the lyrical beauty of the miniature technique in a greeting card inspired her to copy a whole range of the masterpieces of the Mughal, Kangra and Rajasthani School. Her effort paid rich dividends in her exhibition in Bombay, inaugurated by Begum Zehra Yavar Jung, wife of the Maharashtra Governor. That the exhibition should not only have won acclaim, but proved equally a financial success, speaks for its popularity.


25.              Mr. K. N. Pavri

Mr. Pavri came to Bangalore in 1964 as the General Manager of the Mysore Spinning and Weaving Mills and the Minerva Mills. He, was elected a Trustee of the Anjuman in 1957 and was rendering very useful service to the Anjuman until his resignation on a difference of opinion among the Trustees over the management of the Dharamshala. Mr. Pavri was also a scholar in Iranian History and religion and gave many interesting lectures on the Shahnameh and Iranian History.


26.              Mr. F. S. Bamji

Mr. Farokh S. Bamji came to settle down in Bangalore in 1972, after his retirement from Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. He is the son of Major Sohrab Bamji of Bombay, a well-known social worker and a citizen of Bombay.  Mr. Bamji's main interest in his retired life is to spread the teachings of our prophet Zoroaster to the younger generation of our community, and is the main spirit behind the Religion Discussion classes started by him under the auspices of the Bangalore Zoroastrian Association. He was the President of the Bangalore Zoroastrian Association for 3 years and rendered very valuable services in reviving the social life of the Parsi community in Bangalore. Mr. Bamji held very important posts in the Sales Department of Tata Iron & Steel and as Manager of Tata Exports Ltd. His last posting before retirement was in New York as the Manager of Import Division of Tata Incorporated. Mr. Bamji was also a very active member of the Lions Club of Bangalore (Host), and has held important offices in his former club, the Lions Club of Calcutta (Metropolitian), as Secretary and President. He also served Lions Dist. E2, as Cabinet Secretary and Treasurer.


27.              Mr. Dara H. Tarapore

Mr. Dara H. Tarapore is one of our oldest resident of Bangalore taking keen interest in the affairs of the Parsi Community. He is the Managing Partner of Star Construction & Transport Co. He is also running the prestigious business of the famous Tarapore & Co. for the building contracts with the Government and Military. He is the Ex-Committee Member of the Bangalore Club and the Bowring institute. He was the President of the Bangalore Parsi Zoroastrian Association. He was married to Miss Gool Dotiwalla, the famous Piano Teacher of Bombay. Mrs. Tarapore is an active Social Worker connected with the Ladies Hockey Organisation and runs a big Rose Nursery in her bungalow at Spencer Road, Bangalore. She was the President of the Karnataka Ladies Hockey Association and the Vice- President of All-India Women's Hockey Organisation.


28.              Mrs. Goolbanu Kothawalla

Goolbanu came to Bangalore in the year 1925 with her husband, Dr. Zal Kothawalla, who was posted as Dairy Expert at Imperial Dairy, Bangalore. A devout Zoroastrian, Goolbanu realised that many Parsi children of Bangalore could not read Avesta prayer books for the want of knowledge of Gujrati language and so she started a class for teaching Gujrati to Parsi children, at her own residence St. Marks Road. This class became very popular with the Parsees but later when she shifted her residence to her farm “Rustam Baug”, the class had to be closed down as it was not possible for the children to go far for learning. She then started a school for mentally retarded children. This school was well patronized by the retarded children of all communities and received recognition from the Government of Mysore, by way of financial help and equipments. Later, when Dr. Zal was transferred to Delhi as Dairy Adviser to the Government. of India, Ministry of Agriculture, and Goolbanu had to leave with her husband, the school was taken over by the Mysore Govt. and shifted to a specially constructed building at Lal Baug. When Dr. Zal retired and Goolbanu came back to Bangalore to reside at her farm, she met Gr. Captain Cheshire, founder of the well known Cheshire Homes for the aged.  Goolbanu then devoted her, time and energy to the Deaf children and started a Deaf Aid Society and established a school for deaf children in a rented building. This school was named after her daughter Sheila. Later, two acres of land from “Rustam Baug” was donated to the Deaf Aid Society for the construction of a modern school and Goolbanu in her own life time saw the fulfillment of her daughters’ dream of a modern school for deaf children.  A little before Goolbanu passed away to heavenly abode, on October 5, 1974, she formed a scheme for teaching farming to mentally retarded children (boys) of rural area, to make them useful citizens. This was to be a “Rural Rehabilitation Center for Mentally Retarded” and the scheme was accepted by the All-India Federation of Mentally Handicapped. She also offered further two acres of very valuable land for the scheme but before the scheme could be put into action Goolbanu was called away to the Heavenly Abode. Goolbanu believed in plain living and high thinking and this was evident from the simple manner in which she always dressed and hard work she put in for the welfare of the less fortunate human beings. When her children were young Hum Bandagi daily at night was a regular feature of her house. In appreciation of the work done by Gulbanoo for the welfare of poor and handicapped human beings, one of Bangalore's leading newspapers, published a full page supplement and thereby bringing to the knowledge of the public the noble deeds of Goolbanu.


29.              Fardoon K. Irani

Captain of the Parsee Cricket Club, Bangalore which won the Senior Division League for the Sir Mirza Ismail Shield Tournament in 1939. Played for Mysore in the Ranji Trophy National Championship. A good opening batsman and one of the finest wicket-keepers who played for Mysore now Karnataka.


30.              Safi Darashah

Captained Mysore in the Ranji Trophy for nearly a decade. A competent opening medium pace bowler and a hard hitting batsman who had many useful scores to his credit for Mysore in the National Championship. Darashah also played for the Parsees in the Bombay Pentangular.  He was also a member of the Parsee Cricket Club, Bangalore which won the Senior Division League in 1939. He was a Cricket Commentator also.


31.              Phiroze E. Palia

One of the finest cricketers that the Parsee Community has given to the country. Toured England with the Indian Team in 1932 and 1936. Played and captained the Parsees in the Bombay Quadrangular and Pentangular matches for many years; with many outstanding performances to his credit. In the Ranji Trophy National Championships, Palia played for Bombay, Bengal, U.P. and Mysore. He led the U.P. and Mysore teams. An excellent left-hand batsman and left-hand bowler with immaculate control of length, swing, and direction which kept some of the best batsmen at bay. Palia was also a Selector for the National Team for a couple of years.


32.              Keki B. Tarapore

Played for Mysore in the Ranji Trophy National Championship under the captaincy of P. E. Palia in 1945, and later represented the same team under Safi Darashah's leadership. Was a member of the Parsee Cricket Club, Bangalore which, won the 'A' Division League Championships the Sir Mirza Ismail Shield in 1939. A capable batsman and excellent fielder. In fifteen years' service as a Coach, has produced for the country, cricketers of National and International fame and numerous famed cricketers in Karnataka. To name only a few Prasanna, Chandrashekar, Vishwanath, Patel and Kirmani. He was Chief Cricket Coach in 1930-1971 at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala. In 1960 he took upto coaching as a profession. At present Tarapore is one of the seniormost cricket coaches of the Central Government attached to the Netaji Subhas's National Institute of Sports. Keki Tarapore is also a popular cricket commentator in the State; giving commentary for important matches like the Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Irani Trophy and matches against foreign visiting teams.