Surat’s Wadia Family Displays 194-year-old Lord Swaminarayan’s Turban On Bhai Dooj

A Surat-based Parsi family have been the proud owners of a safely preserved, 194-year-old family heirloom – a Lord Swaminarayan turban, that they keep on display or ‘darshan’ in Surat on Bhai Dooj – a tradition they have consistently maintained ever since they received it in 1881.

It is said that Lord Swaminarayan, who visited Surat in 1881, presented his turban and shriphal to Ardeshar – the Parsi Kotwal of Surat, as he was pleased by the services of Ardeshar Kotwal. Ardeshar then handed it over to his son, Jahangir Shah, after who’s passing, the turban was passed down from his wife Doshibai Kotwal to his Mosal Sorabji Adalji Wadia. Since then, the present third generation – Tehmasp and his son Kershasp, have been proudly holding on to the turban. The turban continues to be a guiding force for nearly two centuries now, for the Parsi family, who share this gift with everyone on the eve of the Bhai Dooj festival.

The Wadia family, living in the Syedpura area, have constructed a separate room for the Pagh or turban, which is preserved in a wooden box to prevent any damage. Over the years, several people have made various offers to buy this turban, according to Kershasp, but for the family, the divine gift is priceless. The significance of the turban goes beyond the family and locals, saints and devotees of Swaminarayan sect, who travel long distances to get a glimpse of this turban on Bhai Dooj.

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