Pune’s oldest Agiary – the Sardar Seth Sorabji Ratanji Patel Agiary, celebrated its glorious 180th anniversary on 2nd May, 2023 (Mah Adar, Roj Behram) with a Machi offering and a Jashan in the evening, which was performed by fifteen mobeds. About 200 Zarthostis came to pay their respects on the momentous occasion to the Patel Agiary, which is popularly called the ‘Gaam-ni- Agiary, situated in Pune’s crowded Nanapeth locality.
The Agiary is based in a spacious compound, with a well curated garden. The large main hall hosts Muktads, marriages and navjotes. It has a separate Dadgah for individuals to make personal offerings. With the Kebla and prayer hall posing a stately presence, this is the only Agiary in Pune which has provision to perform the Vendidad and Yezeshni ceremonies. A large well in the courtyard houses five baby tortoises and several catfish; as also a magnificent 60-year-old date-palm tree which has been awarded heritage status.
Built in 1824 by Seth Sorabji Ratanji Patel, who was a Sadar in the Peshwa Army, the Agiary was consecrated in 1843, with Dastur Jamaspji as its first High Priest, followed by seven generations of the Jamaspji lineage. Today, the Agiary is served by five Mobeds, led by Manager and Panthaki Er. Arzaan Khambatta, who hails from Dadar’s Athornan Madressa, known for finely bending tradition with modernity.
Today, the Agiary needs structural reinforcement and much repair work, for which the present Trustees have been working to garner the support of the community’s Zarthosti philanthropists of Pune.
[Courtesy: Homi D. Mehta]