The Parsi Tower of Silence

One building…On my way to and from the Bangalore International Airport, one building often catches my eye:

twr silnce sign bhavita 1911111

I have long known the custom of the Parsi community to dispose of their dead by exposing the bodies to the elements and to the sun. I vaguely remember being shown a "Tower of Silence" in Mumbai, many decades ago.

I googled for "Tower of Silence", and got this link about

Dakhma, transliterated as "Tower of Silence"

I was not sure if the Tower of Silence in Bangalore is being used now…but a little digging produced

this link to an article in the Hindu

…which seems to say that it was, at least, nearly three years ago. Today? I do not know.

Instead of being in a remote area, it is now right alongside a major highway; and in any case, vultures, the main birds who would feed on carrion, are so depleted in this area that there is just a tiny population about a dozen birds or less, in Ramnagara, even though the article says the lack of vultures is not an issue.

As I seem to see this place only whizzing past on the way to the airport or to Nandi Hills, I asked my friend Bhavita Toliya to click a few photographs, and though she didn’t venture into the place, she sent me this beautiful photo of the winged-disk design:


1940 seems, (71 years ago), not all that distant a date in history when this place was constructed; and it serves as a reminder of how rapid the change in our city has been.

There is also an inscription in Gujrati, of which I can read only the first two words, "Sri Jahangir"….

prsi twr inscription bhavita 191111

I do wonder what the rest of the plaque says.

To see another interesting article about the Parsis,

click here

For an article from Citizen Matters.

Bhavita was told that another place has been acquired, and this will probably be "developed" into an apartment complex.

And so, perhaps, another landmark of our city will disappear….


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About Deepa Mohan 767 Articles
Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.