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The gara is a type of embroidery that is unique to Parsi saris. Traditional hand-embroidered garas are considered heirlooms and Parsi women typically wear them on festive occasions. The saris feature exquisite embroidery, with fine, delicate needlework that showcase elaborate scenes. Birds of paradise, roosters, Chinese scenes, peacocks, roses and paisleys are the popular motifs. Very few stores retail hand embroidered Garas and a simple design might set you back by a lakh.

6 photos that perfectly capture the Parsi way of life

Explore the unique culture of this small but vibrant community.

The story of the arrival of Parsis in India is a fascinating one. Fleeing Muslim persecution, the Parsis landed on the shores of Sanjan in Gujarat. The local king, Jadav Rana was suspicious of these new people who landed on his borders. To fend them off, he sent a bowl full of milk signifying that his land, like the bowl, was full and had no more place for refugees. The clever Parsi priest, in what may be the most genius symbolic gesture, stirred in a spoonful of sugar in the milk and sent it back. We will blend in with your people, he suggested, and sweeten your land like the sugar sweetened the milk. And it was thus that the fleeing Parsis finally found a home, one that welcomed them and permitted them to follow their religion.

Centuries have passed and the Parsis haven’t forgotten their word. They have not only prospered but also helped the society that aided them. As with all communities that struck roots in this multicultural nation of ours, Parsis too have assimilated into the socio-cultural milieu. While several of their customs and traditions are similar to that of the Hindus, there are some things that make them stand out from the crowd.