Vyarawala was born in Navsari town in south Gujarat on December 9, 1913 to a Parsi family. After studying at the Bombay University and the J J School of Art, she started her career in the 1930s. She shot her first photo in 1938 a picnic party of women from the Women’s Club in Mumbai. Her first published pictures were in the ‘Bombay Chronicle’ which paid her one rupee for every photograph.
She photographed the first flag hoisting ceremony at Red Fort on August 15, 1947, the departure of Lord Mountbatten from India and the funerals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Her husband Maneckshaw Vyarawala predeceased her in 1970. She is survived by her ailing daughter-in-law, who stays in Jamshedpur.
She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in January last year.