Maharashtra State - Meher Baba Places

Ajanta Many places in Maharashtra State are significant because of Meher Baba's visits and work there.

The Pilgrim Reservation Office can provide additional information and can assist in arranging day trips once you are in Ahmednagar.

A few of these spots can be visited on a day's trip from Ahmednagar, but others require overnight visits. Happy Valley and Imampur can be visited easily in one morning. Toka, Khuldabad, Daulatabad, and Ellora can be seen in one day. A more extensive visit to Ajanta and other spots around Aurangabad would require an overnight stop. Rahuri, Sakori, and Shirdi can also be seen in one day, but Nasik would require an extra day. A trip to Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, and Satara would take two to three days.

See Useful Links for online India tourism sites with more information about these places. See Maps of India for Major airports in India

Ajanta

(Pictured above) An area with 30 Buddhist caves dating back to the 2nd century B.C. with a number of painted murals and sculpture on the life of Buddha. Meher Baba visited Ajanta at least once.

Aurangabad

A city 109 kilometres (68 miles) north of Ahmednagar midway between the Ellora and Ajanta caves. Aurangabad contains a number of Western-style hotels and restaurants. Commercial tours can be arranged to the historic spots in the area. The Bib-ka-Maqbara, or so called "Mini-Taj," is also located here. This tomb was built by the Emperor Aurangzeb in memory of his wife and modeled after the Taj Mahal, built by his father.

Daulatabad

The site of an 800-year-old stone fort with defenses so remarkable, the story goes, that it could only be conquered through internal treachery.

Ellora

An area containing 34 caves carved entirely from stone. Dating back to the 6th through 13th centuries, these caves are a good example of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain architecture and sculpture. The huge Kailash cave (mentioned in Francis Brabazon's Stay with God) measures 50 by 33 by 33 metres. Buddhist cave number 10 contains a beautiful large statue of Buddha. Meher Baba visited the Ellora caves many times.

Happy Valley

A wooded spot four miles north of Pimpalgaon-Malvi. Tradition has it that Ram and Sita spent a few days of their years in exile here, and the legend goes that Ram shot an arrow into the ground, creating a spring so that Sita could bathe. Meher Baba visited Happy Valley many times.

Imampur

A village about 22 kilometres (14 miles) north of Ahmednagar on the Aurangabad road. In the ruins of an old mosque here occurred the famous "pigeon incident" at the end of the New Life phase of Meher Baba's work.

Khuldabad

A village near Aurangabad on the road to Ellora. Khuldabad is called the "Valley of the Saints" because of a large-scale Sufi migration to this spot several hundred years ago. At the tomb of one of these figures, the Perfect Master Zar Zari Zarbaksh (who had died 600 years previously), Sai Baba received God-Realization. The Emperor Aurangzeb's tomb is nearby. Meher Baba visited Khuldabad often and at one of the saint's tombs He bowed down six thousand times.

Mahabaleshwar

A hill station resort area with many spectacular vantage points about 125 kilometres (78 miles) southwest of Pune. The photograph of Meher Baba standing with His arms outstretched in front of mountainous terrain was taken here at Arthur's Seat. The Ripon Hotel in Mahabaleshwar is owned by Baba followers. Pratapgad, a nearby fort, is associated with the warrior Shivaji. Meher Baba lived and worked in this area on a number of occasions, including significant periods of the New Life. The meeting on October 16, 1950, in which Meher Baba stepped out of the New Life for one day and gave a talk entitled "Baba's Sermon," was held in the Aga Khan's stable (Florence Hall) in Mahabaleshwar.

Note: Shapur Hall is a private residence for which entry is strictly prohibited.

Nasik

On the banks of the Godavri River, this city is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus who come to bathe in its waters. More than two thousand temples may be found in the area. Nasik was the site of Meher Baba's first ashram for Western disciples.

Panchgani

Another hilly area near Mahabaleshwar containing the famous Tiger Valley cave where Meher Baba and several disciples spent time in seclusion.

Rahuri

The site of Meher Baba's ashram for the masts and mad in the late 1930s.

Sakori and Shirdi

Two places associated with Meher Baba's early years. Sakori was the seat of the Perfect Master Upasni Maharaj, one of Meher Baba's five masters. Upasni Maharaj's tomb and the ashram of His disciples are located here. Shirdi is associated with Sai Baba, another of Meher Baba's masters. Sai Baba's tomb in Shirdi is still maintained for pilgrims and visitors.

Satara

The city 106 kilometres (66 miles) south of Pune where Meher Baba spent a great deal of time. Satara is the site of Meher Baba's automobile accident in December, 1956.

Toka

North of Ahmednagar on the Aurangabad road. For a brief period in 1928, Toka was the site of Meher Baba's ashram and Prem Ashram school for boys.

Photo credit: Gov. of India, Ministry for External Affairs