Meherazad (Home of Meher Baba in Ahmednagar – India)
Meherazad is Meher Baba’s home and a private property with Bunglow and other adjoining constructions, around 24 kms from Meherabad. It is when the Meherabad ashram became crowded Meher Baba chose to stay in this private property dedicated to him by his followers near Pimplegaon village of Ahmednagar district. More accurately, it is located at 19°11′42.41″N 74°45′08.39″E. Meherazad estate comprises about 5 acres.
Meher Baba lived at Meherazad from 1944 until his death in 1969. The complex features buildings, gardens and vehicles pertaining mostly to Baba’s later phases. Of special interest are Baba’s Room, Meherazad Gardens, Mandali Hall, the Blue Bus (that Baba travelled in with his women disciples in 1938-39), and the New Life Caravan. Seclusion Hill, where Baba did much work, rises behind Meherazad.
Meherazad remains a private residence. Some of Meher Baba’s surviving mandali lived there until middle of 2012. It is open to visitors on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, and Sundays from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. In 1991 Meherazad was incorporated into the Avatar Meher Baba Trust.
Historic Meherazad divides into three sections: the women’s side, the men’s side, and the outlying properties. The women’s side includes Baba’s house, various adjacent structures, and Mehera’s garden. The men’s side includes a line of rooms with Mandali Hall at their centre; adjoining or nearby structures and sites; and a garden extending to the north. The most important outlying properties are Seclusion Hill and the approach road. This tour describes a few of the more significant sites at Meherazad. In recent years Meherazad has acquired new lands and constructed new buildings and facilities, such as the Meher Free Dispensary and the associated staff quarters. These newer developments are not included in this tour, which concentrates on historic Meherazad as it stood when Baba was in His physical form.
The following is a list of places in Meherazad. click headings for more information …
Baba’s House: Completed in 1948, the Main Bungalow at Meherazad served as Meher Baba’s primary place of residence for the last two decades of His physical lifetime. Some of the important rooms in the Main Bungalow are listed as individual items below.
Baba’s Room: Originally Baba occupied a room upstairs in the Main Bungalow. But in the aftermath of His Satara automobile accident, in 1957 He shifted to the ground floor. It was in this room that Meher Baba dropped His physical form on 31st January 1969.
Drawing Room: The first room that one encounters on entering Baba’s House through the main entrance on Mehera’s porch. Here Baba and the women mandali would sit together.
Dining Room: Located next to the drawing room on the back side of the house. Here Baba and the women mandali used to eat their meals together when Baba was not eating in His room.
Mehera and Mani’s Room: This corner room on the ground floor faces the eastern and southern wings of the garden. The umar tree (see below) stands directly outside the east window.
Umar Tree: Standing directly outside Mehera’s eastern window, in the months after Baba dropped His body in 1969, the bark of this tree molded itself into an image of Baba’s face, comforting Mehera in her grief.
Mehera’s Garden: One of the reasons that Meher Baba shifted residence from Meherabad to Meherazad was to provide Mehera with a home with more water so that she could create a garden. Extending between the main bungalow and the back door of Mandali Hall, Mehera’s garden, with its bowered walks and potted plants, is an expression of Mehera’s love for her Beloved.
New Life Caravan: The women mandali used the caravan as their sleeping quarters during the New Life travels of 1949-50.
Mandali Hall: Originally a garage and later a stable, Mandali Hall became Baba’s “office” and a primary place of His work at Meherazad. Here he met with the men mandali on a daily basis. Rooms Adjacent to Manadli Hall: Built in 1948 to house various mandali members.
Pendu’s Room: One of the original rooms on the Meherazad property, Baba stayed here during one of His early residences in 1944-45. Later it was occupied by Baba’s cousin and longtime mandali Pendu.
Aloba’s Room: One of the original Meherazad structures, for a short time Baba gave interviews here. Baba’s disciple Aloba lived in this room for almost four decades until his death in 2002.
Men’s Verandah: The verandah was built in 1972 to serve the needs of Meherazad pilgrims. During Baba’s time, however, Baba and the mandali used to sit outdoors under the shade of trees or the open sky.
Blue Bus: Between December 1938 and November 1941 the Blue Bus served as the primary vehicle in which some 25 of Baba’s women and men mandali accompanied Him on travels that spanned the Indian subcontinent, from the southern tip to the Khyber Pass. Baba carried out the Great Seclusion in the Blue Bus in its current location in July of 1949.
Manonash Cabin: In 1951, the two cabins on Seclusion Hill were dismantled at Baba’s order and re-assembled by Padri into a single cabin in which Baba completed His Manonash work. After the conclusion of the Manonash phase, Eruch lived in this room for almost forty years until his death in 2001.
Mango Tree Behind Manonash Cabin: Mehera planted this tree, using the pit of a mango that had been given to Baba by a mast.
Cottage Across from Mandali Hall: Originally built to house a generator, the cottage served Baba for various uses, and provided bedrooms for Gustadji, Baidul, and Francis Brabazon.
Seclusion Hill: Rising to a summit two or three hundred feet high several hundred meters to the south of Meherazad residence, this hill acquired its name from the major seclusions that Baba completed here, first in 1947 and later at the culmination of the New Life in 1951-52.
Approach Road: This dirt road runs about a kilometer from Meherazad residence to Vambouri highway. Its shaded canopy of nandoorgi trees (from the banyan family) was planted by Kaka Baria with the help of the men mandali. Baba would take walks down the approach road with various of His men and women mandali.
Baba lived in Meherazad from 1944 till He dropped His body on the 31st of January, 1969. “Azad” means free. Meherazad is situated nine miles from Ahmednagar near the village of Pimpalgaon at the foot of the Tembi hill. Two cabins had been built on the hill, one on the summit and one on a ledge a little further down. Baba remained in seclusion in the upper cabin. Due to bad weather and great inconvenience, both the cabins were brought down and reassembled in Meherazad within forty eight hours.
The house which had originally been a rest house for engineers working on the nearby reservoir was where Baba stayed first with the women Mandali. Another two-storied house was built later to which He and some women Mandali shifted. His room in which He dropped His body is a large simple one. This house stands in a beautiful garden with a variety of shrubs and shady trees. Giving colour to the whole are the wide-spreading Gulmohrs, which when in bloom are a concentrated mass of crimson.
The quarters for the men Mandali are rather primitive, consisting of a row of small rooms. Opposite Baba’s two storied house is the four room old rest house in which some of Baba’s Western lovers stayed when they visited Baba. At present it is used as an office by Mani and Rano. In Meherazad there is also the body of the blue bus in which Baba had travelled all over India in 1938-1939 with Elizabeth Patterson driving most of the time. The bus was meant for sixteen but carried twenty six passengers plus untold luggage and so had to be prematurely retired. Now the bus body has been set on an improvised base for Baba to sit in during His seclusion. At present, the surgical bed on which Baba dropped His body has been placed in the blue bus.
Meherazad estate covers some five acres and forms an oasis which is an earthly paradise of beauty and colour. It is a place blessed most with the physical presence of Baba. By day intense but quiet activity continues from dawn to sunset, and at night peace of such profundity prevails that it surpasses all understanding.
MEHER BABA’S LAST SAHAVAS, pp. 15-16
Copyright 1969 Dr. H. P. Bharucha