Various places of pilgrimage, connected with Avatar Meher Baba’s life and work can be found throughout the world. The most prominent and important is at Meherabad, near Ahmednagar, in India, where Meher Baba directed that upon the dropping of His physical body, it should be buried in a Tomb-Shrine atop Meherabad Hill. Every year tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over India and around the world visit Meher Baba’s “Samadhi” for the chance to bow down and be in His Presence there. Brief services of prayers and “arti,” or devotional songs, take place at the portico of the Samadhi every day at 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m.—in between those time, pilgrims are free to visit the Samadhi informally for as long as they wish.
At either side of the Samadhi lie the graves of some of Meher Baba’s closest female disciples from the past, including that of His “Divine Counterpart,” Mehera, and His sister, Mani. In close proximity to the Samadhi, also on Meherabad Hill, is the early residential compound of Baba’s Western and Eastern female disciples, a Museum of relics and artifacts related to Meher Baba’s life, a Library, and sheltered areas for eating and rest. Nearby is the Archives building, with a focus on preservation of the collection of Meher Baba’s articles of clothing, writing, and many other items and materials associated with His Advent. Also close by is a theater used for dramas and films during annual celebrations “Amartithi”—the eternal date (January 31st) on which Meher Baba left His physical form to live forevermore in the hearts of His lovers.
Within minutes of Meher Baba’s Samadhi at “Upper Meherabad” are the many buildings and sites that comprise “Lower Meherabad,” the original headquarters for Meher Baba and His disciples in the Ahmednagar area. These include the early “Mandali Hall,” where Baba would meet with His close “mandali,” or disciples; the Jhopdi, where Meher Baba initiated His forty-four year silence in 1925; the Dhuni, or sacred fire, which is lit on the 12th of every month at Meher Baba’s standing instruction; and the graves of most of Baba’s longtime intimate male disciples. A Pilgrim Center, housing and providing food for up to fifty-six pilgrims at nominal rates, and larger hostels, staff quarters and an enclosed theater are also located in Lower Meherabad.
Although the Samadhi is open to all during the hours when it is open, reservations for stays at the Pilgrim Center must be made through Pilgrim Reservations (see e-mail and other contact information below).
Pilgrims visiting Meherabad will also want to visit Meherazad, home to Meher Baba’s close disciples.
About fifteen miles from Meherabad lies “Meherazad,” the locality that became Meher Baba’s home in later years. Ostensibly for better water access, Meher Baba moved with His close men and women disciples to Meherazad in the 1940s, and, apart from the three years of the New Life, He made this place his home until He dropped His body in 1969.
Meherazad now consists of Meher Baba’s main residence building and simple structures that have provided accommodations for His men and women disciples. Within the Meherazad compound also stands the Meher Free Dispensary, a medical clinic for the benefit of nearby villagers, and archival storage for books, recordings, films and various items and materials associated with Meher Baba’s life. Within a few hundred yards lies Seclusion Hill, where Meher Baba periodically worked in seclusion and where pilgrims today can enjoy the atmosphere of this unique place connected with Baba’s Work.
Buses leave Meherabad Pilgrim Center three times a week to take visitors to Meherazad, where they can mingle with the remaining “Mandali,” or close disciples, hear talks or see films or music programs, and simply enjoy exploring the many remarkable aspects of Meherazad. Meher Baba’s room is open for visits and darshan, as is “Mandali Hall,” where He met with His disciples for work; and visitors can likewise explore the “Blue Bus,” “the New Life Caravan,” and “Mehera’s Garden” between the residence and Mandali Hall. Meherazad is currently open for such pilgrim visits on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, from 11:00am-12:30pm. (Meherazad remains the home of the few older disciples who have lived there since their life with Baba there, and so its visiting hours, unlike Meherabad, are relatively limited.)