MARWAR JUNCTION, INDIA

 

RAJASTHAN STATE ( RJ )

1925 : Meherabad, India. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
1925 : Meherabad, India. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.

 

Meher Baba made extensive trips around then British India beginning in the early 1920s.

Most of these were made by train, and in the Western part of the country a major train-hub was Marwar Junction near Ajmer.

The usual practice was when arriving at this station, one changed to another train to continue on with their journey.

Therefore, Baba visited this hub many times.

The 1st was on the 12th September 1922 on his way to Ajmer.

The 2nd time was on 26th June 1923 and again that year 13th November ( 3rd time ).

In 1924, Baba went through in mid-March ( 4th ) and again 7th June ( 5th ).

 

The following is a more detailed account of these visits, also, some of these accounts have been shortened, if you want to read the full version click on the appropriate year 'button' below.

 

MARWAR JUNCTION RAILWAY STATION
MARWAR JUNCTION RAILWAY STATION

1st VISIT - 12th SEPTEMBER  1922

 

1922 : Bombay to Amjer rail journey. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
1922 : Bombay to Amjer rail journey. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

  GUSTADJI                  GHANI                SADASHIV              ADI K. IRANI          SAYYED SAHEB

 

 

September 1922 : continued....

 

On the night of the 11th September, Meher Baba with Gustadji, GhanI, Sadashiv, Adi and Sayyed Saheb left Bombay by the Gujarat Mail train for Ajmer in Northern India, arriving at 10:30pm of the following day ( 12th ).

They stayed at the Edward Memorial Hotel, where Baba was suffering continually from dysentery and became seriously ill.

 

Lord Meher  V2  p.410

 

The distance by rail from Bombay ( Mumbai ) to Ajmer is 1,018 kms / 632 miles. It took over 24 hours to travel by train in the 1920s, it now takes just under 16 hours.

 

 

11th September 1922 Historic Timeline : Allied troops landed at Çanakkale and set up a neutral zone between Greece and Turkey.

 

Turkish troops who had taken over the Smyrna Province from Greece carried out a massacre of Armenian residents under the direction of the new Turkish Governor, Nureddin Pasha, according to a statement made afterwards by a British eyewitness.

 

The Treaty of Kars was ratified in Yerevan, setting the boundary between Turkey and the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

 

Vladimir Lenin proposed that Leon Trotsky, alongside Lev Kamenev, would become Lenin's deputy, Trotsky declined.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajmer

 

2nd VISIT - 26th JUNE  1923

 

 24th - 27th June 1923 : Meher Baba and his companions travelled from Quetta to Ahmedabad, where some were sent ahead to various places. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
24th - 27th June 1923 : Meher Baba and his companions travelled from Quetta to Ahmedabad, where some were sent ahead to various places. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

 

When they arrived in Hyderabad ( Sind ), on the 26th June, they changed trains, ( the rail gauges changed a couple times, also ). Their luggage was weighed and again later when they changed trains at Marwar. Some rail personal were being very difficult, so much so when the station master ( who was a Brahmin ) arrived to see what the commotion was, he made his own inquiries, Baba then handed him a Urdu copy of Upasni Maharaj's new biography, when the station master saw Baba's picture in the book he quickly cleared the way for them to travel without further ado.

 

They arrived at Ahmedabad on the 27th June at 9:30 pm. Sadashiv, Asthma & Vajifdar were there to meet them at the station. Baba sent Gulmai, Khorshed, Soona & Sarosh to Ahmednagar along with their trunks, leaving on the Bombay train at 10 pm. He advised them to stay there until called upon. Sadashiv was sent back to Poona the following night and Vajifdar put on the new clothing attire for the walking journey.

 

They all took numerous motor lorries to move their belongings about a mile away, staying at a Parsi traveller's house, with Baba's Muslim men pretending to be their servants, so they too could stay.

 

Asthma was sent back home and would not contact Baba ever again.

 

 

Ramjoo's Diaries p. 216-7

Lord Meher Vol. 2  p.540

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyderabad,_Sindh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyderabad_Junction_railway_station

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marwar_Junction_railway_station

 

 

 

 

3rd VISIT - 13th NOVEMBER  1923


                  TRAIN TRIP - AHMEDNAGAR TO KARACHI

 

                           &  1ST  SHIP VOYAGE

 

Nov. 1923 Tour. Map graphics by Anthony Zois
Nov. 1923 Tour. Map graphics by Anthony Zois

 

November continued...

 

The following 2 days were spent washing themselves up and resting after the last gruelling walk. Baba suddenly decided to move out of the Khushru Quarters to the traveller's rest house near Ahmednagar railway station on the 4th November. All the men followed him there. Here they spent time planning the next tour to Persia ( later Iran ). It was agreed by all, the 11 men accompany Baba to Karachi and stay there till February and then go to Persia. All had to sign a document stating that they were not to accept any external help, or other assistance, on this trip. 

 

 

Ramjoo & Dr. Ghani were not bound this as per a previous agreement until Feb. 1924. They all agreed to leave by the 11th Nov. for Karachi.

 

On the 11th November , all the men made their way to the railway station and took the 12:30 pm train from Ahmednager, with only Rustom to see them off as per Baba's instructions. Rustom garlanded Baba prior to leaving. They all travelled in 3rd class and and after reaching Manmad in the evening, they stayed in a shed nearby. At 10 pm, Baba and the men took the Nagpur Mail for Jalgaon, while Ramjoo was instructed to wait for Nervous who had missed Baba's train, to arrive from Ahmednagar. Nervous arrived at 2 am, 12th November and they both left on the 2:30 am Calcutta Mail train for Jalgaon, arriving at 5:30 am and meeting up with Baba and the men.

 

Later that morning, at 8:30 am they departed on the Bhushawal-Surat train. They passed Amalner where the G.I.P. railway changed into the Tapti Valley Railway. In the evening, they passed Bardoli, a Gandhi movement centre. At 7:30 pm they reached Surat, here they moved their luggage to the opposite platform to take the train from Bombay to Ahmedabad. Baba and a few men went to the nearby bazaar,  to pass the time while they waited for their train. Here they encounted a pitiful young man, Baba instructed Ramjoo to feed him at a local hotel and purchase a train ticket for him to go back at Vadala. Baba's train arrived and they departed for Ahmedabad at 10 pm.

 

They arrived in the early morning of the 13th November.  Here Baba and some of the men went to the city and brought back some sweets and toast for the men waiting back at the railway platform. At 8:50 am they departed on the train for Hyderabad-Sind that was attached to the Delhi Mail. At 7 pm, their carriage was attached to the J.B. Railway train at Marwar Junction. They soon left Marwar, still in the 3rd class carriage.

 

After travelling through the desert, the train arrived in Hyderabad-Sind at 12:30 pm on 14th November. Baba and some of the men went into the town to find a place to stay, while the others waited at the railway station. Baba returned and said the town was very unsuitable because it was smothered in sand from dust storms. He told the men to prepare to leave for Karachi, by train.  They needed to hurry because one was due very soon. They boarded the Quetta-Karachi Mail of the N-W Railway.

 

Ramjoo's Diaries p. 262-7

 

 

 

Graphics by Anthony Zois
Graphics by Anthony Zois
November 1923 Touring Group Members
November 1923 Touring Group Members

 

 

14th November, 1923 : Karachi, British India

 

They arrived at the Karachi Cantonment Station at 6:30 pm, Bailey had been wired by Baba to meet them at the station. Baba went off to choose from several places to stay that Baily had found. Baba settled on a bungalow at  No. 2445 Soldier Bazaar. Victoria carriages were hired to move the luggage. That night they slept on the floor.

 

The following day, 15th November, all went to work to clean the bungalow. Baba & Baily named the place Halt Ho.  Rent for 2 months was paid to the landlord. The next day 16th November, Baba abruptly said they should immediately go to Basra, ( then part of Persia ) and sent some of the men to arrange tickets on a steamer, to see the landlord, and anything else that was necessary. But, news came later that making new arrangements was not possible, because the Persian Consulate was closed. There was also news that malaria-carrying mosquitoes were infesting the places where they were planning to go.

 

 

On the 20th November, the day was scorching hot. Those not employed went with Baba to Clifton Beach, but they only stayed for 15 minutes before returning to Halt Ho.

 

Dr. Ghani was granted permission on the 21st to return to Poona due to the poor state of the housing. Baba said he could go and return whenever he wanted to. He left the same day by train.

 

 

On the 17th November, Vajifdar wrote a letter stating that Navrozji (Naval Talati) had gone to the Persian Consulate in Bombay to get endorsements for the men's passports.  The Consul refused to endorse them unless he saw all of men personally, except for Baba, whom he had seen and endorsed a couple of days earlier. Surprisingly, Baba had never been to the Consulate and had not seen the Consul or had been in Bombay during the previous 6 weeks. 

 

 

On 22nd November, Baba decided they should all leave the next day for Bombay by steamer ship. Baba said, "Now we should all leave at once for Poona!"

 

Everyone packed up their belongings in a mad rush. They embarked at 4:12 pm on the ship S.S. Vita, where they were booked on the top deck of the ship along with their luggage. There were about 800 passengers on board.

Instead of spending 2 months in Karachi they spent 8 days. During the voyage to Bombay, it was very cold at night with ferocious winds blowing all the time. It was a miserable trip, especially on the top deck, which was open to the elements.

 

 

The following day, 23rd November, they approached the Kutch on the coast at 7 am, and then proceeded towards Dwarka, passing it at 12:30 pm with the ship later docking at 4:30 pm at Porbandar.  On the voyage, a Parsi man took exception to the men’s unkempt appearance. He wrote a very unflattering article in a Parsi newspaper on the 30th December. which was full of untruths about Baba and the men. When they were approaching BombayBaba indicated that he wanted to be in seclusion at an unknown railway station for part of the day, which remained unknown by most of the men.

 

 

They arrived at Victoria Dock, Bombay at 11:30 pm on the 24th November 1923.

 

Please note : Meher Baba at another time, when he was explaining some of the attributes of the Avatar, he stated that the Avatar was the only one that had a "Spiritual body" and that he could manifest anywhere.

 

Ramjoo's Diaries p. 267 - 73

Lord Meher Vol. 2  p.577 - 82

June 1923 : Meher Baba in a Quetta studio. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
June 1923 : Meher Baba in a Quetta studio. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.

 

 

 

4th VISIT - MID - MARCH  1924

TOUR OF NORTH & CENTRAL INDIA

 

 

 

When they arrived in Karachi, Vajifdar took Padri to Pilamai's house because he was still terribly ill and Nervous was assigned to look after him.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Meher Baba and the remaining 3 men had their luggage arrive at the railway station from the dock. The men all rested in the waiting room of the station until their train the Quetta Mail was ready to leave. Later, Vajifdar returned to join the group which made 4 of Baba's men Mandali (close ones).

 

 

 

The remaining men mandali were Adi, Gustadji, Masaji & Vajifdar.

 

 

 

LM p.603

Map show the various routes taken between 22nd Feb to late March 1924. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

MEHER BABA          ADI K. IRANI        GUSTADJI HANSOTIA  "MASAJI"  IRANI    HORMUSJI VAJIFDAR

 

Map shows the rail route taken from Karachi to Lucknow, India in mid-March 1924. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

 

Mid-March continued

 

The train later left Karachi for Hyderabad ( Sind ), then changed trains for Jaipur and onto Lucknow. Here, Baba went to the bazaar there looking for sandals, but was disappointed with what was being offered. Baba was still wearing the woolen Kamli coat that Yeshwant Rao had given him and the sandals that Kanhoba Rao made back in India prior to travelling.

Masaji did all the cooking for the group including the teas.

 

RD p.301

 

 

5th VISIT - 7th JUNE  1924

TRIP TO KARACHI & QUETTA

 

                                       2ND VISIT 

 

Map shows the overall routes taken during trip. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

The plan took a twist, they now planned on leaving on the 2nd June 1924 by rail to Bombay and then to Quetta.

The animals at Meherabad were all arranged to be offered to Upasni Maharaj at Sakori.

 

Baba along with *Ardeshir ( Director of Agriculture), Ghani, Ramjoo and Vajifdar had left for Ahmednagar Railway station in the morning and the train travelled to Bombay via Manmad, arriving at 12:30pm.

 

DR. GHANI MUNSIFF       RAMJOO JAFFER          HORMUSJI VAJIFDAR               ADI K. IRANI

Ghani was told by Baba to wait at his home in Lonavla and to come later.

On the 6th June, Adi had arrived in Bombay, joining the group and the following day ( 7th ) they departed for Quetta on the Gujarat Mail train to Delhi. In the evening they changed trains at Marwar Junction, detaching from the Delhi Mail train and attaching to the J.B. Railway train which proceeded to Hyderabad (Sind), crossing the Rajputana desert.

 

RD p.341