WALKING TOUR : AHMEDABAD to NAVSARI, INDIA
1st July 1923
To visit the details of the previous journey leading up to Ahmedabad click on the following button.
They arrived at Ahmedabad from Quetta 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. 217
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.540
On 1st July at 4 am, their walking tour started, quietly walking through the town, reaching Jetalpur in the south at 7:45 am, they only walked 10 miles / 16 kms, but they were exhausted and stayed the daytime at a nice spot. They set off for Kaira at 5:30 pm, taking an apparent short-cut via Barejadi, which proved to be incorrect. They arrived at Barejadi at sunset, staying the night at a dhamarshala. They had travelled 14 miles / 23 kms the 1st day.
The following morning at 4:30 am, 2nd July, they set off again heading back to their original main road, but they had to traverse muddy and thick sandy tracks and in the hot sun, it was too much for most of the men, especially Pendu, Ramjoo, Masaji, Baidul, Padri and Vajifdar.
When they arrived at the Vatrak River, with Kaira township ( now Kheda ) on the other side, Baba instructed us not to drink the water, but they could splash themselves in the very shallow river. Baba also ordered all the men to throw away their fez caps in the river. After crossing the river, they eventually found a resting place in the town. Slamson was ordered to go to the town and get lunch.
Padri showed his tongue to Baba to show how swollen it was, he couldn't speak. The lack of decent water was the main problem for all.
News came quickly that the locals seriously feared that Baba and his men were bandits, etc and it could prove to be danderous by staying there, so it was decided to move immediately by hiring 4 bullock carts to take them to Mehmadabad Railway Station ( now Mahemdaved ) about 7 miles / 11 kms away, arriving at 7:15 pm.
They stayed at a local traveller's shelter until their train to Broach ( Bharuch ) arrived.
They departed at 11 pm.
Baba and the mandali had travelled 29 miles / 47 kms in 2 days.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 221-4
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.541-5
Note : Kaira was famous for an insurrection in March 1918 starting there, Mahatam Gandhi convinced the locals in Gujarat to standup to draconian local laws. Click on the above links to get more information.
The below images show the various places that Baba & his mandali saw in the district south of Ahmedabad towards Kaira ( Kheda ). Click on the images to enlarge them.
They arrived in Broach ( now Bharuch ) on 3rd July at 3:30am and stayed at a traveller's house. They attempted to wash themselves and their clothes in the nearby Namada River, but it was way to muddy, etc. They returned to the house and rested till 4pm.
Masaji, Pendu & Vajifday as instructed prior, left Broach by train for Bombay. Pendu was very weak healthwise. Pendu went to Quetta to recuperate.
At 4pm, Baba and the men left Broach from the Jamshed Baug for Ankleshwar. They again went to the Namada River and hired a boat to take them across. Strongs winds during the crossing made it very hazadous, Nervous was badly injured when he was struck on the forehead by the boat ropes and almost lost his eye. The boat got stuck in the mud because of the low river levels, they waded through the mud and transfered their belongings to another boat. Although they were all muddied they found it humerous even thou the 2nd boat also got stuck, which they pushed it to the shore.
They reached Ankleshwar Railway Station at 8:30pm. They stayed the night on the
railway platform and they were finally allowed to drink as much as they wanted.
38 miles / 61 kms covered in 4 days.
The train for Surat came at 4am and they reached Surat at 6am, 4th July. They took the horse tongas to the Parsi traveller's house. Here they cleaned & bathed and ate well. Baba wired Rustom to meet
them at Navsari on the 6th.
They left Surat at 4am on 5th July, carrying their belongings beside the railway tracks, parallel with the road. They reached Sachin at 9am, they rested for 2 hours, had a small snack each and they continued walking. Finally reached Navasari at 5:30pm.
They had covered 24 miles / 39 kms and Baba was not well.
In Navsari, they camped in the Sohrab Gardens of the Parsi Dharmasala called Sorab Baug situated in the middle of the town. A Parsi man arrived and wanted Baba's darshan, Baba refused citing exhaustion but the man persisted, so Baba sent Gustadji in his place. The man didn't know what Baba looked like, so he gave his 'namaskars' ( greeting - a salutation to a divinity ) and then left.
On the 6th July, there were fears in the town, that Baba and his men were theives, etc, the police came and rudely interogated the group. Baba had sent Rustom to fetch Sohrab Desai who was editding the Gujarat version of Upasni Maharaj's biography and very distinguished resident in the town. Sohrab arrived and admonished the police for their impertance, saying he has come for Baba's darshan and these are his men. The police asked for forgiveness and requested Baba's darshan as well, but Baba refused and the police departed.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 224-8
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.546-8
6th July continued....
Sohrab Desai was meeting Meher Baba for the first time, Sohrab was overcome and invited Baba to his house, which he agreed. Sohrab was talikng care of his widowed sister, Baimai, who was bed-ridden for several years due to a leg fracture and couldn't walk.
Upon seeing Baba,she suddenly leapt out of bed to meet Baba with tears in her eyes, Standing ! She gradually began her ability to walk.
Baba pointed to a picture of Zarathustra in the house and declared, "That's exactly how Zoroaster looked, I am your Prophet Zarathustra !"
Sohrab's niece, Manija, was at school in Bombay, she came to live with Baba 14 years later and he renamed her Mansari.
Baba and his men mandali returned to the dhamarshala ( resting house ), he also announced that the foot journey to Bombay was cancelled and that they were going to spend 3 months in Nasik ( Nashik ).
Gustadji went to his relative's house in Andheri in Bombay to try to use their house in Nasik, Rustom accompanied him that afternoon by train.
After meals, Baba and the men departed for the station at 8pm and departed Navsari at 10 pm for Nasik.
This concluded the foot journeys, walking 62 miles / 100 kms in 5 days.
Baba and the men arrived at Dadar Railway Station at 5:30 am, 7th July. They were met at the station by Gustadji & Burjorji P. Dahiwala. They all proceeded to the nearby G.I.P. station where many of the Bombay followers came including the Talati family, including Dina's parents Hormusji & Rupamai Karani.
train departed at 7:25 am. Masaji joined the party on the train to Nasik and
arriving at Nasik at 2:45 pm. Sayyed Sahib was waiting for them at the station and
he had carriages ready to take them to Nomanbhai's bungalow to stay. This was 6 miles / 10kms from the railway station.
Nomanbhai was one of the original Kasba Peth followers in Poona.
Baba was still on a liquid fast for several months.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 228-9
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.548-51
SOHRAB DESAI MANSARI DESAI SAYYED SAHEB MASAJI IRANI B. P. DAHIWALA
On 8th July, Baba along with Gustadji, Beheramji & Munshi went to select a permanent spot to stay which they found near the river at Gangapur. Later Baba, after ciding an excuse, that they should return to Arangaon.
They all woke up at 4:30 am, 9th July and were all at the Nasik Railway Station at 7:30 am courtesy of Aziz Ahmed's car doing 3 trips. They reached Manmad station at 10:30 am. After lunch, they boarded the Dhond ( Daund ) train at 12:15 pm and reaching Ahmednagar at 5:30pm.
They immediately left the station for Meherabad near Arangaon carrying their belongings walking the 5 miles.
After they arrived, Baba joined the men taking dal-rice at meal time, the first for him in 4-5 months, breaking his fast.