Address: Guru Prasad Memorial Hall,24 Bund Gardens Road, Pune

Year and Date:  1951 to 1968

 

Significance:

 

The sprawling Guruprasad Palace which belonged to the Maharani of Baroda, Shantadevi Gaekwad, was secured for the stay of Meher Baba and his men and women companions in the New Life in March 1951. The palace originally belonged to the royal family of Jamkhandi from which it was purchased by Maharani Shantadevi. It occupied an area of several acres starting from the main Bund Garden Road and extending to Mutha River. The two storied palace had a big central hall of 500 seating capacity with large bed rooms on either of its sides and a large dining area behind. There were more bedrooms on the first floor. A huge porch in the front overlooked a beautiful garden at the centre of which was a circular fountain. There was a sprawling open space on the back side. From 1951 to 1968 Avatar .musicians, and the Pune Bhajan Mandali entertained Baba by their performances here. Guruprasad was also the venue of the 1962 East - West Gathering attended by thousands of Baba Lovers from all over the world. Maharani Shantadevi Gaekwad herself became a staunch Baba lover. Baba had declared in 1968, that he would give public darshan in Guruprasad in April 1969 while “lying down“. Nobody could comprehend the meaning of this word at that time. Avatar Meher Baba dropped his body on 31st January 1969. And the public darshan programme- “The Great Darshan“was held here. People from all over the world poured to Guruprasad for this program though Baba had dropped His body. Later, the palace was sold to a builder and was demolished making way for multistoried residential complex.

 

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