Meher Baba
Visiting India

CHANGE TO VISA APPLICATIONS FOR INDIA

 

Please note that visa applications can no longer be made at the India High Commission. The service has been taken over by several different companies, all of which charge different rates, so it’s a good idea to look around for the one that suits you. One of the main companies is VFS Global who have offices around the UK where you can make postal applications, or in person.

 

If you wish to apply in person with VFS Global it is advisable first to apply online - http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk - and get an appointment. If you arrive without an appointment you may have to wait all day to be seen. Once you arrive at the Visa Centre you will need to take a ticket and wait in the queue - be prepared to wait!

 

Once the application has been handed in, it takes 2-3 working days to process, and you will have to return and queue to collect your visa and passport unless you have it posted to you.

 

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INFORMATION ON STAYING IN MEHERABAD

 

Pilgrim reservations requests for the MPR can be made by e-mailing - the season runs till mid-March.

 

Currently rates for stays in the Meher Pilgrim Retreat are as follows:

Room rate 170 Rupees per day, meals daily (3) 130 Rupees per day. Exchange rate approximately 73 rupees to the pound.

 

You can use this currency converter.

 

Car pick ups from/to Meherabad are around 4,200 Rupees with AC each way, journey time usually about 6/7 hours including two brief stops, providing there are no major traffic or weather delays.

 

Contact: Taher Zaheer at

 

You can also travel by train on the Deccan Queen. A first class, air-conditioned sleeper ticket from Mumbai to Pune costs only 800 rupees.

 

Some people have asked about personal security. There are night duty watchmen who will accompany pilgrims to and from Samadhi if requested for arti, and an increased number of night watch staff on duty at the MPR.

 

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Ahmednagar Office
+91-241-2343666, 2347093
craig@ambppct.org

Meherabad Office +91-241-2548777
Pilgrim Reservations +91-241-2548733
pimco@ambppct.org

AVATAR MEHER BABA PERPETUAL PUBLIC CHARITABLE TRUST
Post Bag No. 31, King’s Road, Ahmednagar - 414 001, Maharashtra State , INDIA
SHRI. V.S. KALCHURI - CHAIRMAN


March 16, 2006


TO PILGRIMS WITH SERIOUS ILLNESSES WHO PLAN TO TRAVEL TO INDIA


Dear Baba Pilgrims,

Since Beloved Avatar Meher Baba dropped His body in 1969 to forever dwell in the hearts of His lovers, an ever-increasing number of Baba-lovers have been coming for pilgrimage to His final resting-place and home in India . As the number of pilgrims to Meherabad keeps increasing; so too does the number of Baba-lovers who arrive at Meherabad with some serious medical problem.

We are sending this circular to encourage all those with serious illnesses planning to travel to Meherabad for pilgrimage to understand the responsibilities that they are taking on as part of such a journey.

Among illnesses that are considered serious are: cancer, heart disease, AIDS, emphysema and other serious respiratory illness, severe asthma, unstable neurological disorders (such as MS), unstable diabetes, major psychiatric disorders (especially those managed by medication), handicaps such as paraplegia, etc. If a Baba-lover is suffering from AIDS and has active infections, or the immune system is deeply affected, then a visit to India would place that person at great risk. We are not prepared to manage medical conditions in unstable AIDS patients.

Many people with serious medical conditions have made a successful pilgrimage to the Beloved’s home without serious complications. However, it can be difficult or impossible for us to provide care at Meherabad if adequate preparations have not been made well in advance.

Any Baba-lover with a serious illness should consult with their doctor to make sure the condition is stable enough for the trip to Meherabad and get their approval before undertaking a pilgrimage.

When a visitor arrives with a serious illness that is unstable, then it can place their life in great danger and seriously compromises our ability to help.

We need to be informed well in advance about pilgrims with serious or disabling illnesses (that are in a stable condition) before they make plans for their trip. When you write to the Pilgrim Reservations Office of the Trust to inquire about accommodations at Meherabad, please openly state in your letter (or e-mail) what is your medical disorder and the status of that illness. We will then be able to start planning how to help you. The Pilgrim Reservations Office may then forward your letter to the medical staff that may get in touch with you and advise you further on how to minimize your discomfort in travel and during your stay. Your letter would be kept confidential and discussed only with those individuals who directly need to assist you.

Patients with serious psychiatric conditions should not discontinue their medication if they are planning to come to India . The rigors of international travel can place a great strain on an individual’s psychiatric condition. Managing a nervous breakdown at Meherabad when a person has discontinued or reduced their psychiatric medicines can be extremely distressing to that person and to other pilgrims. Staying on a stable dose of medication will help keep the condition in balance.

If you are unsure about what precautions you need to take, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Pilgrim Reservations Office or our medical staff directly. Women planning to arrive in India while they are pregnant should also inform us. Medical facilities and medical care at Meherabad are very limited and many of the medical facilities in Ahmednagar do not even meet the minimal standards of reasonable care. The closest city where better care is provided is Pune. The hospitals in Pune are at an uncomfortable three hours drive from Meherabad. Unfortunately, a fully equipped ambulance with adequately trained personnel is not available. Despite the significant improvement in roads and vehicles over the years, the ride is still quite bumpy and in several recent emergencies the pilgrim has arrived in a critical condition at the hospital in Pune.

Once in the hospital, the patient’s food, drinking water, purchase of basic medicines, and special care are all provided by the patient’s attendants (family members or friends). Someone has to be with the patient during the day and someone sleeps in the same room at night. Making arrangements for the transfer to Pune, for round the clock attendants and for the hospitalisation itself puts a great strain on the pilgrim, their family, the Meherabad/Meherazad resident staff and the mandali.

We are prompted to send out this important information to our Baba family by our concern for you in your love for the Beloved. We know that you will understand that our most sincere wish is to help as many as we can to come for pilgrimage to bow down at His feet in their deep love for Him. For that we need your cooperation.

AVATAR MEHER BABA Kl JAI!!!

In Avatar Meher Baba’s Service,

V.S. Kalchuri
Chairman

 

 

20th August 2014

 

PROBLEMS WITH RICKSHAW AND TAXI DRIVERS

Baba lovers should be aware that there have been problems with some of the car and rickshaw drivers who service the Meherabad area. Please exercise caution in your dealings with drivers and report problems and irregular behavior by filling out the complaint form available in MPR reception office or PRO office at MPC.

 

Drivers should NOT eat or drink with their passengers, they should obviously not drink alcohol while on duty, they should not carry their own people along with the paying customer, they should not ask you for any kind of financial help, or involve you in their personal or family affairs at all. Just as you would not invite your New York or Mumbai taxi driver to share a meal with you, you should maintain a reserved customer-driver relationship with the local drivers here. We ask that you not give tips (money or food/drink) to the rickshaw drivers as their rates are negotiated and fixed.

 

We maintain lists of recommended cars and rickshaw drivers. Please use those lists and remember also that they are not foolproof! Please let us know your feedback by contacting Irene at the P.R.O. so we can improve our recommendations.

 

Last season a hired car driver (not on our recommended list) was caught stealing money from a pilgrim’s bag. He was terminated by the car owner, but now four months later he is again driving for that same car owner. This kind of judgement call indicates what sort of service the owner is providing. As mentioned, he is not on our approved list.

 

Some rickshaw drivers who operate rickshaws in the area are not on our recommended list. There have been complaints about some of them driving while intoxicated, asking pilgrims for food and to join them at their table in a restaurant, driving erratically, fighting with other drivers or even with their passengers.

 

One passenger who noticed her rickshaw driver had been drinking while she was having dinner, refused to go back to MPR with him and the restaurant owner gave her a ride back instead.

 

This is the kind of sensible and cautious action which will help keep us safe.

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Jai Meher Baba!

 

For more information, contact:

 

Pilgrim Reservation Office

 

Avatar Meher Baba Trust

 

 

Other sources of useful information are:

 

Avatar Meher Baba Trust Website > click here

 

Welcome Home Guide Book > click here

 

 

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