14 Unknown Facts about Neem Karoli Baba

Ever since Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned his visit to Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram, this quaint sanctuary in India has been in the limelight. Kainchi Dham Ashram located near Nainital, Uttarakhand was built by Neem Karoli Baba, an enigmatic saint shrouded in reverence and legends. This  Ashram is frequently visited by foreigners and celebrities seeking spirituality and wisdom. Among his followers are some illustrious names like the philosopher and writer Yvette Rosser, the musician Daniel Goleman, the humanitarian Larry Brilliant, the spiritual leaders Ma Jaya and Ram Dass, and the musicians Jai Uttal and Krishna Das. Today, let’s learn some unknown facts about Neem Karoli Baba, often fondly called ‘Maharajji’. 

14 Unkown Facts about Neem Karoli Baba

Neem Karoli Baba and his Kainchi Dham Ashram gained global popularity after the visits of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, and Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. Let’s delve into the history of the ashram and the legendary saint, Neeb Karori Baba. 

#1 Neem Karoli Baba was Born in a Brahmin Family

Born as Laxman Narayan Sharma in 1900 in Akbarpur town of Faizabad District in Uttar Pradesh in a wealthy Brahmin family, he was married off at the age of 11. Soon after he left home to become a wandering sadhu. 

#2 Various Names of the Mystical Sadhu

Before becoming a monk, he was known by names like Laxman Das, Handi Wale Baba, Tikonia Wale Baba, and Talaiya Baba.

#3 Neem Karoli Baba’s Family

After he had wandered off and his father found his location, he was forced to return and lead a domestic life. During this time he fathered two sons and a daughter. During this time he also kept himself busy with social work. 

#4 How he got his Name – Neem Karoli Baba

There are various anecdotes of the mystical powers of Neeb Karori Baba. Once while travelling ticketless on a train he was forced out by the ticket collector. However, they soon found out that the train would not start. After several failed attempts to start the train, some passengers suggested to ask the sadhu to board the train again. It miraculously started moving once he boarded. The village where he was forced to de-board was Neem Karoli village in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh, earning him the name Neem Karoli Baba. 

#5 Mystical Knowledge

Neem Karoli Baba is said to have attained profound wisdom by the time he was seventeen.

#6 Reincarnation of Lord Hanuman?

Neem Karoli Baba is often regarded as the reincarnation of Lord Hanuman. He often recited verses on Lord Ram and Sita and was an ardent follower of Lord Hanuman. According to legends, Neem Karoli Baba never allowed anyone to touch his feet, instead, he instructed devotees to touch the feet of Lord Hanuman’s idol. 

#7 Building the Chabootra

Spiritual Gurus Sadhu Premi Baba and Sombari Maharaj once conducted a yagna in Kainchi Village.  Baba Neem Karoli constructed a ‘chabootara’ in 1962 around this yagna site. 

#8 Building Kainchi Dham Ashram

According to legends, Kainchi Dham Ashram was constructed in 1964 on the Naintital-Almora road, following his directions at 1400 meters above sea level. Situated on a hill surrounded by dense pine trees, this Ashram is often frequented by Americans.

#9 Building Other Temples 

In his lifetime he has also built several other temples in different locations like Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that he helped in building 108 temples in different locations including Lucknow and Texas, USA.

#10 Neeb Karori Baba – The Healer

The ability to heal was one of the most well-known mystical abilities ascribed to Neem Karoli Baba. There are several anecdotes of him healing conditions that science has concluded are incurable. There are many tales of Maharajji providing comfort to those experiencing emotional upheaval and spiritual concerns, leaving followers with a restored sense of tranquility and well-being.

#11 Legends of his Appearances

Maharajji was also known to defy the laws of physics. There are stories of him showing up in several locations at once, knowing things he shouldn’t have known, and even overcoming time constraints.

#12 Julia Roberts found his appearance intriguing

Famous Hollywood actress Julia Roberts became a practicing Hindu after she was drawn to a photo of Neem Karoli Baba. “It came from seeing a picture of a Hindu guru called Neem Karoli Baba. I was so drawn to this picture of this person, and I didn’t know who he was, and what he was about, but felt a very strong interest. He passed long before I saw his picture, but it was very intriguing, and that’s the way things come into our lives”, – said Roberts in an interview.

#13 Steve Jobs got inspired by Neem Karoli Baba

Apple founder, Steve Jobs visited India in 1974 as an 18-year-old backpacker seeking enlightenment, accompanied by his friend Dan Kottke, who would later become Apple’s first employee. They couldn’t meet Neeb Karori Baba because he had expired a year before. It is believed Jobs was moved by Maharajji’s simplicity, philosophy, compassion, and detachment. 

#14 Maharajji Predicted His Death 

The visionary saint predicted his own death and opted for his Vrindavan ashram as the land for his Samadhi. A temple was built for him with his statue and consecrated on 15 June 1976.  

Thousands of devotees visit Kainchi Dham every year to take blessings at Neem Karoli Baba’s temple. This quaint ashram stands as a beacon of awakening and spirituality. Nestled amidst the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand, the best way to visit Kainchi Dham Ashram is to drive down from Nainital which is 20 km away.

For those looking for an immersive experience and the greenery of the hills or those looking for hotels to stay near Kainchi Dham, you can opt to stay at Blue Book at Gethia – a luxury hotel in Nainital. Embrace the tranquility of the serene hills in an 1890 heritage bungalow. Kainchi Dham is only a 30-minute drive away from Blue Book at Gethia.

Embark on a transformative journey of spiritual awakening right here at Blue Book at Gethia.


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