About Baba Ji
Statue of Baba ji at BRD Medical College,
Government of India released a postage stamp in honour of social works done by Baba ji on his birth anniversary in 1998
Baba Raghav Das, popularly known as 'Gandhi of Poorvanchal', was born in a rich Brahman family on 12 December 1896 at Pune, Maharastra. He played a great role in the political, social, economic, and the cultural activities of the nation. After his education he left Mumbai in 1913 in search of a siddh guru and reached Kashi. After that he went to Ghazipur, where he met 'Mauni baba' and learned Hindi. Later he met 'YogirajAnantMahaprabhu' and accepted him as his guru. In 1921, Mahatma Gandhi visited Gorakhpur. Baba met Gandhiji and since then he continuously worked for independence and served the oppressed people. He was imprisoned for the first time in 1921. Baba accompanied Gandhiji during Dandi March and sincerely involved himself in the freedom struggle.
During the independence movement, he was imprisoned many times. After freedom, he preferred to serve people rather than be in the government. However, due to the strong insistence of some of the top leaders of India, he contested in the elections and was elected MLA in 1948. After that he continued to work for the people. During 1947 to 1957 he dedicated himself to various welfare activities. He took an active part in the 'Bhu-dan' movement started by BinobaBhave. He started educational institutes in Deoria, Barhaj and Kushinagar. Imparting education, maintaining hygiene and public health care were his main priorities. The leprosy home and degree college started by Babaji in Barhaj are examples of his devotion to academic and health care systems. This noble saint and philosopher left for his heavenly abode on January 15, 1958.
Guru Gorakshanath Temple at Gorakhpur
(The city derives its name from famous saint ‘Guru Gorakshanath’)
Gorakhpur is located in eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh (India), near the border with Nepal (26o13’N to 27o29’N and 83o05’E to 83o56’E) and to the north of river Rapti. It is the administrative headquarters of Gorakhpur division and Gorakhpur district. The city is named after renowned ascetic saint, Guru Gorakshanath, the chief disciple of yogi Matsyendranath (together they fonded the Nathsampradaya line of saints). The city is associated with a number of Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jain and Sikh saints and kings. Ancient Gorakhpur was a part of famous kingdoms Koshala and Malla, two of the sixteen Mahajanapads in 6th century BC. Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in neighboring Kapilvastu (Nepal) and died in Kushinara (former Mall kingdom; now known as Kushinagar). Lord Mahavira, the 24thTirthankara of Jainism, took his Mahaprinirvan at Pava (former Pavapuri; now about 15 km from Kushinagar). This is the birth place of Kshatriya king Chandra Gupta Maurya and King VikasSanskrityayan. Saint Kabir, the famous mystic poet of 16th century AD, lived and worked in Maghar (a village 20 km from Gorakhpur), where his burial place attracts many pilgrims. Imambara, an 18th century dargah of sufi saint Roshan Ali Shah, is located about 2 km from railway station in city. Gorakhpur was one of the major centers of the 1857 uprising. The incident at Chauri-Chaura on February 4, 1922 was a turning point in history of India’s Freedom Struggle, which made Mahatma Gandhi call off the non-cooperation moment of 1920.
The economy of modern Gorakhpur is chiefly based on service industry. The city is famous for its hathkargha (hand operated loom) and terracotta industry worldwide. Industrial revolution was started in the city with establishment of Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority (GIDA) in 1989, which is now a host to a number of industries. Gorakhpur has also been known for its sugar industry. The city also has mechanical workshop of Indian Railways established in 1903, and Air Force Station established in 1963.
Modern Gorakhpur is the economic hub of entire poorvanchal. With a number of business centers, mandis, business malls, multiplexes, other recreational and dining centers, Gorakhpur is the favorite shopping destination for not only residents of Gorakhpur, but also for residents of surrounding districts. The city has a number of parks, Buddha museum, Ramgarhtal, water park, Terracotta town, religious centers like Gautma Buddha NirvanSthal (Kushinagar), Gorakshanath temple, Tarkulhidevi temple, Lehradevi temple, Budhiamai temple, Magahar, Imambara, etc, and attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims from India and abroad.
The city is also the educational and medical hub of this region. It has one university, two engineering colleges, one medical college, one dental college, over 20 degree colleges, over 70 high schools and intermediate colleges, and a number of other technical institutes training colleges like ITI, Polytechnics, Physiotherapy colleges, Institute of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, Institutes of Information Technology, Management institutes, etc.