Jalaram Bapa was born in Virpur, Rajkot district, Gujarat, India in 1799, on the seventh day of the Kartika month. His father was Pradhan Thakkar and his mother was Rajbai Thakkar who belonged to Thakkar clan, which is a sub- group of Lohana clan. He was a devotee of the Hindu god Rama.
Jalaram Bapa was however not willing to live an householder's life and continued to take care of his father's business. He was mostly engaged in serving pilgrims, sadhus and saints. He separated himself from his father's business and his uncle Valjibhai asked Jalaram Bapa and his wife Virbai to stay in his house.
At the age of sixteen, in 1816, Jalaram married Virbhai, the daughter of Pragjibhai Thakkar (Somaiya) at Atkot. However, he was inclined to completely withdraw from materialistic life and become an ascetic, Virbai proved to be assets to him in his works of feeding poor and needy. She was also a pious and saintly lady and she also decided to follow the path of serving mankind. At the age twenty, Jalaram, accompanied by his wife, decided to go for a pilgrimage to the holy cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi and Badrinath.