You will be surprised to know that Global
Vipassana Pagoda is one of the quietest and peaceful places, situated amidst
the city noises of suburbs of Gorai in Mumbai. As the name suggests, the Global
Vipassana Pagoda is a dome-shaped meditation hall that has a seating capacity
of around 8000 people. Many Vipassana practitioners and devotees from all over
the world travel to this place in order to nourish their soul and mind with
Known for its serene ambience, this meditation
centre is situated on a peninsula between the Arabian Sea and Gorai Creek. This
structure was built only with the donation money and is open to visitors
belonging to all age groups. Before enrolling yourself in the yoga classes, you
can take a 10 minutes trail session of Anapana Meditation to experience the
importance of meditation for inner peace.
The Pagoda was constructed in the memory of
Sayagyi U Ba Khin who was an Accountant-General of Independent Myanmar and also
an experienced Vipassana teacher. He is a renowned figure who tried best to
bring back Vipassana to India, the place it originated. The place is considered
as one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra and is visited by visitors who are
going through a stressful and painful phase in their life.
More on Global Vipassana Pagoda
History of Global
The idea of building the Global Vipassana
Pagoda was proposed by Shree S.N. Goenka in 1997 and the construction of the
same began in 2000. The main objective was to preach the true teachings of Lord
Buddha about Dhamma and the correct path to living. He felt that it was crucial
to instil these teachings in the minds of people who were driven by
superstitions and other forms of religious dogmas. It was only through these
preaching, an individual could live an improved life in harmony and peace.
Acharya Goenkaji firmly believed that the
Pagoda would serve as an important medium to communicate the teachings of
Dhamma through the technique of Vipassana, which was supposedly lost nearly two
million years ago. Simultaneously, he was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2012
for his commendable work. After a year, on 6th June 2013, the Pagoda
was nominated as one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra for its excellent
architecture and purpose.
Purpose of the Pagoda
The Pagoda was essentially constructed revive
Lord Budhha teachings of Dhamma. The main focus is on preaching teachings that
will ensure harmony and peace in the world with simultaneous eradication of
poverty and misery. Through Vipassana, the devotees are expected to detach
themselves from the material world and discover mental peace.
Architecture of Global Vipassana Pagoda
Spread over an area of about 13 acres, the
global Vipassana Pagoda is a perfect example of traditional Buddhist
architecture, with a slight touch of Burmese designs. The traditional Burmese
architecture has been incorporated in the Pagoda as a gesture of respect
towards Myanmar for safeguarding the practice of Vipassana Meditation. The
dome-shaped structure of Pagoda is inspired by Golden Pagoda in Myanmar and
showcases a perfect blend of modern and ancient architecture.
The Pagoda is painted in golden colour and has
a Shikhara, the spire, made of actual gold, which was donated by the Burmese.
It is embellished with decorative pieces and has a close resemblance to an
umbrella. The inner dome is a massive structure that can accommodate around
8000 people to practice Vipassana meditation at one time. The beautiful wooden
doors at the entrance are intricately carved by hand and have been imported
The sturdy foundation of the structure is made
of Basalt rocks and the dome is built from the sandstones which were imported
from Rajasthan. The sandstone blocks weigh around 600 to 700 kg and are
interlocked with each other with the help of bricks and lime mortar. The
structure is strong enough to stand tall for several years. The most
interesting fact about this structure is that the 29 meters high dome is not
supported by any pillar. The central area of the dome, the prayer hall, covers
an area of about 6000 sq. meters. A large crystal is placed on the top of the
Courses Offered at
Global Vipassana Pagoda
Beginner Course: The beginner course comprises of 10 days
meditation course during which the participants have to follow strict regulations
pertaining to the timetable, no sexual misconduct, not harming any living
being, no consumption of alcohol or other intoxicants, and no telling lies.
The students practice ten hours of meditation
every day with breaks in between. The first three days are focused on
developing concentration through Aanapana and the next seven days are for
complete immersion in Vipassana Practice. On the last day, the Metta Bhavana
technique of meditation is taught. These courses are bilingual and can be
attended by members who do not understand local languages.
courses are preliminary lessons intended especially for Business Executives,
Entrepreneurs and Government Officials
Old Students Short-term
participants who have completed at least one 10-day course are considered as
old students. They can enrol for a 3-day short course each year to revise and
stay updated about the technique.
Advanced Courses: This includes the same timetable as that for
the beginner courses, however, the duration and the degree of meditation is
highly developed. Participants can choose between 20, 30, 45 and 60 days of
Children’s Course: These courses are designed to help children
in the age group 8 to 12 years learn meditation.
Tips for Visiting Global Pagoda
1. Please maintain silence on the premises.
2. Do not litter the site.
3. Carry your ID proof. The management doesn’t
allow anyone without an Identity Proof.
4. The last ferry leaves from Gorai Creek at
How to Reach Global Vipassana Pagoda?
Private Transport Route
to Reach Global Pagoda
In order to reach Global Vipassana, you will
have to start from Western Express Highway and head towards Mira-Bhayandar or
towards Ahmedabad. From Mira-Bhayandar, you will have to further drive till the
Gold Nest Circle and then take a left from here. Continue driving towards Maxus
Mall till you come across a right turn. Once to turn right, head to the T point
and from there take a left.
Further, you can take the help of sign boards
to reach Essel World Parking Lot. From there, drive a few meters ahead and take
a right turn. Once you reach the entrance of the Esselworld, you will have to inform the guards
that you are heading towards the Pagoda. After driving a little further from
this point, you will come across a helipad from where you will have to take a
right to reach the Global Pagoda.
Public Transport Routes
to Reach Global Pagoda
For those wanting to travel to the Pagoda via
public transport should take the train till the Western Railway Mumbai Suburban
Line at Borivali Station. Upon reaching the station, exit from its western gate
and proceed to the Chandavarkar road. From here you can either take an
auto-rickshaw or BEST buses to reach the Gorai Creek which is 4 km away from
this place. Buses with number 247 and 294 will take you to the Gorai Creek from
Once you reach Gorai Creek, you will have to
take a ferry to reach the Pagoda. You have two ferry options available, the
Esselworld Ferry Service which will cost you Rs. 50 per person, and the local
ferry service which will cost you around Rs. 5. If you opt for the Esselworld
Ferry Service then you will have to walk from the jetty to reach the Pagoda,
however, if you take the local ferry then you will have to an auto-rickshaw or
take the bus 711 to reach the place.
If you are travelling from Bhayandar Station
(West) then you can take the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Transport (MBMT). Bus
route number 4 will take you to the Global Vipassana Pagoda.