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A Day at Global Vipassana Pagoda (A Photo Story)

What I like most about the cities we live in is the places we generally not aware about. Like the case of one of its own kind Butterfly Park of Thane, which is at stone throw distance from my place and I came to knew about it a few months back only. Then there is this Pagoda – another one of its own kind – world renowned and still not known to many city dwellers. We visited this place to take pictures and let me confirm it, we were stoned by the colors and the mystical sky (check out the Photo Story at the bottom of the post)

Located at Northern most corner of the Megacity of Mumbai, across the Gorai creek, Global Vipassana Pagoda is a meditation hall built out of gratitude to the Buddha, his teaching and the community of monks practicing his teaching (Wikipedia). 
The Global  Vipassana Pagoda - HDR
The Pagoda is also known for being built on the world's largest stone dome without any supporting pillars, at height of ~29 metres and external diameter 94.82-97.46 m. It is, thus, twice the size of the Gol Gumbaz Dome in Bijapur (external diameter ~44m) which had been the World’s largest hollow dome. As such the pagoda is is a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar and it is assumed as an an expression of gratitude towards the Myanmar for preserving the practice of Vipassana. The Pagoda also finds a place in the list the "Seven Wonders of Maharashtra" declared by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in partnership with ABP Majha in June 2013.
The Smaller Dome
The central dome, which is the largest dome, contains the relics of Gautam Buddha’s bones at the top most point of it which also carries the Dhamma Chakra. The relics have been donated by the Sri Lankan government. It is meant mainly for the practice of meditation – Vipassana. There is one small dome next to the main pagoda where the tourists are introduced to the first aasana of Vipassana – Anapana Meditation. It’s a 20 minutes session where the attendees are expected to listen to and follow the recorded instructions of Shri Goenka ji.

Timings:
One can visit the place any day. Morning should be the best time to visit and also to take pictures. We, however, went there post noon to have a chance of taking pictures of the pagoda in the artificial light. Though we couldn’t take those pictures, we did have an amazing time clicking with the natural sunset light and a mystical sky helping us.

How to reach:
Best way to reach Vipassana Centre is by taking Essel World’s jetty from Borivali/Gorai creek. Reaching Borivali is an easy task by either local train on Western Express Highway, and then the Essel World’s jetty tickets are for Rs. 50/- per person. It’s better than the regular Gorai jetty as it takes one directly to the Essel World or the Vipassan Centre. Last ferry to leave Gorai for Borivali is at 7:30 PM.
How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda

Driving own vehicle one should take Western Express Highway – if coming from Mumbai or Ghodbunder Road – if from Navi Mumbai; and take a left turn at Kashimira towards Gorai.

The Picture Story
Main Pagoda with Singh  (Ashoka)Stambha in front
Singh  (Ashoka)Stambha 
An angled view
Red and the Golden from another angle
Aakash Devta and Devi
(God and Goddess of Sky)
Red and the Golden from another angle
Jal Devta and Devi
(God and Goddess of Water)
Vipassana Centre
Silhouette of the Pagoda temple
An HDR capture of the Main Gate of Global Vipassana Pagoda
Buddha in front of the Pagoda
Another HDR capture of the mystical sky and the amazing pagoda
Mesmerizing reflection of the Global Vipassana Pagoda

If you have been to the place do share with us your experience. To know more about Vipassana and the Pagoda, please visit the official website here.


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