The Global Vipassana Pagoda is an angelic structure constructed as a dedication to Buddha, his teachings and the monks who practice the Vipassana (meditation). It is a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar which is claimed to be the oldest pagoda in the world.
After a planning of 3 years, the construction of the Global Vipassana Pagoda began in the year 2000. The structure is built on a donated piece of land under the guidance of founder Lt. S.N. Goenka. The place was inaugrated by Ex-President Pratibha Patil in February 2009.
The Global Vipassana Pagoda holds a world record as the largest hollow stone structure without any pillars. It has a meditation hall, a library, book shop and a small video room which plays clips on the course of making the Pagoda. It also has a painting gallery depicting the life and times of Buddha. The entry to the pagoda is free. They often conduct a 10 day meditation course for which the devotees can enroll free of charge. You are allowed photography except in the Painting gallery and Meditation hall. Unlike some of our ignored monuments, the Pagoda is designed to be visitor friendly housing a Food court, seating places, toilets and parking space which make up for its 11 acres of land. The food court though limited in options provides appetizing vegetarian thalis, juices and snacks at extremely modest prices.
The Pagoda is currently getting its finishing touches and intends on completing the structure with an underground parkade. Until then you can comfortably park your car on the unpaved road (Kachcha road), near the entrance gate of Pagoda.
Situated in Gorai, the Global Vipassna Pagoda can be reached by road or ferry in the same manner as that for Essel World and Water Kingdom as all three attractions are located besides each other. You can board a ferry from Malad Marve or Gorai Creek. If you want to drive down with your vehicle, use the Western Expess highway; Cross the Dahisar toll and turn left towards Mira Bhayander road (landmark – Shivaji statue). From there follow the sign boards to Essel world and Pagoda. By road is generally the longer route to reach. There is a direct BEST, bus. no. 4 to Pagoda which embarks from Bhayander station. The last bus timing is 6:45 pm.
On a Final Note:
The Global Vipassana Pagoda will do good to those who wish to experience Tranquility. You will be astonished by this structure the moment you spot it from the farthest of distance.
If you plan this visit in the most appropriate manner; you can turn the trip into an excellent 1 day outing by clubbing it with either Essel World or Water Kingdom.