This Weekend Visit Mumbai's Little Known Oasis of Calm!

Attributes: Heritage, Around the City

Mumbai — the city that never sleeps, the city that never seems to take a break. The local trains bursting at the seams, the incessant honking of vehicles and the urgent footsteps of its people with no time to waste - they’re all everyday familiar sights here. In the heart of a city as fast-paced as this, what if we told you, you could discover a serene oasis of calm? What if you didn’t have to travel all the way to Lonavala or Alibaug to escape the crowds and take a break? Sounds too good to be true? Read on! We are talking about a pacifying weekend getaway that deserves your visit!

The Global Vipassana Pagoda is a tribute and replica of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, and has been built as a monument of peace and harmony. Situated on a peninsula between Gorai creek and the Arabian Sea, north-west of Mumbai, the Pagoda has also been declared as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Maharashtra’ by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.

While the Pagoda is situated right in the city’s backyard, not many people have heard about it, and even fewer have actually visited it. The distant facade of the Pagoda’s golden dome is the first to greet you on your way there, its striking beauty and enormity only sinking in as you get closer. Gusty winds, the gentle chime of bells, and a comforting silence greet you, the perfect companions to your gasp of surprise. The beautiful, sprawling structure is sure to leave you spellbound. It almost seems like a mirage, nestled within the urban confines of Mumbai.

Its intricate Burmerse architecture and design is an expression of gratitude towards the country of Myanmar, for preserving the practise of Vipassana. It has been built combining ancient Indian and modern technology to enable it to last for a thousand years. The centre of the Global Vipassana Pagoda also holds the record for the world’s largest stone dome, built without any supporting pillars!

The Pagoda dome is an extremely sacred spot, as it contains the relics of the Buddha. It encompasses a meditation hall which can seat about 8000 people at a time- the largest such hall in the world! It also has a museum depicting the historical life of Buddha, and a guesthouse for people undertaking the Vipassana program.

With beautiful quotes on Dhamma adorning the wall, and an impeccably maintained premises, the Global Vipassana Pagoda is the perfect spot for those who seek some solitude, while basking in the positive energy all around. If inner peace is what you seek, you can also opt for the Vipassana course conducted around the year.

Haven’t made plans for the weekend yet? How about you take a break from the hustle-bustle of Mumbai, and spend a few hours wrapped up in the lap of tranquility.

How to get there:

Website and course bookings:

Author and Picture Credit: Apeksha Shetty

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