I had been to Mumbai many times. Most of the time we visit Colaba area or make it base to go to close by places but this time I decided to visit some other places in Mumbai. We had decided to see Global Vipassana Pagoda Mumbai, where we had not been before.
We were staying in Malad and Global Vipassana Pagoda Mumbai is very close from there. We decided to go via Gorai Creek jetty and reached there by an auto rickshaw. This is shortest and fastest way to reach Pagoda. There is another route via road but it is longer and takes much longer. Gorai Creek jetty is also known as Essel world jetty. In our boat 95% people were going to Essel world water park and only a few of us were going to Pagoda. There was a ticket counter for Essel world as we entered the walkway going towards jetty, if you buy a ticket for Essel world theme park from here then boat ride is free. We were going to Pagoda so, we bought tickets and boarded the boat. There is a boat every 15 minutes to Pagoda/Essel world. When we went in the morning water level near the boarding point was low due to low tide. The highest point of Pagoda is visible from the jetty. It took us 15 minutes to reach another side. There was a narrow passage from boat’s disembarkation point to pagoda. We walked on a narrow passage to reach the island, at island it was bifurcated.
At we entered I noticed that there is a road on the right side which goes to Essel world and another road on left goes to Pagoda.
From here it was a long & slightly uphill walk till the main gate of Pagoda. They have shuttle service (Maruti Van) at short intervals for reaching Pagoda instead of walking all the way, the ticket is very nominal. We took a van and reached the main gate of the main complex. The moment I stood in front of it, I realized how magnificent and beautiful it is. Everything is made with gold and bright red & green colors. The design looks royal.
We walked inside and they scanned us as well as bags for security purpose. Global vipassana pagoda Mumbai is around 96 meter in height and said to be the highest hollow structure in the world. The shape of the pagoda is a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. The gates of Pagoda/meditation hall were made in Myanmar (We came to know this from the gentleman sitting at help desk). They gave us a pamphlet explaining the Vipassana system of meditation. In Pagoda complex “Pagoda dome” for meditation is in the center with a hall for meditation and there are different buildings around it. In most prominent buildings in the complex are Vipassana meditation center, Museum, Two smaller pagodas on the north and south side, Library and study rooms, Administration building and place for residence for Gurus, Canteen are main buildings.
There is circumambulation path around the dome and on the outer walls, they have decorative boards with Buddha’s teachings. We walked around to see this beautiful complex and other important places. It was quite and peaceful and there were not many people as went in the middle of the week.
There is a canteen in the premises, they serve vegetarian meals in it at very reasonable prices. We relaxed in the canteen and had some freshly made food before returning. When we came to the jetty to take return ferry, the water level was up and almost half of the walkway was submerged in water due to high tide.
Global Vipassana Pagoda Mumbai is beautiful, peaceful and full of energy. We spent a half day in Pagoda before taking the local train for Church gate station as we had planned to explore the fort area (Mumbai people call Colaba as Fort area) of Mumbai.
P.S. No we didn’t go to Essel world because I am not an amusement kind of person and my friend (Who was with me) already been there few years back so was not interested.
Take a boat to Pagoda from Essel world jetty.
When taking autorickshw for jetty, ask for essel world jetty instead of Pagoda jetty.
At boat or jetty they may not ask you for ticket assuming you are going to Essel world, so better buy a return ticket. Otherwise they will ask you at the other end before entering.
It is usually hot in Mumbai throughout the year, carry something to cover your head. You can wear shoes except when entering inside Pagoda or any other place.
Don’t talk loud because most of the people praying or meditating in complex.