Global Pagoda- Vipassana meditation Hall in Mumbai
The Global Pagoda is one of the largest meditation centers in the whole world. It has the capacity to hold 8000 mediators. Situated near Gorai in North Western Mumbai the meditation hall serves lots of mediators around the world. It was inaugurated by the president of India, Pratibha Patel in the year 2009. She conferred the Padma Bhushan Award to respected Sri S.N. Goenka who is the organizer of this meditation technique. The award was given for his high-level social work and was announced on 26th January 2012(republic day).
About Global Pagoda
The pagoda is a beautiful tall and large building overlooking the Arabian Sea. The stone dome of height 29 meters is the largest in the world and has been built without any pillars. It is hollow inside the pagoda that serves as a huge mediation hall. The mediators practice the meditation method as taught by S.N. Goenka which is now being practiced in more than 100 countries. Bone relics of Lord Gautama Buddha are preserved in central locked stone. The relics of Buddha were actually found in the Bhattiprolu stupa in Andhra Pradesh which was then donated to preserve it at Global Pagoda. The pagoda is comprised of three sub-domes. The first dome is the biggest and above it is the second and third one. The structure was fully completed in November 2008. There is a museum that depicts the teaching of Buddha and his historical life. The educational display of the museum announces that practicing Vipassana is the path towards salvation which is real happiness.
Structure of Global Pagoda
The full building of Global Vipassana Pagoda consists of the following divisions:-
- Dhamma Patana or the Vipassana meditation hall
- Museum that depicts the teachings and life of Gautama Buddha
- Other two small pagodas on the south and north side
- Administrative building
- Study rooms and library
- A splendid Ashok Pillar inside the monument
- Dhammalaya or guest houses for only mediators of Vipassana
- Dhamma wheel suspended from a monument of 90 feet in height
The Global Pagoda in Mumbai is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world who are interested in Buddhism, architecture, and cultural attractions. Visitors can explore the pagoda’s interior and exterior, learn about its history and significance, and participate in meditation and other spiritual activities. The pagoda is surrounded by lush greenery and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area, making it a peaceful and scenic place to visit. Additionally, there are several nearby tourist attractions, including temples, parks, and museums, that can be combined with a visit to the Global Pagoda for a full day of cultural immersion.
Rules and regulations
- It is not allowed to carry any alcohol, intoxicants, or drugs on the pagoda premises.
- Visitors who like to learn the mini-course of 20 minutes have to maintain the rule that requires patience to be seated quietly within the pagoda for 20 minutes.
- Men and women are seated separately in areas designated for them.
- When visitors are inside the pagoda then complete silence should be maintained strictly.
- Mobile phones should be kept switched off
- A voice record of Sri S. N. Goenka is played providing instruction on meditation techniques according to which you must do it.
- Any kind of photograph or video is strictly prohibited, whether you are in the photo gallery or inside the dome.
How to reach
Borivali station is the nearest railway terminus. The station is well connected by buses that leave from Thane and Navi Mumbai. It is near NH3 and state highway 42.
Meditation for visitors
People belonging to any caste can practice this meditation technique that involves the anapana technique which means concentration on the breath. Tourists from around the world come here to gain knowledge about it. Lots of experience mediators have learned it and have achieved proper concentrating power due to which the mind becomes peaceful and cool. It is a very ancient technique imposed by Gautama Buddha. There is a ten-day course for beginners and they have to stay inside the Global Pagoda confined to the premise. Total silence is maintained for 10 days. Mobile phones and expensive accessories are kept away from them. Living there, eating is totally free. It is like living the life of a monk. For old mediators, 3 days courses are also available. At the end of the 10th day if they get any good results then they can donate as per their wish.
The Global Pagoda in Mumbai was built by Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a Hindu sect, and was inaugurated in 2009. The pagoda was constructed as a symbol of peace and harmony, and to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. The pagoda was built with the support of the local community and with donations from around the world. The design of the pagoda is based on traditional Buddhist architectural style, and it is considered one of the largest monuments of its kind in the world. The interior of the pagoda features several halls for meditation and religious activities, as well as a large statue of the Buddha, making it a place of pilgrimage and spiritual significance for Buddhists and other visitors.
Things to do
Visitors to the Global Pagoda in Mumbai can participate in several activities and experiences to deepen their understanding of Buddhism and its teachings:
- Explore the Pagoda: Visitors can take a guided tour of the pagoda and learn about its history, architecture, and significance.
- Meditate: The pagoda has several halls for meditation, providing a peaceful and calming environment for visitors to reflect and contemplate.
- Admire the Statue: The large statue of the Buddha inside the pagoda is a highlight for many visitors, who come to admire its beauty and significance.
- Participate in Religious Activities: The pagoda often hosts religious ceremonies and events, which visitors can participate in and experience the local culture and traditions.
- Enjoy the Scenery: The pagoda is surrounded by lush greenery, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area and a peaceful escape from the city.
- Visit nearby attractions: There are several nearby tourist attractions, including temples, parks, and museums, that can be combined with a visit to the Global Pagoda for a full day of cultural immersion.
Timings and Entry Fee
The Global Pagoda in Mumbai is open to visitors every day except for national holidays. The timings for visiting the pagoda are typical:
- Morning: 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- Afternoon: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The entry fee to the Global Pagoda is free, although donations are accepted and appreciated.
It is always a good idea to check the official website or contact the pagoda in advance to confirm the current timings and any updates or changes to the visiting policies.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Global Pagoda in Mumbai:
Is the Global Pagoda open to visitors of all religions?
Yes, the Global Pagoda is open to visitors of all religions and backgrounds, and visitors are welcome to learn about and experience the teachings of Buddhism.
Is there a dress code to enter the pagoda?
Modest dress is recommended when visiting the Global Pagoda, and visitors are asked to remove their shoes before entering the pagoda halls.
Can visitors take photographs inside the pagoda?
Photography is generally allowed inside the Global Pagoda, but it is always best to check with the pagoda staff or signage before taking photos.
Is there parking available near the pagoda?
Yes, there is parking available near the Global Pagoda, and visitors are advised to arrive by car or taxi for their convenience.
Can visitors participate in meditation and other religious activities at the pagoda?
Yes, visitors are welcome to participate in meditation and other religious activities at the Global Pagoda, and there are several halls for meditation and spiritual reflection available.
Is there a gift shop or souvenir shop at the pagoda?
Yes, there is a gift shop and souvenir shop at the Global Pagoda, where visitors can purchase books, artifacts, and other items related to Buddhism and Hinduism.