Monday, November 17, 2014

Jewels of Mumbai: GLOBAL PAGODA @ GORAI

Lord Buddha in front of Global Pagoda @ Gorai
According to Global Pagoda website:

The Global Vipassana Pagoda is declared as one of the "Seven Wonders of Maharashtra" by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in partnership with ABP Majha, a Marathi news channel; after they reviewed 350 destinations. The results of this selection were declared on 6th June 2013. You must visit Global Vipassana Pagoda to witness the developments and its unique nature for getting selected as one of the seven wonders of the state.

Lakshmi & Ranga on the ferry
I read about the Golden Global Pagoda before it was completed in 2009 and had been wanting to visit it since then. Finally, I got an opportunity to go there with my sister Lakshmi and brother-in-law Ranga last Wednesday when they had come for a visit to Mumbai.

Yours truly on the ferry
We left by car at around 11 am. Luckily, Venkat has found a driver who comes when we call and we pay him on a day-to-day basis. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the Gorai canal to catch the ferry. While it’s possible to drive directly to the entrance of the Global Pagoda, we wanted to experience the ferry ride. Tickets cost Rs. 50 per person for both ways. We waited for about 15 minutes for the ferry to fill up and left along with many people who were on their way to Water Kingdom.

From the ferry
The moment the ferry turned towards the sea, we could see the Golden Pagoda that stood majestically on the other shore. The ride lasted for about 15 minutes and we got off to walk to the Pagoda. We had to walk up a slight incline to reach the entrance. This took us about 10 minutes.

The ferry leaves after dropping us
The pictures that I have posted here will show you the grandeur of the place. It was too gorgeous for words. One has to climb up a number of steps to reach the Pagoda. There is a pillarless meditation hall that has enough space for 8,000 people to meditate at one go. Only those who have done the 10-day Vipassana Meditation Course are allowed to enter this hall to maintain sanctity. I was a mite disappointed as the place appeared so peaceful and we weren’t eligible to go inside. We just stood outside and absorbed the atmosphere.

On the way to the Pagoda
We weren’t in time for the lecture and hence didn’t take part in it. We went to another A/C hall where they showed us a video of how the Pagoda came about.

Nature at its best
The Buddhists of Myanmar (Burma) wanted to show their gratitude to Lord Buddha’s country of birth, i.e., India and hence got the idea of establishing the Pagoda here. Mumbai was lucky enough to be chosen as the right place for this. The architecture of the Pagoda leans more towards the Orient with a lot of red and gold.

Almost there
We also visited the art gallery that houses more than a hundred lovely paintings depicting scenes from Lord Buddha’s life beginning with the strange dream his mother had when the Lord was in her womb. It took us more than half an hour to browse through the paintings.

The top of the Global Pagoda
We left the gallery to see Lord Buddha’s statue that is right at the front of the Pagoda but away from the main staircase. Soaking in the beauty and taking pictures, we finally went to the food court to have sandwiches and lemonade before stepping out.

At the entrance
We walked back to the jetty but had to wait for 40 minutes before we got a ferry back to Gorai. It was an enjoyable visit indeed.

Gorgeous Burmese architecture
More info:

Timing: 9 am to 7 pm
No charges for entry to Global Pagoda
Donations are welcome
Clean toilets with water facility available
Food Court is available
You can reach by road as well as ferry
BEST buses go to the Pagoda entrance
Vipassana Meditation Courses are conducted here

The long climb up to the Pagoda

Almost there. Isn't it beautiful?
Up the staircase

Entrance to Pillar-less hall

On the way down
Lord Buddha in meditation
Visitor's Guidelines


  1. Wow the pics look even more beautiful in your blog:-)

  2. Wow, The center looks more grand now its almost complete. I had gone 2times while it was under construction. Check my pics:

    You have motivated me to go for atleast a 3day course.

    1. Okay, then I am glad I waited :D
      will check out your blog. Don't quite know how I missed it though