Saturday, May 4, 2019

How to Reach the Global Vipassana Pagoda From Gorai Khadi in Borivli, Mumbai.

As already mentioned previously, I had attended the 10 day Vipassana course at Gorai Pagoda in Mumbai.

On the D-day, 6th March 2019, leaving my phone and camera behind, I bid my half-excited, half-anticipatory goodbye to friends and family... for the next 10 days we weren't going to have any communication, in any form whatsoever. I had never been disconnected in such a jarring way from any sense of my home for such a continuous length of time and yet, an action that once terrified me today made my heart bloom in anticipation of what lay ahead of me.

When I finally left the house, it was with a feeling that this was the beginning of a new yatra.

With a spring in my step and the strange little tickle of excitement running down my spine, I reached Gorai Khadi or Gorai Jetty, the ferry point in Borivli West in Mumbai from where the journey to Global Vipassana Pagoda was to begin!


Global Vipassana Pagoda as seen from the Gorai Creek in Mumbai
Come along with me ... to one of Maharashtra's - and the world's - best known symbols of peace and harmony!

*All the pictures you'll see in this series of blogposts on Vipassana are from my subsequent visits to the Pagoda and not from the time when I actually attended the course.

How to reach Gorai Pagoda from Borivli, Mumbai:


To reach the Dhamma Pattana Center situated inside the Global Vipassana complex – the nearest railway station is Borivli. Get down from the western exit and take a BEST bus (Nos. 294 and 247) or a rickshaw towards the Gorai Khadi. The rickshaw will take around 20-25 minutes (3.8 km) and drop you off at the Gorai Creek which is also the ferry point.

Mangroves at the Gorai Creek, Borivli
A thick groove of Mangroves at Gorai Khadi in Borivli west.

NOTE: You need not buy the ferry ticket for Pagoda at this point. Ferry tickets have to be brought once you cross over to the other side (Esselworld jetty) after reaching the destination.

You just need to inform the ferry operators roaming at the spot that you’re going for Vipassana course and take the “Esselworld” boat.


It takes around 25 minutes to reach the other end of the Gorai creek – The Esselworld Jetty.

Armed with my bag of things I had packed for Vipassana, I took a seat in the Esselworld ferry, and soon enough a woman, another Vipassana student took a seat beside me. I barely spoke. Perhaps, a part of me was still coming to terms to what I had finally got myself into… and here she was, this lady, already chatting her heart away!

She was attending the course for the second time, having attended her first only 3 months earlier at Belur. And boy! If she wasn’t upbeat about it!


Esselworld Boat from the Gorai Khadi in Borivli, Mumbai
From the boat ride... Esselworld Ferry towards the Global Vipassana Pagoda.

Has Vipassana helped you in the past 3 months? I asked.

Her eyes, vivid with passion, emulated the gleaming sun and her smile was accompanied by an expression that showed more like ecstacy than any other emotion… It’s magic my dear, it’s changed my life and it will change yours too. Just do it, sincerely.

I couldn’t understand what magic she was talking about and what kind of changes.

And yet, her words were music to my ears! I loved talking to her – her conviction reaffirming my faith of taking the leap, bringing a quiet assurance to my heart, restless with a curious mix of anticipation and elation.

The waters beneath, ruffled as our boat made its way towards the Pagoda, refracting the passing moments in the glimmer of the scalding sun.


View of the Pagoda from Gorai Khadi ferry in Borivli, Mumbai


Far away in the distance, unaware and oblivious to all such mortal distractions, glittered the gilded structure of the Global Vipassana Pagoda - a golden beacon of silence and peace, with its central finger like conical structure, containing the relics of the Buddha, tapering upwards 99 m (the height of a 30 storey building) towards the ever expanding sky making it the largest free standing dome in the world.

Mumbai, my home, suddenly seemed a million miles away.

Disembarking at the Esselworld Jetty and Getting to the Pagoda:


Gates of the Global Vipassana Pagoda, Gorai Mumbai
A few steps after disembarking at the Esselworld Jetty, comes the first gate of the Pagoda.

We disembarked at the Esselworld Jetty, the other end of the Gorai Khadi and made our way towards the Pagoda. There were 2 more students in the boat besides me and the lady I had just met, taking the total count to 4. As soon as we entered the gate of the Pagoda, two men representing the Pagoda welcomed all of us warmly.


Way to the Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Center Global Pagoda, Mumbai
The road to the Pagoda goes through a very peaceful hike of about 2 kms.

Here, we were guided to purchase the tickets for the ferry which cost us Rs. 25 each. Free car service was provided which took us to the Dhamma Pattana Vipassana center, this was to be our residence for the next 10 days.

Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Center Global Pagoda, Mumbai
Welcome to the Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Center - my home for the next 10 days!

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Tips and other helpful information:


The frequency of the Esselworld ferries (which also goes to the Global Vipassana Pagoda) is about 30 minutes and the last ferry leaves from the Gorai Khadi at Borivli towards the Global Vipassana Pagoda at 5.25 pm.

How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda from Thane and other areas?

The Global Vipassana Pagoda in Gorai is well connected by State Transport Buses from Thane, Navi Mumbai & Mumbai cities.

From Bhayender Station (W) MBMT (Mira Bhayandar Municipal Transport ) Bus No. 4 is available for Global Vipassana Pagoda. Timings are 6.30 am to 6 .45 pm. Fare from Bhayandar Stn to Global Pagoda is Rs. 13.

How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda from other Malad?

From Malad Station West, take BEST Bus No. 272 to Malad Marve, from Malad Marve, take the Esselworld Ferry service. Fare is Rs. 25 one way.


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How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda, Gorai Mumbai


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I attended the Vipassana meditation course from 6th March to 16th March 2019 in Mumbai. You can read the complete Pagoda Vipassana Meditation blogpost series by clicking on the following links:

Stepping Into Vipassana: The Admission Process (An Introduction)
10 things You Must Pack For Vipassana Meditation: A Checklist!




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8 comments:

  1. Very informative post. Thanks for sharing Arti.

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  2. I can feel the anticipation in this post. The anticipation of what lies ahead, of the magic the lady spoke of , of being away from your home and communication. I so so want to read about your experience. Swati did it recently and she came back elated!!

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  3. Beautiful landscapes and water bodies.

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  4. Wow.. This is bliss.. Nature in all its glory and the silhouette of the pagoda looks awesome and to be cut off from network.. Cannot ask for more!

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  5. Oh my goodness! That groove of Mangroves.

    I love that fluttery feeling, that spine tingling anticipation of a journey about to be embarked on.

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  6. I am genuinely thankful to the owner of this web page who has
    shared this wonderful article at here.

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  7. The question knocked into mind is...if you left behind your camera and phone then how did you click all these love and mesmerizing captures.
    It was really wonderful to go through your experience.The journey cherishing the beauty of nature is always heartwarming.

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  8. Nice information about Vipassana !

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