Our Journey:
We often visit temple on 1st Jan being the start of the new year to seek blessings of the almighty. This year however I thought I’ll make a slight change and visit the Pagoda instead of a temple at Gorai near Borivali.
I gave a shout out to few friends, if they would like to join and the result was that my friend Pooja and Femina joined us.
My ever ready  friends
We had decided to start early in the morning hence we had fixed our meeting time at 7 am at Malad Station. However when I checked about the ferry timings I came to know that the first ferry to Pagoda from Marve Beach leaves at 9:40 so the whole program had to be rescheduled and we decided to meet at 8:30 am. 
At Marve Beach
We all met at 8:30 am at Malad West side of the Station and from there a little walk of 100 metres and you come down to the Bus stop of Bus no 126 fortunately for us the bus was at the stand so we all quickly jumped in. Marve Jetty or beach is the last stop so we took tickets for the last stop. a ride of 25 minutes and we were at the Marve Beach. Here again the ferry boat to Pagoda/Esselworld was almost leaving we were the the last passenger to get in.
The happy passengers
The ferry ride through the stinking water of the creek is not what you would like to see but then to seek better views one has to cross such hurdles.
Got to cross the stinking waters,
to reach the beautiful Pagoda
Here again the ride lasted some 25 minutes odd. We were busy shooting the pictures of each other in the boat, Femina met some old office colleague so she was busy chatting with them.My wife was feeling the morning chill stinking water not withstanding , Pooja and myself we were clicking pictures of the approaching Pagoda.  
Upon reaching the other end of the creek we see along jetty This long jetty takes you to the land mass and for a second you are confused that by mistake the ferry guy has dropped you at the entrance of Esselworld amusement Park instead of Pagoda. Well don’t worry the entrance is common to both however one needs to take left to go to the Pagoda.
Esselworld or Pagoda…Who cares
We started to walk on the road leading to the Pagoda. Our Ferry tickets were checked at the entrance of Pagoda road.A little walk of 5-7 minutes we were at the entrance gate of Pagoda.
 There were lots of cars parked outside the Pagoda gate, I was confused how come these cars are here, Well I was informed that there is also a road route which comes from Mira-Bhayander Road. I will give you information of the same at the end, So chill and come and explore this Pagoda.
You will ask me what’s so special of this Pagoda…well here I go
Pagoda-Gorai  (Pic Source Internet)
The reason why you must see Pagoda :
World’s Largest stone dome in Mumbai!
The center of the Global Vipassana Pagoda contains the world’s largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars. The height of the dome is approximately 29 metres, while the height of the building is 96.12 meters, which is twice the size of the previously largest hollow stone monument in the world, the Gol Gumbaz (Click on the link if you want to read about our journey here) Dome in Bijapur, India. The external diameter of the largest section of the dome is 97.46m and the shorter sections, is 94.82m. The internal diameter of the dome is 85.15m. The inside of the pagoda is hollow and serves as a very large meditation hall with an area covering more than 6000 sq m (65,000 sq ft). The massive inner dome seats over 8000 people, enabling them to practice the non-sectarian Vipassana meditation as taught by Mr S N Goenka, and now being practiced in over 160 centres in more than 60 countries.
Bird eye view of The Pagoda ( Pic source internet)

Trivia regarding the Pogoda:

1.The shape of the pagoda is a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda (Golden Pagoda) in Yangon, Myanmar.

2. 8000 people can meditate in the main hall.

3.The spire is covered in real gold

4.The main doors to the pagoda are wooden and hand-carved in       Myanmar (Burma).

5.The Buddha bone relics were offered by the government of Sri Lanka and the Maha Bodhi Society in India in 1997,

Now back to our journey :
One look at the Pagoda I felt like I was in china , That huge entrance door which I had seen for the first time in the movie 36 chamber of Shaolin. I was in college in those days and today here I was face to face with something I have never seen before. Visiting this Pagoda is an experience you must not miss.
For me it looked like I am in China
We enter through a huge gate and start to climb broad stairs but this been modern times , so you can’t simply jump into the temple. One has to undergo security check.


Huge entry gate with the stairs leading to Pagoda


I was very disappointed when I was told that I had to deposit my camera as it is not allowed inside. My world came crashing down, I had visualised that I’ll click from various angle. I argued with the security guard that earlier they were allowing cameras inside. He said from 20, Nov 2018 No Cameras inside the temple,however one can carry mobile. Small mercies ! 
Trying my best to capture pictures with mobile phone camera
The stairs are divided into two parts one to go up and the other section to come down.As soon as the stairs get over you see Two huge elephants in sitting position and right in front of that the huge Pagoda. the Golden Pagoda. 
Two separate section of stairs
The pagoda consists of three sub-domes. The first and largest dome was completed when bone relics of Gautama Buddha were enshrined in the central locking stone of the dome on October 29, 2006, making it the world’s largest hollow stone masonry structure containing relics of the Buddha. The relics were originally found in Bhattiprolu, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, South India. They have been donated by the Mahabodhi Society of India and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to be kept at the Global Vipassana Pagoda. The second and third domes, along with an auxiliary dome adjoining the second dome, sit atop the first dome. Construction of the third dome was structurally completed on November 21, 2008.(Source internet)
One Sub dome next to the Main dome of Pagoda
We spent some time clicking pictures. Then visited the exhibition hall too. As you come down through those stairs you are guided to enter the souvenir shop and from there to the main entrance.
Beautiful Pillars of the Pagoda
There is a restaurant or food plaza also with in the Pagoda complex. 
Lots of Meditation courses are conducted here. 10 days Vipassana Meditation being the most popular one. Some people also go to Igatpuri Vipassana Meditation centre.
We again walked back to the entrance where the Ferry had left us in the morning. We soon boarded the return ferry and reached Marve Beach where we had delicious mumbai special Misal Pau for lunch and then boarded the bus back to Malad Station from where we took train to our respective destination.
Back to Marve beach 
Visit to Global Pagoda can be done in half day, One can club visit to Gorai beach also.

click here to watch our journey in 3 min  video

Information you can use:
Monday to Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm.
Entry timing will be till 6.30 pm only )

Entry inside the dome:

Please note only old Vipassana meditators are allowed to enter the dome and meditate. All other visitors can view the inside dome from visitors’ gallery.

Identity Proof for foreigners:

Identity Proof is mandatory for foreign visitors. (Passport/ driving licence/ certificate from respective embassy)
How to reach:
There are 3 ways to reach-
From Borivali:
1.Nearest Railway station Borivali.
2.Take a bus from the Borivali railway station and reach Gorai creek or jetty. (Bus no 247 and 294)
3.Take ferry from Gorai Jetty to Pagoda/Esselworld (Ticket:Rs 50 to and fro).
From Malad:
1.Nearest Railway station Malad.
2.Take a bus no 123 from the Malad railway station and reach Marve Beach or jetty. 
3.Take ferry from Marve Jetty to Pagoda/Esselworld (Ticket:Rs 50 to and fro).
From Bhayander:
1.Nearest Railway station Bhayander
2.Take a bus from the Bhayander railway station West side and reach Global Pagoda directly.(Bus no 4)
3. There are Autos also plying to Pagoda . They charge around Rs 200-250 (2018 price).
4. In case if you are coming by car then the route is little longer. 
a) If coming from Andheri, Borivali side then you drive on the western express highway and take a left from Mira-Bhayandar crossing, turn Left towards Mira-Bhayandar. The crossing has a statue of Shivaji Maharaj positioned at the centre. From here onwards the signboards will guide you.
b) In case if you are coming from Thane/Virar/Gujarat then you need to take right turn from Mira-Bhayandar crossing, turn Left towards Mira-Bhayandar. The crossing has a statue of Shivaji Maharaj positioned at the centre. From here onwards the signboards will guide you.
Thanks for reading the blog hope you find the information useful. Please do join my site if you like the blog.
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Hi, I am Aashish Chawla- The Weekend Wanderer. Weekend Wandering is my passion, I love to connect to new places and meeting new people and through my blogs, I will introduce you to some of the lesser-explored places, which may be very near you yet undiscovered...come let's wander into the wilderness of nature. Other than traveling I love writing poems.

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