Global Vipassana Pagoda is a large meditation complex and memorial that is regarded as one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra. It was built to honour Lord Buddha, promoting Vipassana, expressing gratitude towards Myanmar and spreading the universal message of peace. The foundation stone was laid in 1997 after which it was completed over a span of 11 years in 2008. It is counted amongst the biggest stone monuments across the Asiatic continent and houses the sacred bone relics of Gautam Buddha in the main dome. A prominent highlight of this shrine is that it comprises the largest pillar-less dome in the world and surpasses Bijapur’s Gol Gumbaz in terms of size.
The architecture of Global Vipassana Pagoda is bound to mesmerise visitors. It is a perfect replica of the Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. This imposing structure has a towering height of about 325 feet, which is almost equal to a 30-storey building. Built using the technique of interlocking stones, this edifice has no pillars to support its domed structure. The construction involved 2.5 million tonnes of stone and 3.87 million man-days.
The large meditation hall at the centre of this domed structure has an impressive seating capacity of 8000 people. Main attractions within this complex include the intricately carved Myanmar Gate and a tall marble statue of Buddha. The Bell Tower and its mirror image Gong Tower depict Burmese architecture and add to the architectural splendour of the shrine.
As this international pagoda is frequented by a large number of visitors, proper provisions are made for their comfort. Hygienic food, pure drinking water and washrooms are present within the complex, to ensure that visitors do not have to face any inconvenience. The food court of this pagoda serves delicious vegetarian food like South Indian, Maharashtrian street food, sandwiches, main course, beverages and desserts.