Last weekend, I checked out the incongruous pagoda that's arisen out of the mangroves in Gorai, once an island but now a peninsula hanging off the north-east coast of Salcette - the island that barely contains suburban Bombay.
Two thoughts ran through my head as I boarded the ferry that crosses Manori Creek. One, I wanted to shoot myself in the foot for not checking the charge on my camera's battery. Two, I could have been floating down the Irrewaddy in Burma in the shadow of Shwedagon. The Vipasanna pagoda is modelled after the famous temple in Rangoon and not surprisingly I spotted Burmese craftsmen in lyongis at the site. It was pretty impressive in a sort of tacky goldeny way but the place didn't exude the tranquility I associate with Vipasanna.
|Fisherman unloading their catch on Marve Beach. One of them is inadvertently flying the Irish flag.|
|Nope! It's just gold paint. But at the very top they have a golden flag encrusted with diamonds and rubies topped by a glowing crystal.|
|This is going to sound very irreverent but it does look like a ginormous golden plunger.|
Directions: Take the Essel World Ferry from either Marve Jetty in Malad or Gorai Jetty in Borivali. The pagoda is a 5 minute walk from the Essel World pier. Alternatively, you can drive there or take a bus that leaves from Bhayander station, but that might take forever.