Dhamma Giri

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The above picture was taken at ‘Dhamma Giri’ in Igatpuri, Dhamma Giri means hill of Dhamma, this pagoda is one of the world’s largest meditation centre and also the main centre of the rapidly growing global Vipassna organisation. It is dedicated to the teaching of Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin.

We managed to walk up to this place and learnt a bit about what actually happens here. Apparently the pagoda have has 400 cells for meditation if you observe carefully in the picture above the small holes are the window’s of 400 such cells which are some 3 feet wide and 6 feet long for people to meditate.

The best part about this place according to me was that people from all religions, caste and creed all could join this Vipassna course where they teach you techniques to meditate. There is no bar for anyone and they do not even charge you any fees for staying there and teaching you this. Apparently this ancient technique of meditation was almost going into oblivion before thankfully it was revived and today it flourishes nicely!

Very well managed and clean premises with a lovely and pure atmosphere was shown around to us by another disciple who was working in SBI Jalgaon and had come to offer his services for a while to the centre as he attributed the place to have brought him peace. They have this system where some disciple will inform you all about the activites that go on there. They also show you a short video on how things work there informing you everything you want to know in case you plan to enroll.

Perhaps someday I think I will want to give this a try and cut myself for a few days from the world and try to actually confine myself to just my thoughts. It looks a little tough to me right now but unless we try I will never know I guess.

If you are wondering what is Vipassna let me copy paste some info from their official site :

What is Vipassana?

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, an Art of Living.

Vipassana is the process of self-purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. Then, with a sharpened awareness, one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness. This truth-realization by direct experience results in mental purification.

Liebster Award!

So I was bestowed the Liebster Award from Dhwani! :)

Libester means dearest or beloved in German, and this award is for the people who love to travel! It is also a great way to know people! Not that I still qualify as a travel blogger but I wouldn’t really turn down a tag that allows me to talk about travel and some long cherished desires will I??

:mrgreen: So hear goes :

1. Which is your dream holiday destination?

Well there are so many dream holiday destinations that this post would never end if I kept describing everyone of them, however, if I had to select the top three I would probably opt for exploring the Grasslands of Africa(Masaai Maara and Serengeti) take a boat ride for a fortnight through the Amazon forests and probably go Moose hunting in the open season around Lake Superior in Canada! Sigh….

2. What is your idea of an Ideal Holiday?

Ideal Holiday?! I don’t think that would probably be possible would it?! But it would involve a lot of travel in the hills, eating great food, meeting loads of new people who would tell a lot of stories of their own throw in a national park where I would be able to track animals on foot and photograph them from up close!! Lol I told you my ideal’s are too high! :P :P

3. If you could choose one place that you could move to right now and live forever, what place would that be?

I would love to build a wooded log house like Raju’s somewhere in the Himalaya’s in a remote corner and live there forever growing my own food! :D

4. Tell us about the most weird travelling experience you ever had :

Weird?! That is a tough one… well I guess this is weird you know. We went to Sheoganj to see leopards. Apparently there we learnt that they tie kid goats to a strong tree with a strong rope and then wait for the leopard to come and kill it. It is not allowed now and banned, yet when we were doing our safari around that area we did come up to a group of photographers who were all ready with huge tele-photo lens trained on the kid goat. The rope is also so tight that the leopard cannot take the goat away and has to sit there and eat whilst the people get their share of photographs.

Mindlessly we also sat there with our camera’s, I feel ashamed now, luckily though the leopard never came down the slope we saw it from a distance. Apparently a lot of people gathered and eventually the guys who had brought the goat got scared that the authorities might come to know and they took their goat and went away.

Amazingly after two hours of safari after the goat was taken away we came back to the same spot which was uphill and pretty dark we suddenly spotted the leopard in the lights of our jeep. By the time we could get the camera’s ready it retreated in the bushes but not before we got this picture of its butt! :P

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5. Who do you prefer to travel with?

The best companion so far has been my best friend who incidentally also is my wife, however, I can travel with anyone though as long as I am on the move I am okay. I would love to do a solo trip, a trip with my guy gang and a trip with absolute strangers even! Getting to know them on the trip would be rewarding as well! :D

6. Three things that you NEED to carry with yourself when you travel :
Tissues!
Camera!
Water bottle!

7. Tell us about your Worst traveling experience :

Worst were those ones when I went to temples on auspicious days. Mahudi on kaali Chaudas during Diwali, Pavagadh during the Chaitra Navratri etc…. those are the worst kind of travels I undertook. I have completely been avoiding such places of worship and almost all people where I suspect there will be huge crowds!

8. Name one place that you feel everyone has to see in their lifetime :

Hmm…. I would say I want to see The African grasslands and Ladakh region once in my lifetime before I die.

9. Do you have a favourite travel blog? Which?

I mean I do read a few people who travel quite a bit :

Indrani – I Share
Deepak – Travel Magic
Lakshmi – A travel blog of an Indian backpacker

10. Who is your favourite travel author?

I have loved reading the experiences of Jim Corbett and Mark Twain the most.

P.S. I am not tagging anyone or passing on the award. If you would love to take up the tag all by yourself feel free to do so and let me know about it as I wouldn’t mind read your replies to these questions!

Coffee in the clouds! :D :D

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6.15 am on a holiday, up, awake, with mugs ready in the balcony SIGH! Mornings in the monsoon in Igatpuri were surely unbelievably pleasant!! :D :D

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All you need is to curl up with a sheet in your chair with a hot steaming mug of coffee and watch the rain fall and out of no where almost 20 small waterfalls appearing! :D

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A book perhaps, room service too and life as they say couldn’t get any better! :D :D :D