Igatpuri & its Pleasingly Rich Surroundings

The small hill station of Igatpuri is better known as Vipassana city but it has a lot more than the meditation centre. This small city within the lush hills offers breathtaking views and soothing serenity. Monsoon brings out the best of this location with velvety green-coated hills intercepted by thin to thick white lines better known as waterfalls. As I promised in my earlier post without much delay I am sharing my Igatpuri experience here.

Before visiting this place we had little idea about the scenic beauty of the place. All that was heard were only about the Vipassana meditation centre. Many of my friends have benefited themselves being a part of this meditation course and all their discussions were centred around it. We hardly got to know about the beauty of the place which is strangely natural. As the purpose of the visitors was to soak in the realm of meditation while staying in the centre. The mission of this centre is to teach the ancient techniques of meditation.

Satya Narayan Goenka, a businessman turned teacher was the founder of the Vipassana Research Institute. He was a student of Sayagyi U Ba Khin of Myanmar. Ba Khin was the first Accountant General of Burma after its independence. He founded the International Meditation Centre in Myanmar and wished to spread this meditation technique, which originated in India, to the rest of the world.

With similar intentions, in 1976, S. N. Goenka founded his first meditation centre, Dhamma Giri, in Igatpuri near Nashik. He continued teaching this technique alone till 1982 and later he started training assistant teachers. Since then the centre has grown and now it has branches worldwide.

We were having serious thoughts about enrolling on this course after listening to the benefits of the initial ten days of the meditation course from our friends. But we could not match our timing with that of the available slots as this meditation technique has gained massive popularity in recent times with increasing stress in daily life and an increase in mental health-related issues.

Look how the mountain lies down
Look how the mountain lies down

Finally, we were in Igatpuri but not for the meditation but for a weekend monsoon trip. This was again an opportunity to visit the location first-hand with the hope of enrolling on the course sometime.

The lady and her farm
The lady and her farm

There are a lot of places of interest in and around this city but we had little time to explore them all so we decided to visit the Vipassana centre and just drive around to Bhandardara. (Check my previous post on Bhandardara.) In this way, we actually explored the scenic beauty of the place.

The surplus monsoon gave the waterfalls a boost and turned any creeks and crevices in the mountain into waterfalls. I lost count of the number of waterfalls we saw en route. Some were hairline while others were gusty. The hills were decked up in pretty monsoon green shedding off its dry colours. The mighty Kalsubai beckoned us to scale its peak. It was definitely a meditation of a different kind – refreshing and reinvigorating. Now let the pictures do their job while I prepare my next pictorial post on the unique look of Malshej Ghat, that we experienced on our way back home.

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