5 Best Vipassana Meditation Centres and Retreats in India

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Top 5: Best Vipassana Meditation Centres and Retreats in India

Today’s post is a little different, more on wellness rather than beauty. Wellness and beauty go hand in hand. When you are at peace deep within, your calmness and serenity radiates, giving you a beautiful glow and composure. Here I will list some of the best vipassana centers in India. These are academies and retreats running in India with specific courses to help you start with vipassana meditation. First of all, most of you may not be aware of what is vipassana and what are its benefits. So I will also elaborate on it before going ahead with the list of meditation centres to consider while planning your next spiritual holiday.

What is Vipassana Meditation?

Vipassana is an age-old Buddhist meditation technique concerned with strengthening and sharpening mindfulness in day-to-day life. The word Vipassana means to see things clearly as they are, through the true nature of reality. It involves insight, introspection and intuitive wisdom. It is better to learn Vipassana meditation by taking a residential course in one of these Vipassana Centers as they have qualified teachers and other necessary facilities. All the below courses are free of charge and taught on a voluntary basis.

List of Vipassana Meditation Centres in India:

Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri

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Dhamma Giri, meaning ‘Hill of Dhamma’, is one of the world’s largest meditation centers. It is situated in the town of Igatpuri at the Vipassana Research Institute, 45km away from Nashik and 136km away from Mumbai, on Mumbai-Agra highway. The center has over 400 cells for individual meditation. Lakhs of students attend the courses every year in this institute. They conduct 10-days introductory residential courses. Accommodation (single and double occupancy) and food facilities too are provided for the residents.

Dhamma Sikhara, Dharamshala

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Dhamma Sikhara, meaning ‘Peak of Dhamma’, is a beautiful place comprising of 3 acres of magnificient deodar forests and is about 2000 metres high in the Dhauladar range of Himalayas. It is a serene location ideal for meditation on the mountains. The centre has a capacity of 45 males and 43 females students. From April to November, two 10-day courses are conducted every month. The accommodation is temporary put up huts of corrugated sheet sheds and plastic sheets as walls. The centre also has a multi-lingual Dhamma hall which enables students to listen to discourses in 7 different languages as a large number of foreigners too attend the courses here.

Dhamma Bodhi, Bodh Gaya

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Dhamma Bodhi, meaning ‘Enlightment of Dhamma’, is situated in Bodhgaya in South Bihar. It is an 18-acre centre with well-maintained fruit and vegetable gardens and can accommodate around 80 students. The accommodation is single and double room cottages with attached bathrooms. The ten day courses generally start on the 1st and 16th of every month.

Dhamma Pattana, Mumbai

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Dhamma Pattana, meaning ‘Harbour of Dhamma’, is located on top of a hill overlooking the beach town of Gorai and is a part of the famous Global Pagoda Complex. Dhamma Pattana conducts 10 day vipassana courses especially for business executives, professionals and government officials.The infrastructure is totally modern and all residential rooms are equipped with western facilities and air conditioning. Accommodation is usually individual. So if you are someone stressed out in the fast pace of corporate life, head over to this center for 10 days of peace and quiet.

Dhamma Setu, Chennai

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Dhamma Setu, meaning ‘Bridge of Dhamma’, is situated amidst lush green paddy fields and farmlands on the outskirts of Chennai. The centre can accommodate 96 males and 48 females in spacious double occupancy rooms with attached baths. The main Dhamma Hall can sit 120 meditators and the circular, three-tiered pagoda complex provides 150 cells for meditating in seclusion. The kitchen facilities provide wholesome vegetarian food for the residents. They also have special children’s courses for age groups 10-14 years and 14-18 years which run for 2-3 days.

What are the Benefits of Vipassana?

  • Greater emotional balance. It helps to reduce stress and anger and improve mental health.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Improves concentration and memory.
  • Gives stronger motivation, patience and contentment.
  • Enhances health and immunity and helps to de-stress and pain management.

So are you interested in vipassana meditation? Which vipassana centre are you going to attend in the list above? Everyone should take one such spiritual break once in a while to detox the mind and body. You can take a partner along but its best when its done alone.

By Contributor: Archana

Which is your favourite Vipassana Meditation Centre? Share your reviews with us.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Never knew so much about this topic n such incredible places near-by.. Thanks a lot for sharing this and very will after a visit to the nearest centers, I’ll update the experience with all.. <3 :)

    • Sure, Madhuri. I am sure many people will find it interesting and useful if you share your actual experience…

  2. They all are located at beautiful and peaceful places. Seems like a great technique to let out stress and tension. I wish it was located in Delhi :(

    • Hi Mariyam, there is one vipassana center in Delhi – Dhamma Sota. There are many more in India. I have just mentioned the top five. :)

    • Dhamma Salila is one of the many centres around the world is situated in Dehradun (Uttarkhand) in the northern part of India. Residential meditation courses are held here throughout the year,excluding January. Two 10-day courses held every month… 240 Km from Delhi. It is a very nice and calm place to be, very beutiful location.

  3. Hi Archana,

    I was looking for a list of best vipassana centres available to start a course in the next 15days. Unfortunately all the ones recommended here are booked. Would you know the next best ones?

    Dhamma thali Jaipur might be available. Would you know if it’s good? And clean? Hygiene and single occupancy is my main concern and would love to know if you could share some information on the same.

    I live in Mumbai, you think calling igatpuri or gorai will help even though online its says application closed?

    Looking forward to your help.

  4. hi guys m getting an opportunity to do courses dehradun and bodh gaya 10 days course,,,,,,,,,,,,,,guys pls let me know which one is betterr????????

  5. Thanks, Archana!
    I appreciate that you mentioned the benefits of vipassana meditation, but these benefits are just by-products of vipassana meditation, the ultimate aim is to purify our mind and get rid of all the karma-sankharas of our past life and this life.
    This is a path taught by buddha to attain Nirvana not to reduce blood pressure.

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