This pagoda follows the style of the Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon, Myanmar. It explores the gratitude of India to Myanmar for the conservation of non-sectarian Vipassana Meditation, in its pristine purity, when it was lost in the country of its birth that is India.
It was the year 1997 when the planning for the construction of the Global Vipassana Pagoda was started. However, the actual work of construction was started in 2000. This pagoda consists of three sub-domes out of which the first is the largest one. The First Dome was completed when bone relics of Gautam Buddha were enshrined in the central locking stone of this dome on 29th October 2006. It is the world's largest hollow stone masonry structure that contains the relics of the Gautam Buddha.
These relics of Gautam Buddha were discovered in Bhattiprolu, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, South India. The relics of Gautam Buddha were donated by the Mahabodhi Society of India and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to be preserved in the Global Vipassana Pagoda in Mumbai. The second and the third dome are atop the first dome. They are with an auxiliary dome adjoining the second dome. On 21st November 2008, the construction of the third dome was structurally complete.
It is fascinating that the Center of The Global Vipassana Pagoda consists of the world's largest stone dome and are constructed without any supporting pillars. The height of the dome measures approximately 29 metres, and the height of the building is around 96.12 meters. This is almost double the size of the previously largest hollow size stone monument in the world named the Gol Gumbaz Dome in Bijapur, Karnataka, India. The external diameter of the largest section of the dome is 97.46m, while the shorter section is 94.82m and the internal diameter of the dome measures 85.15m. The hollow inside the pagoda that serves as a mediation hall measures more than 6000 sq.m (65000 sq. ft). The huge inner dome has a seating capacity of more than 8000 people to practice the non-sectarian Vipassana meditation as taught by Mr S.N. Goenka. It is now being practised in more than 160 centres as well as in more than 60 countries. There was a meditation course of one day organized on the inaugural day of this centre on 21st December 2008. The said meditation course was attended by Mr S.N. Goenka as the teacher.
The pagoda complex aims at expressing a sense of gratitude towards Gautam Buddha for delivering universal teaching for the removal of human sufferings, to explore the truth about the life of Gautam Buddha and his teachings as well as to offer a place for the practice of Vipassana Meditation. It is even noteworthy that the Vipassana Meditation Courses are being organized free of cost in the meditation centre located in the Global Vipassana Pagoda Complex.
An Art Gallery manifesting the life and teachings of Gautam Buddha is also in the complex of The Global Vipassana Pagoda. It expects to fetch one hundred thousand visitors every year.