Located about 44km south of Nasik, Igatpuri is home to the headquarters of the world’s largest vipassana meditation institution, the Vipassana International Academy. Ten-day residential courses (advance bookings compulsory) are held throughout the year, though teachers warn that it requires rigorous discipline. Basic accommodation, food and meditation instruction are provided free of charge, but donations upon completion are accepted. Visitors can watch a 20-minute intro video or take part in a 10-minute mini Anapana meditation session.
This strict form of meditation was first taught by Gautama Buddha in the 6th century BC and was reintroduced to India by teacher SN Goenka in the 1960s.
Buses (₹57, one hour, hourly 10.30am to 11pm) and shared taxis (per person ₹500) for Igatpuri depart from Nasik's Old Bus Stand. Numerous daily trains call at Igatpuri from Nasik Rd station and Mumbai's CST.