Located about 44km south of Nashik, 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. Visitors can watch a 20-minute intro video or take part in a 10-minute mini Anapana meditation session.
Basic accommodation, food and meditation instruction are provided free of charge, but donations upon completion are accepted.
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 (₹140, one hour, every 2 hours, 5am to 10.30pm) and shared taxis (per person ₹60, one hour, 6am to 10pm) for Igatpuri depart next door to Hotel Priya in Nashik. Numerous daily trains call at Igatpuri from Nashik Rd station and Mumbai's CST.