Nestled on the serene shores of Manori Island in the northern suburb of Mumbai, Gagangiri Maharaj Manori Ashram stands as a testament to the transformative power of dedication and environmental stewardship. Founded by the revered Swamiji in 1990, this sacred haven has blossomed into a thriving oasis of spirituality, sustainability, and natural beauty.
In its infancy, Manori Island was a barren land with less than 2% vegetation, earning it the ominous moniker “Bhutachi Tekdi” or “Ghost Hill.” Electricity and water supply were sporadic, and fear shrouded the area after sunset. Swamiji’s vision breathed life into this desolate land. Though the initial following numbered just a hundred souls annually, the ashram’s relentless efforts gradually transformed the landscape.
Today, more than 40% of the land is adorned with lush vegetation, with over a hundred thousand trees planted over three decades. This green canopy has beckoned various species of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, elevating biodiversity in the area. Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts now flock to witness the rare beauty of over 58 bird species and 40-plus butterfly species.
Gagangiri Maharaj, a spiritual luminary of India, established numerous ashrams across the country, each radiating a unique essence of devotion and tranquility. While his divine presence graced many places, three ashrams held a special place in his heart: Khopoli, Gaganbawda, and Manori. Let’s embark on a journey to explore these sacred havens and the profound spiritual significance they hold.
In the tranquil embrace of Khopoli, Gagangiri Maharaj celebrated Guru Pornima, a sacred day honoring spiritual teachers. Here, the Swamiji’s main sadhana was in the waters of the Patalganga River, where he imparted his wisdom to seekers. This ashram, established in 1990, remains a testament to the power of devotion and the beauty of self-discovery through meditation by the flowing river.
Nestled in the pristine landscapes of Gaganbawda, Gagangiri Maharaj observed Datta Jayanti, a revered day dedicated to Lord Dattatreya. The serene ambiance of this ashram resonates with the Swamiji’s spiritual practices. It serves as a place of deep reflection and devotion, allowing seekers to connect with the divine amidst the natural beauty of the region.
Located on Manori Island in Malad, the Manori Ashram stands as a coastal sanctuary in the northern suburbs of Mumbai. Dashera, a grand festival symbolizing the victory of good over evil, was celebrated here with utmost fervor. Swamiji’s sadhana in the sea waters of Manori, Malad, amplified the spiritual energy of this ashram, which he established in 1990.