Chinmaya Vibhooti is Chinmaya Mission’s largest centre in terms of space. Currently it can accommodate 1,200 people, making it Chinmaya Mission’s largest residential occupancy.
The project translates an ethos of Indian spirituality, religion and Hindu philosophies into various built-forms spread over a contoured strip of land of sixty-five acres, and surrounded by gentle mountain-scape all around. The entire complex is broadly compartmentalized by its functional requirements such as public zone, residential zone and service zone.
- Nitin Killawala, Architect, Killawala & Co.
Each residential block has been named by Swami Tejomayananda after a great mother of India - Anjani, Kousalya, Yashoda, Sumitra, Devaki, Vaidehi, Urmila, Mandavi, Shrutakirti and Anasuya. Anjani, the mother of Hanuman was the first residential block or ‘deity’ to rise up in Chinmaya Vibhooti. The residential complex comprises ten two/three level residential blocks and two long rows of cottages.
Each room is a tastefully furnished and decorated unit of 450 sq ft. Every room has three beds, two additional slide-open beds, and the following attached amenities: a large shower/bath area, a separate (western-style) toilet, a wash basin and a dressing cubicle. There is also a clothes-drying area which comes in handy for participants of longer-term training programmes and spiritual camps. Solar panels generate hot water in all bathrooms. All waste water is treated with a new environmentally-friendly technology.
Individual, fully furnished cottages, with a built-in area of about 800 sq ft., include a living room, bedroom, separate bath and toilet, pantry, and an additional small room that can be used as a helper’s bedroom or as a storage room.
Currently there are 233 rooms and 36 cottages at Chinmaya Vibhooti.
Located at the very centre of the Chinmaya Vibhooti campus, Annashree is the dining and kitchen area. It is designed to seat 600 people at a time, and to serve more than 1,800 people during any one meal. The dining area is spacious and airy with high ceilings and full-length windows through which the beautiful greenery of Chinmaya Vibhooti can be vividly seen. The floor is covered with lovely Jaisalmer stone.
One of the unique features of the kitchen is the use of solar energy to cook most of the food. Water, using solar energy, is preheated to almost 90°C and the food is then served from gigantic bain-marie steam containers. The entire kitchen is especially hygienic with the latest equipment which includes multiple dishwashing machines to clean plates, cups and glasses.
The saattvika, wholesome and tasty food is served at one or more of the six serving counters, by the dedicated and cheerful Annashree team. Different menus are drawn up for different camps depending upon the ethnicity of the crowd expected. Mealtimes are considered sacred in all Chinmaya Mission ashrams. Lunch and dinner begin with the recitation of Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad-gita, and end with the chanting of the Mangalam Mantra.
There are several venues for different groups of various sizes so that more than one event can be held simultaneously. Audio and video facilities are part of the conferencing facilities.
• Sudharma, named after Lord Krishna’s sabha (court) in Dwarka, is a state-of-the-art air-conditioned auditorium with 1008 seats. This hall has many impressive features. There are no pillars in the auditorium, thereby ensuring unrestricted viewing for all. It has an octagonal shape and a pyramid roof. Soft lights shimmer against the golden reflective feather shapes that are encrusted on the ceiling. The back of the stage has a transparent glass wall through which the beauty of the Sahyadri Mountains can be seen. The magnificent auditorium has spectacular acoustics and a specially designed Bose sound system.
We don’t find such large auditoriums in the city as Chinmaya Mission has here in Kolwan. What’s even more astonishing is that despite being in a remote village, it is filled to capacity!
- Pandit Jasraj, inaugural speech for Chinmaya Naada Bindu, September 13, 2009
• Vinay Mandir is a 200-capacity multi-purpose hall.
• Sumati-Virati is a multi-purpose hall with a 100-capacity.
• Vidya Mandir is an air-conditioned mini-theatre with a capacity of 80.
• Five training rooms of various sizes, including a dance studio complete with wooden flooring and a wall-to-wall mirror.
• Sundaraangan – is an open-air plaza overlooking Sudharma and the classrooms and is sometimes used for small discourses and homas.
• Chinmaya Vibhooti is a permanent infrastructure to conduct spiritual camps for large groups of children, youth, adults and senior citizens. On a case-to-case basis, the infrastructure can also be made available to like-minded organisations.
Book Store – Chinmaya Vani
‘Vani’ means speech and voice, and it also refers to the Goddess of knowledge, music and arts – Saraswati. Oral communication is of utmost importance since Vedantic knowledge is expounded through shabda pramana (verbal testimony). Chinmaya Vani offers just that – talks in the format of books, CDs and DVDs.
Inaugurated on May 24, 2011, Chinmaya Vani is the largest bookstore in terms of square footage - approximately 4,000 square feet. Easily recognised by its colourful display of books, the bookstore is part of the Swagatam building and is situated at the exit of Chinmaya Jeevan Darshan. The department also displays smaller stalls in the conferencing areas during camps, as well as one at the Pranav Ganesh Mandir on weekends.
Chinmaya Vani has a warm and wonderful children’s corner, a special section for CDs and DVDs, and various categorical displays such as best-sellers, self-improvement, inspirational and devotional. There is a ‘Book of the Month’, as well as gift-wrapping services available on request. With an emphasis on imparting Vedantic knowledge to all individuals in society, Chinmaya Vani’s sales have grown in leaps and bounds with the ever-increasing number of camps at Chinmaya Vibhooti.
To aid outbound experiential learning, Chinmaya Vibhooti has an Adventure Tower for educational outdoor activities such as rock-climbing, rappelling and more, overlooking the beautiful Anand Sarovar which is an artificial lake with a capacity of more than one crore litres.
Chinmaya Vibhooti’s medical centre, Chinmaya Dhanwantari is equipped to treat minor ailments and to provide first aid to campers, visitors and residents. The centre also has its own ambulance, a doctor on call at all times, and contact with local and Pune-based hospitals.
A highly motivated and efficient Swagat Team greets and handles registration of campers on arrival (camp kit, information) and other camp logistics. In addition, the Team communicates with Chinmaya Mission centres, like-minded organisations, and corporate groups who want to hold camps, seminars and/or conferences at Chinmaya Vibhooti.