Iskcon Temple, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Deities: Radha-Krishna
Location: On West of Chord Road, Bangalore
Built in: 1997
Also known as: Sri Sri Radha Krishna Chandra Temple
Attraction: Neo-classical style of architecture
Significance: Iskcon’s largest temple complex across the World
Best time to visit: October to February

ISKCON, an abbreviation for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, popularly called Hare Krishna after the mantra that they chant, is a worldwide religious organization founded by Prabhupada in 1966 in New York and is based on the Gaudiya Vaishnavism sect of Hinduism inspired by Chaitanya’s life and teachings in the 16th century. The organization has the stated aim to foster bhakti (devotion) towards Krishna that it considers a personal God and the supreme Godhead.

The colossal shrine sprawls on seven-acres of ‘Hare Krishna HillJust like all other Iskcon temples, Bangalore Iskcon temple is also dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is situated to the west of the Chord Road, on a seven-acre hillock. The Iskcon temple of Bangalore was built to commemorate the birth centenary of the founder of ISKCON, Sri Prabhupada. It is built in the Neo-Classical style, which combines the conventional elements of temple architecture with modern high-tech amenities.

One enters the beautifully decorated Rajagopuram through patterned arches and brilliantly illuminated artificial waterfalls. There are four ‘Gopurams’ inside the temple, each of them connected to the other by a striking glazed-glass canopy. This entire complex forms the ‘Hari Naam Kirtan’, a 10,000 square feet hall adorned with magnificent ceiling-paintings.This temple was established in Bangalore in 1997. The temple spans across the length of 4-5 football grounds and is quite the sight to see. Massive pillars, very flamboyant idol for worship, laser shows and living quarters, class rooms, yoga centers, dance studios, gift shops and restaurants signify this place of worship. All lot of foreign visitors attend workshops and spiritual programs here.
The temple offers a bowl of ‘Kichri’ (made of rice and pulse) to its each visitor. The vast kitchen of the shrine is equipped with modern equipments and has the capacity to provide food for two thousand visitors per hour. Besides prasadam, the kitchen is also used to prepare variety of delicacies that are offered to the Lord.

Following the knowledge of the Vedas, the temple also promotes protection of cows. Being the primary element, Cows are essential for a prosperous and healthy society. Bangalore Iskcon ‘Gaushala’ retains not less than 40 cows. The milk of these cows is used in the making of various dishes and delicacies. The other attractions of the Bangalore Iskcon temple include ISKCON Vedic Theatre, Vedic museums and exhibit areas, a lecture hall and beautifully landscaped gardens. Multivision Cinema, Dakshinakriti, Srila Prabhupada Museum, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Goloka Seva Trust. There is also a unique open-air amphitheatre, where concerts and festivals are organized.

The huge shrine was started under the global project of ISKCON to memorialize the birthday of its founder, Sri Prabhupada. In May 1997, Bangalore Iskcon Temple was inaugurated by Mr. Shankar Dayal Sharma (former President of India). Ever since, the temple has been visited by far more than 5.1 million visitors. In the vein of other Iskcon Temples round the World, the shrine is mainly dedicated to Radha-Krishna.

The festival of ‘Janmashtami’ is the major festival that is celebrated here with loads of enthusiasm and devotion. The annual Rath Yathra, (Chariot Procession) of Krishna and Balrama is attended by thousands of devotees.

The beautifully ornamental arches and illuminated water jets escort to the richly decorated Rajagopuram (main shrine). The main shrine comprises the stunningly beautiful idols of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. Apart from the main shrine, the temple also comprises four additional shrines dedicated to Sri Krishna Balrama, Sri Nitai Gauranga, Sri Prahlada Narasimha and Sri Srinivasa Govinda respectively. The main hall that embraces the three shrines, including the main one, is a huge hall of 10,000 sq feet. The ceiling of the hall is festooned with remarkable paintings made by the Russian painters.

ArchitectureBuilt in neo-classical style of architecture, the temple bands together conventional architecture with ultra-modern services. The ardent devotees like Madhu Pandit Dasa (President and Project director) and Jagat Chandra Dasa designed the structure of this remarkable shrine, mingling the elements of traditional South-Indian with contemporary style of architecture. The elaborate temple complex is divided into various sections and sub-sections. The splendid structure of the temple is worth-seeing because the celestial grandeur cannot be bounded in words. Lush green gardens in the campus appear mesmerizing to the onlooker. The temple complex also has an open amphitheatre, where various festivals and concerts are observed.

Shata Koti Nama Japa Yajna In 2000, this religious program was started to promote world peace and harmony with an intention to chant 1 Billion holy names of Rama and Krishna. The venue for this ‘Nama Japa’ is ‘Harinama Mandapa’, which can be found ahead of the first temple of Prahlada Narasimha. Here, one can see two sets of 108 granite steps, where the devotee can chant the ‘Hare Krishna Mahamantra’ at each step. Following the chant of ‘Mahamantra’ for 108 times, the devotee can enter the Narsimha Temple.

FOLK Program:
This is an unusual program in which, bachelors between the age group of 19 and 29 can take part. The “Friends of Lord Krishna” (FOLK) has been organized to create an understanding of the Vedic culture among the youth of Bangalore. It is held on Saturdays and Sundays, where classes, discussions and practical sessions on Vedic philosophy and lifestyle are undertaken.

Other Attraction in Bangalore:
Attara Kacheri
Bangalore Aquarium
Bal Bhavan
Bangalore Palace
Cubbon Park
Gandhi Bhavan
Government Museum
Lalbagh Gardens
Nehru Planetarium
Tipu Sultan Fort
Ulsoor Lake
Visvesvaraya Museum

How to reach:
by Air: Bangalore airport is serviced by almost all the domestic airlines as well as a few international airlines. It is well connected with all the major cities of India.
by Rail: Bangalore City Railway Station has direct trains connecting it with all the key cities in the country. It is also serviced by a number of fast trains and daily express trains.
by Road: Bangalore is linked with the other cities through a number of National Highways. One can easily reach Iskcon Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from Bangalore.

Address:
Harikrishna Hill
1st R Block
West of Chord Road
Rajajinagar
Bangalore 560 010
Karnataka
INDIA

Tel: 0091-80-2347-1956

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Iskcon Temple, Delhi, India

Deities: Radha-Krishna
Location: Sant Nagar, East of Kailash, In South Delhi, Near Lotus Temple
Famour for: Radha-Krishna Temple and Hare Krishna Temple
Time to Visit: Open on all days
Built in: 1998
Attraction: Robot Show
Admission Fee: Free and open to all

The ISKCON Temple of Delhi is located at Raja Dhirshain Marg, Sant Nagar, near the East of Kailash locality. It is one of the 40 temples in India that belongs to the International Society for Krishna. A part of the Hare Krishna Movement started by Acharya Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the devotees and followers of the Hare Rama Hare Krishna cult built this temple in 1998 to disseminate the message of the Bhagwad Gita.

The main shrine is a huge hall where three shrines are located under the three spires. These three shrines are dedicated to Radha-Krishna, Sita-Ram and Guara-Nitai respectively. At once, the glimpse of these idols makes one to ponder over the celestial world. The idols are worth-seeing and admiring their sculpted beauty. Festooned with rich clothes and jewelry, the idols are adorned with great delicacy and care. In this hall, one can always hear the divine tune of Hare Rama Hare Krishna. Many lectures, kirtans and discourses are arranged for the benefit and spiritual upliftment of devotees. Behind these shrines, there is a ‘parikrama’ or compound, where pictures of Iskcon temples across the world are displayed. Apart from these pictures, paintings made by Russian painters, are also displayed depicting frolic scenes from the life-history of Radha-Krishna. Outside the shrine, there is an image of ‘Garuda’ facing the shrine of Radha-Krishna. Isckon Temple has one of the largest temple complexes in India. It comprises numerous rooms for the priest and service renders of this temple. It has many halls that are used for its administration purposes.

For most of the people this is a place for finding solace, peace and quiet. Sitting amongst Lord Krishna and his devotees with Hare Krishna chants going around is indeed an experience.

There are some great visionaries and dedicated saints who have kept the atmosphere of ISKCON lively and pure. No matter whom you are, from where you are, come to the place that has lot to say and lot of wisdom to offer. In the temple there are beautiful paintings by Russian artists on the different past times of Radha-Krishna, Sita-Ram, Laxman, Hanuman and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Special programs like kirtan, aarti, pravachan and prasadam are held every Sunday.

The Maha Mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

How to reach:
by Road:
One can easily reach Iskcon Temple by taking local Buses, Auto-rickshaws or by hiring taxis from Delhi
by Rail: Nearest Railway Station: Nizamuddin Railway Station
by Air: Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Iskcon Temple, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Deities: Krishna-Balaram
Location: Raman Reti in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Built in: 1975
Also known as: Sri Krishna-Balrama Temple
Significance: First Temple made by ISKCON
Best time to visit: October to march

HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA, this name is probably amongst the first things that spring to a westerner’s mind when one thinks of India or the spirituality connected to it. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (also known as Srila Prabhupada) established the movement officially known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Iskcon Temple dedicated to the Lord Krishna is built on a hilly place by the Hare-Rama Hare- Krishna cult followers. The principal deity of the temple is the image of Krishna-Balrama, which happens to lure from the main entrance of the shrine.

The temple is situated in Raman Reti, Vrindavan, U.P., where the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna displayed His transcendental pastimes 5,000 years ago. Sri Krishna and Balaram would herd their cows at Raman Reti near the Yamuna River. Vrindavan Realizations is a place for sanga, association with bhaktas. Share your realizations about Vrindavan and your path to Hari. The magnificent temple has ‘Shikharas’ at a height of 90-feet above the ground level. The hall of the temple is centrally air-conditioned with a capacity to accommodate about 1,500 people. Beautiful would describe the architecture of the temple mildly… at the entrance are two statues of the guards of vekunth (the place where Shri Krishna resides). There are beautiful paintings of Russian artists on the different past times of Radha Krishna.

For the whole day, various rituals and ceremonies are conducted in the reverence of the Lord. Throughout the temple, one can see many foreigners that are actively involved in the religious and spiritual activities of the temple. These people have come from their homelands, to Vrindavan, for serving the Lord in his play land. The temple galleries adorn various pictures of Lord Krishna, depicting various frolicking scenes of his life.

At Vrindavan the ISKCON society also runs a boarding school on the lines of a Gurukul with classes being run from I to VII. A Gurukul is a holistic kind of educational system whereby students and teachers live in the same complex so students may learn by observing the teacher. There are guest houses for devotees within the premises so they may take part in the day to day activities of the temple.

It is customary for devotees to walk around the town of Vrindavana. There is a parikrama path that goes around the town. This path is one street over from the ISKCON temple. It usually takes two to three hours to go around Vrindavana. The parikrama path is 10 km (6 miles).

Some of the places passed on the way are: Mohana Ter, Kaliya Ghata, Madana Mohana Temple, Imli Tala, Sringara Vat, and Keshi Ghata. The main day that people do parikrama of Vrindavana is on Ekadashi (the eleventh day of the waxing and waning moon). It is customary to do this walk with bare feet, which is fairly painless, even for one who never walks in bare feet.

The temple wall is adorned with exquisite paintings and carvings depicting the life of Lord Krishna. Beautiful architecture, carved arches and immense spirituality make the place a divine destination in Vrindavan. Be prepared to listen to ‘Hare Krishna’ as everybody you will meet inside the temple premise will greet you with these two words.

Madan Mohana Temple, Radha-Ballava Temple, Radha-Damodara Temple and Radha-Gopinath Temple are some of famous temples of Vrindavan which you should not miss while you are in Vrindavan.

Festivals:
Every day is a new day at Iskcon Temple, where ceremonies and rituals keep the festivities alive. However, there are many festivals that are celebrated at a grand level in the temple. Amongst the festivals, Janmashtami, Rama Navami, Gaura Purnima, Diwali, Annakut, Chandan Yatra, Jhulan Yatra (Swing festival), Kartika (Oct/Nov), Gaura Purnima, Balaram Purnima, Radhashtami and Govardhana Puja are the major festivals that bring special celebration at Iskcon Temple.

Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, is observed with full gusto and fervor. The whole temple is decorated with flowers, flags, ribbons and garlands. People keep fast for the whole day and at midnight; they take grain-less meal. At the time of Janmashtami, the whole of town of Vrindavan gets drenched in the gala of Lord Krishna’s Birthday. The deities are dressed up in rich clothes and ornamented with dazzling jewellery.

How to reach:
by Air: the nearest airport is Agra which is 66 km away and is well connected to Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi by regular flights services.
by Rail: Mathura Junction is well connected to Delhi by numerous trains including in its route. The nearest rail head is at Mathura that is 15km from Mathura and 145 kms from Delhi.
by Road: Mathura and Vrindavan are well connected with Agra, Delhi, Bharatpur, Alwar and Lucknow by well maintained road.

Address:
ISKCON Guesthouse
ISKCON Temple Vrindavan
Uttar Pradesh

Tel No: 0091-5664-442478, 0091-5664-442591

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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