Iskcon Temple Overview

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness was spiritual and religious movement and organisation that initiated in New York City in 1966 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Through the years, the organization gained many names, some of which include the Hare Krishna Organization and the Hare Krishna movement. 

The philosophies of the organization stem from ancient Hindu religious texts like the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavad Purana. Some tenets also find a source in Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition of ancient India. The movement considers the Hindu deity Krishna to be the Supreme Lord. It instructs the devotees to dedicate all their thoughts and actions to him, ensuring the greater good of the society in doing so. 

Since the foundation of ISKCON lies mainly in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Tradition, a lot of its values and history is derived from it. Saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, often considered to be the incarnation of Lord himself, was a supreme proponent of the movement. Swami Prabhupada was another founding figure involved directly in the spread of ISKCON’s ideas.

He extensively wrote and translated several texts associated with Krishna’s life, prompting those unfamiliar to the stories to develop a curiosity. Later, small meditation centres were established throughout the world to allow devotees to meditate and introspect in peace.

Today, the organization calls several countries across the world its home. It has over 600 centres and millions of devotees contributing to its authenticity and growth. Moreover, it preaches religious sovereignty and equality and is known for hosting an impactful discussion on various philosophies of life with religious leaders from across the world.

ISKCON’s centres are temples and ashrams known for their charitable projects and betterment initiatives. The Sri Sri Radha Parthsarthy Mandir or ISKCON Delhi is just one of ISKCON’s grandiose centres preaching the betterment of humankind. The temple itself is a peaceful architectural beauty frequented by thousands of tourists and locals every year.

History of ISKCON Temple

To understand the scale of ISKCON’s internationalism, you must know about its initial days in the US. As Swami Prabhupada arrived in New York City, he preached to the lower-middle-class youth and attracted the hippies towards the Hare Krishna Movement. Later, he shifted his focus to the Youth of San Francisco and England.

One of the prime celebrities attached to the Hare Krishna Movement was George Harrison, a member of the renowned music band Beatles. To gain popularity, the organization used songs and films meant to educate the youth about fundamental social evils and ways to redeem themselves of the harms of drug culture.

Swami Prabhupada’s objective was to propagate Bhakti Yoga – the act of complete devotion to Lord Krishna. The centres emphasize the chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra; a small religious poem meant to please the lord and unite the soul with the Supreme Being.

The ISKCON temple located at Delhi is a prime Vaishnav temple of Lord Krishna and his partner, Radharani in the city. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister of India in the late 1990s is credited with the inauguration of ISKCON Delhi. Sahib Singh Verma and Sushma Swaraj are two renowned Indian Politicians present at the inauguration ceremony.

The Architecture of ISKCON Temple

ISKCON is set beautifully on the Hare Krishna Hills at Eastern Kailash in South Delhi. The towering shikara makes itself prominent on Delhi’s skyline even when viewed from a distance. The entire temple complex is an unrivalled architectural marvel Designed by Achyut Kavinde.

Kavinde is said to have accepted a pro-bono commission for designing and building the temple. For service renders and priests, the temple has quaint and simple rooms equipped with electricity and other necessities. 
Several intricately decorated halls are scattered across the vast temple complex.

All of these are used while organizing elaborate seminars and religious discussions. There are a total of three shines located within the main hall apart from the single primary one. There are three spires under which the shrines rest. Each of these spires is 90 feet tall.

The walls of the inner sanctum are built using kaleidoscopic tiles placed in a fashion that depicts various moments of Krishna's life. The surrounding garden of the temple is a fantastic place for you to meditate, rest or take photographs.

They are filled with well-manicured grass and amazing wildflowers. On the boundary of the temple complex is a Parikrima compound where devotees can take a look at exhibitions of different ISKCON temples located across the world. A museum lies inside the temple, treating visitors to a sensational display of religious paintings. 

How To Reach

From Delhi Airport

By Metro:
Take a metro on the airport metro line to arrive at the New Delhi Metro Station. From there, travel towards the violet metro line and get off either at Kailash colony, Nehru Place or Kalkaji Metro stations. The ISKCON Delhi temple is a short walking distance from all three metro stations; however, Nehru place is the closest.

By Taxi: Take a taxi or an auto from the Indira Gandhi International Airport to the ISKCON Kailash colony/Nehru Place to get here.

By Bus: DTDC buses also run between the airport and bus stations near Nehru place. Check bus details and timings at the depot as you arrive in Delhi.

Best Time To Visit

The best season to visit Delhi, in general, is winter. Summers can be excruciating, so it is advisable to arrive at the ISKCON temple premises during winters. Visit in the early evenings if you want to witness the elaborate Sandhya Arati, and the temple lit up colourfully. 

However, a visit even during the day is pleasant and can be enjoyed thoroughly. Avoid visiting late at night because you are less likely to witness the rituals and special events.

Other Essential Information

Hare Krishna Hills (near Nehru Place), in the East of Kailash area of New Delhi, India.

Timings: 4:30 AM - 09:00 PM and 
The sanctum sanctorum is closed between 01:00 PM to 04:00 PM

Price: Entering and worshipping at the temple is free of cost. Devotees sometimes donate money, clothing or food willingly.

Tips for Visiting the ISKCON temple

- Gauda Vaishnava Hinduism, as a religion, does not appreciate the consumption or possession of alcohol. As a tourist, take utmost care not to carry any alcoholic beverages inside the temple. Do not visit the temple if you are inebriated.

- You can wear both Ethnic and Western outfits. However, try to stick to demure outfits to avoid stares.

- Do not carry any weapons inside the temple premises. If you travel by metro, the weapons will be confiscated on the metro station, and you might have to pay a fine for carrying certain types of arms. 

- Visit either in the morning or during the evenings to witness the best aratis and Gita recitations. Try to avoid the lawns and gardens in the evenings as there may be insects lurking around. 

- Participate in the rituals as best as you can to have the best experience.

- To avoid traffic, ISKCON must be visited at noon or during the afternoon. However, if you travel by metro, you shouldn't have to worry about traffic. Wear comfortable shoes like sneakers or loafers since you will have to walk a lot around the campus.

- Carry with you a water bottle to avoid getting thirsty. If you get hungry while exploring the temple, do not shy away from going to Givinda’s ISKCON’s pure vegetarian restaurant. In here, you can try delicious Indian dishes made without onion, garlic or meat of any kind.

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Iskcon Temple FAQs

Is a camera allowed in the ISKCON Temple Delhi?

There is no restriction on mobile phone or camera usage within the ISKCON temple premises. You should carry a good quality camera with you to photograph the temple building, exhibits, and expansive gardens.

Few restrictions on the usage of a camera might be present within the museum places in the temple complex, but you will have to check in advance with the temple authorities for more details. Avoid clicking pictures within the sanctum sanctorum as much as you can. Occasionally, you might face restrictions on-camera usage in the exhibits as well.

Can we wear jeans in ISKCON temple?

You are allowed to wear jeans at ISKCON Temple. However, avoid wearing very short shorts, dresses and capris as best as you can. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes so that you can wander around the ISKCON premises freely.

What Should I Wear to the ISKCON temple?

You can wear Indian or western clothes, depending on your preference. It is a tradition to wear Indian outfits like Salwar kurta, kurta pajamas and sarees. However, demure tops, blouses and jeans are also not worrisome.

Try avoiding heels or uncomfortable shoes of other kinds. The temple complex is vast, and you might face trouble walking on the lawns in heels.

Who built the ISKCON temple?

Srila Prabhupada, also known as AC Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada is credited with founding the ISKCON. Temples across the world have since then been constructed by various visionaries.

The Delhi temple’s construction can be attributed to Achyut Kavinde, and the inauguration was done by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, ex Prime Minister of India.

Is Parking available at ISKCON Temple?

Since the ISKCON temple is located in posh society, you should not have trouble finding a parking spot nearby. Many metro stations also host parking facilities.

You can enquire around to get a better idea of parking facilities in the region. If you struggle, drive to a nearby mall or theatre and park there.

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