ISKCON Temple in VrindavanVrindavan needs no introduction to a Hindu and followers of Lord Krishna. Situated on the banks of river Yamuna is a major pilgrimage centre. This is the place Lord Krishna spent most of his childhood, All the audacious stories of Lord Krishna that you stumble upon have their seeds in the soil of this ancient city.
Krishna Balaram Temple or ISKCON Temple was visioned by Srila Swami Prabhupada who wanted to feature Krishna and Balaram in a temple on Raman Reti. Raman Reti in English means enjoyable sands the same place where they used to herd their cows and this wish and vision lead to construction of the temple that stands on the land gained in charity by ISKCON, The construction of the temple was a journey of miracles. In a series of events, the most noteworthy is the discovery of sweet water well which was dug in a land with a history of having only saline water and scarce water supply. This discovery of fresh water was fonly possible by the grace of Lord Krishna.
The deities residing in temple were carved and brought from Jaipur and the clothes and silver plates from Jodhpur. Finally the temple saw a grand opening in April, 1975 an occasion filled with concerts, dancers, public speakers, feasts. For more than thousand people and great bath of deities before being installed in temple followed by a gigantic parade.
The temple has three altars. In the centre is the deity of Krishna and Balaram, on right hand are Radha – Krishna with gopis Vishakha and Lalita, on left handside are the deities of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Nityananda.
At dawn no sooner the hand touches 4 o'clock you can hear the chants of Mangala aarati and exhuberating joy fills the air of the temple, you can feel a certain serenity and calmness in the temple as you move around the temple exploring the great architecture, hare rama hare krishna kirtan goes on continuously in the temple for 24 hours.
Schedule of the temple
- Mangal aarti 4.30 am
- Darshan 7.15 am - 11.00 am
- Raj Bhog aarti - 12 pm - 12.30 pm
- Evening aarti in winter - 4.00 pm - 08.30pm; summer - 04.30 pm - 08.45 pm
Inside the temple premises, there is Govinda's restaurant that has a vast menu of prasadam. Ranging from South Indian food to Italian pizzas, you can taste the cuisines of your choice. Also, there are two shops from where you can buy gifts and souvenir for your loved ones. You can even have prasadam in the prasadam hall which is available at mere 40 INR per head. If you wish to have some spicy snacks, the shops outside the premises of the temple, excel in the same. You can even buy some traditional dhoti kurtas and long ghagras from these shops. If it is the deities of Lord Krishna and Radha rani that you are looking for, these shops have them in all kinds of materials such as marble and copper etc.
How to Reach ISKCON Temple Vrindavan
To reach ISKCON Temple in Vrindavan, turn left onto Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg from Chatikara and head toward left and then right, at Raman Reti, Rajpur Bangar, Krishna Balram temple is situated. It hardly takes 10 mins to reach this place by auto or rickshaw. You can easily find rickshaw at Chatikara stand and they won't cost more than Rs 20 from you.