Spread over 8
acres of land
atop a hill, in the heart of
Bangalore is ISKCON's largest temple complex in the world. Also known
as the Hare Krishna Hill, this is home to 5 temples of various forms of
Lord Krishna: Sri Sri Radha Krishna-Chandra, Sri Krishna Balarama, Sri
Nitai Gauranga, Sri Prahlada Narasimha and Sri Srinivasa Govinda.
The temple complex
which was inaugurated in May 1997 by the President of India, His
Excellency Sri Shaker Deal Sharma, has been visited by over 5.1 million
visitors since inception, including various dignitaries of the country.
Mr. Ramakrishna Hedge, Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Former
Cabinet Minister, and a frequent visitor to Hare Krishna Hill since
1987, commented: "Every time I visit this incredible edifice, the abode
of Sri Krishna, I experience a unique divine feeling. This temple
represents the essence of all religions."
Dr. Mural Menorah Joshi, Mrs. Rama Devi, Governor of Karnataka, Mr.
HE.DO. Devegowda, former Prime Minister of India, Mr. I.H. Patel,
Former CM of Karnataka, Mr. Rajinder Singh, Chief of the RSS and Mr.
Ashok Singhal, President of the VHP are amongst the other dignitaries
who have visited Hare Krishna Hill, seeking the blessings of the Lord.
The distinct neo-classical architecture of the temple has attracted the
interest of designers and artists from around the world. The design,
which was developed by ISKCON devotees Madhu Pandit Dasa (President and
Project director) and Jagatchandra Dasa, both graduates from the IIT
Mumbai, combines elements of traditional South-Indian as well as modern
styles of architecture in a harmonious blend, to provide a gorgeous
residence for the Supreme Lord.
The temple complex is equipped with various facilities for the purpose
of promoting the spiritual and cultural message of Lord Krishna and His
pure devotee His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the
Founder-Acharya and spiritual master of the entire ISKCON movement.
The Deities and
All activities on
Hare Krishna Hill are centered around the principal Deities of Sri Sri
Radha Krishna-Chandra. Beginning with the mangala-arati at 4:15 am, a
typical day is filled with spiritually inspiring programs of aratis and
kirtanas. The morning's program includes a procession where devotees
performing sankirtana, accompany the Deity of Srila Prabhupada on a
palanquin to the various temples. The day ends with the festive shayana
utsava, when the Lord tours His temple room on an ornamental palanquin
before entering His sleeping quarters for rest. This daily utsava
offered to the Lord is a unique feature of ISKCON Bangalore.
Free Prasadam for
Every visitor to
the temple receives a cup of free kichiri prasadam, made of rice and
dahl. This is a humble attempt to fulfill the vision of our guru Srila
Prabhupada, who, expressing utmost compassion, said in 1974: "God is
the father; wherever there is the father, there cannot be hunger... No
one within a ten-mile radius of our temples should go hungry." The
temple's Pilgrims' Prasadam Kitchen is provided with modern equipment
to prepare large quantities of prasadam in a short time and can feed up
to two thousand visitors per hour. Since May 1997, about 750 tonnes of
prasadam have been prepared and distributed to the visiting pilgrims.
In addition to the free prasadam, this kitchen is also used to prepare
varieties of sweet and salty items, which are offered to the Lord and
made available as prasadam to the visiting pilgrims for a nominal
price. ISKCON's Bakery, which began operations only 2 years ago, is
well-known in Bangalore for its eggless cakes and biscuits.
Puja on Birthdays
The temple was
erected with donations received from nearly 25,000
donors in and around Bangalore city. These donors receive an invitation
on their birthday to visit the temple along with their family and a
special puja is offered to the Lord in their names.
Shata Koti Nama
To promote world
peace and harmony, a program to chant 1 Billion holy names of Rama and
Krishna in the year 2000, on Hare Krishna Hill, was begun on January
1st this year. The venue for this program is the temple's harinama
mantapa, located just before one enters the first temple of Prahlada
Narasimha. This mantapa is fitted with two sets of granite steps (each
containing 108 steps) and on each step a pilgrim can chant the full
Hare Krishna mantra once. To guide the pilgrim to chant properly,
recorded chanting of Srila Prabhupada is constantly played from a CD
player in the mantapa. After chanting on the 108 steps (which means
after chanting the maha-mantra 108 times), the pilgrim enters the
Narasimha temple through an exclusive entrance where he receives a free
packet of a prasadam sweet. It has been observed that about 60% of the
visitors choose to enter this mantapa and chant, before having darshan.
The "Friends of
Lord Krishna" (FOLK) program for bachelors between 19 and 29, has
created a lot of enthusiasm for understanding the Vedic culture amongst
the youth of Bangalore. This program is held on Saturdays and Sundays
and consists of classes, discussions and practical sessions on Vedic
philosophy and lifestyle. Meditation sessions are also held during
these programs. Each program ends with a free prasadam feast.
advocates cow protection as one of the primary elements necessary for a
prosperous and healthy society. ISKCON Bangalore goshalla maintains 40
cows in its goshalla on Hare Krishna Hill. Milk from these cows is used
to make various products for the service of the Deities.
encourages organic farming, in which grains, vegetables and fruits are
grown naturally without the use of chemicals and fertilizers. ISKCON
Bangalore's 100-acre farm near Mysore, on the bank of the River Kaveri
provides an active model of such farming. The farm's products are made
available in the temple's natural foods shop on Hare Krishna Hill known
has a scheme to promote and protect the traditional art and craft of
South India. This project encourages and supports talented craftsmen by
providing them an outlet for their work. It gives them an opportunity
to sustain themselves through the creations of their artistic
expression. Through this service, ISKCON Bangalore is bringing into
focus the richness of Indian tradition and the need to recognize its
importance in preserving our culture and heritage. The products made
under this scheme are available at "Dakshinakriti", the temple's
Cinema at ISKCON Bangalore was conceived by devotees and produced in
the United States. This is India's first show combining visual
projection and animatronics. The 14 projectors, Laser Disc players, the
surround sound processors and the animatronics mechanisms are
controlled by a special purpose computer which operates through
electronic control units and software developed in Sweden. The
40-minute Cinema conveys a simple yet significant spiritual message and
is priced nominally. Nearly 50% of the visitors to the temple choose to
watch the cinema, which operates at specific times in the morning and
complex also houses "Dwarakapuri", a marriage hall with ultra-modern
finishing and "Mathura", a hall for seminars and conferences. These
halls help generate revenue for the temple's maintenance and preaching
branch of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust is housed on Hare Krishna Hill
and is involved in translating and publishing Srila Prabhupada's
voluminous works in the Kannada language. Eminent Kannada writers Prof.
L.S. Seshagiri Rao, Prof. N.S. Laxminarayana Bhat, Dr. Shivarudrappa,
Dr. A.R. Mitra and several others are involved in translating the
books. Since 1985, 123,000 Kannada copies of the Bhagavad-gita alone
have been printed and distributed by the BBT. In all, 430,000 pieces of
literature have been distributed since May 1997. At present, 39 titles
of Srila Prabhupada's works are available in Kannada.
Goloka Seva Trust
The Goloka Seva
Trust promotes and maintains the valuable art of incense (agarbatti)
making, using purely natural ingredients. At present the Goloka Seva
Trust produces 73 varieties of incense that is meant for worship. The
trust also conducts in-house research to develop varieties of non-toxic
user-friendly incense and related products. These products are also
made available at the temple's counters for the visitors.
of the Srila Prabhupada Museum is scheduled to begin shortly. This
museum will also be an architectural marvel in itself and will be
dedicated to creating awareness amongst the general public about the
glorious contributions of ISKCON's Founder-Acharya and spiritual
master, Srila Prabhupada.