ISKCON is a global organisation of the Gaudiya Vaishnava religious group, colloquially known as the Hare Krishna movement. A great Hindu saint A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founded ISKCON in 1966 in New York City. ISKCON’s core beliefs are based on the Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu scriptures and traditions and revolve around the worship of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and his female counterpart Radha Rani. The most beautiful, famous and pleasing thing about ISKCON is its beautiful temples with intricate carving, reflecting the Indian Hindu architecture. If you are looking for some beautiful ISKCON temples in India, here are the top 6:
Sri Krishna-Balaram Temple, Vrindavan
Vrindavan is the epicentre of pilgrimage for the members of the ISKCON and Gaudiya Vaishnava sect of Hinduism. Sri Krishna-Balaram Temple situated in Vrindavan is one of the major and the first-ever ISKCON Temple in India. It dates back to 1975. The temple is gigantic and is an excellent example of North Indian Hindu architecture. The white marble look of the establishment offers a mesmerising look to the devotees and visitors. Its serene infrastructure with intricate carvings soothes the senses of the pilgrims here. The temple’s presiding deity is Krishna and his elder brother Balarama whose idols are located at the central altar. The right altar has the idols of Radha and Krishna, and the left altar houses Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Janmashtami festival of this temple is very famous and is celebrated with utmost joy and zest.
ISKCON Temple, Mayapur
ISKCON Temple at Mayapur, West Bengal, often regarded as the Temple of Vedic Planetarium, is the headquarter of ISKCON. Mayapur holds great significance for the believers of ISKCON as it is the hub of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sect and is often proclaimed as the birthplace of a great Vaishnava Saint Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The temple’s foundation was laid in 1972, and its construction started in 2010. It is aimed to be completed by 2022. After completion, it will be the largest Hindu temple in the world. The gigantic and massive dome of the temple is the centre of attraction. Thousands of tourists and devotees flock during the special Hindu festivals. On special days, the Temple Gods are adorned with attractive and new attire, and the temple hosts many cultural fests and events.
Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Bangalore
Situated in North Bangalore’s Rajajinagar, Sri Radha Krishna Temple is one of the grand Krishna Hindu Temples among other international establishments. It is affiliated with the revival of the ISKCON Revival Movement. The establishment was started off by the ninth Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma, back in 1997. Janmashtami celebrations at this temple are famous all over India. Tasting the Bhog of this temple is a must-try during Janmashtami festivities. The Grand Aarti of Lord Krishna and its spacious community centre celebrations attract many people to the temple. Visitors love the environment and also indulge in singing, dancing and reciting prayers.
Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Temple, Delhi
Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi temple is located in Delhi’s Greater Kailash area with all its splendid beauty. The temple was inaugurated in 1988 by the former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is one of the largest and grand Hindu architectures, housing a giant sacred book that weighs 800 kg. The temple is a great place to explore major Hindu imprints and texts via modern technologies. Mahabharata Experience, Ramayana Art Gallery, Bhagavad Gita Animatronics, and Bhagwat Puran Exhibit are located inside this grand temple. The grandeur of the Janmashtami festival here can be estimated by the fact that around 7-8 lakh people assemble every year.
Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari Ji Temple, Mumbai
Located just a few meters from the scenic Juhu Beach in Mumbai, Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari Ji Temple, Mumbai holds a special place in ISKCON devotees’ hearts. The idols of this temple were installed by Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON himself. From attractive lights to floral decorations, this temple attracts thousands of devotees and mainly during festive seasons. The temple also depicts Krishna stories beautifully. It houses both spiritual books and has a multimedia section.
ISKCON Temple, Pune
The ISKCON Temple, located in the Kondhwa area in Pune, is an outstanding beauty to be admired. This grand temple complex houses two establishments- The Radha Krishna Temple (the main one) and the Venkateswara Balaji Temple. The temple was constructed with a fund of 40 crores which ISKCON funded. The monument depicts a unique fusion of culture. It is built in the North Indian style of architecture and is made with red stone. The latter part of the temple harbours South Indian architecture using Kota stone,
The above temples are the epicentres of the ISKCON Organisation in India. These are highly recommended for not just locals but tourists too. These temples are some of the best places to understand and learn about Hindu cultures and Indian values. Locals and tourists overcrowd the majority of the ISKCON Temples during festivals like Janmashtami and Holi. Therefore it is recommended for the tourists to get their hotel booking completed online months before the festivals for the sake of their comfort. The spiritual vibe of these beautiful ISKCON Temples can only be felt after visiting these magnificent architectural marvels.