The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, popularly known as ISKCON, was established by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in order to spread the practice of bhakti yoga. Founded in 1966, in New York, by the spiritual master, bhakti yoga is the act of dedicating all actions and thoughts such that it pleases Lord Krishna.
ISKCON temples are complexes that not only house idols of respective deities, but are also institutions of Vedic learning. These complexes consist of schools, restaurants and indulge in social services like "Akshaya Patra Foundation", an initiative to provide food for those in need that was started in Bangalore.
These temples are not only spread across India, but are installed in many countries like the US, UK, Canada, etc., and continue to spread throughout the world. Read on to know about the best ISKCON temples that are established in India.
Sri Krishna Balaram Temple, Vrindavan
Being one of the main ISKCON temples in the world, Sri Krishna Balaram Temple of Vrindavan was built in 1975. Like the name suggests, the main deities of this temple are Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama whose idols are placed in the central altar.
Idols of Radha Krishna along with Lalita, Vishaka and Gopi are placed on the right altar while on the left lies the idols of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu along with his spiritual teacher.
Other temples to visit when you're in Vrindavan include Banke Bihari Mandir, Prem Mandir, Shaji Temple, to name a few.
Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Bangalore
Completing the construction and inauguration of the temple and cultural complex in 1997, Sri Radha Krishna Temple is one of the largest ISKCON temples in the world. One of the attractions of this place is the gold-plated flagpost of 56 ft.
The temple timings are as follows: 4.15 am to 5 am, 7.15 am to 1 pm and 4.15 pm to 8.15 pm. On public holidays and weekends, there will be no break in the afternoon.
Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra Temple, Pune
PC: Official Site
The ISKCON temple in Pune is also known as ISKCON New Vedic Cultural Center or ISKCON NVCC. Inaugurated by our former president Pranab Mukherjee in 2013, the temple is located in the outskirts of Pune in a serene and peaceful surrounding.
Apart from housing temples of Radha Krishna and Lord Balarama, the temple has other activities, such as youth training, Bhagavad Gita classes, etc.
Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari Ji Temple, Mumbai
The ISKCON temple of Mumbai is located in Juhu right next to the Juhu Beach, and is spread across a large area of 4 acres. The temple complex was constructed in 1978, back when Juhu used to be a remote area to the main city of Mumbai.
Being one of the most visited temples, the deities of this ISKCON temple are Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and Sri Sri Sita Rama Laxman Hanuman, which were all installed by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada himself.
The temple remains open between 4.30 am to 8.30 pm, with a break in the afternoon from 1 pm to 4.30 pm.
Sri Sri Radha Govind Dham, Ahmedabad
PC: Drishti Shah
ISKCON temple in Ahmedabad was established in 1997 and happens to be one of the popular tourist destinations of the city. In the central altar of the temple lie the idols of Govindji, Shrinathji and Radharani. The temple maintains high standards of cleanliness.
On Sundays, the temple has a feast that begins at 6.15 pm. Along with that, there are celebrations that include distribution of prasadam, spiritual discourses and dancing.