ISKCON Temple, Bhubaneswar: History, Architecture, Darshan Timings, Food, and more!
Being a Vaishvanite myself and being born in lineages who worship Radhakrishna, this feeling mesmerizes and infuses a deep sense of belonging to higher consciousness. Radhe Radhe is not just a word we chant but more of a calling! The sandalwood air surrounding you and the breath of air that pulls you towards the temple is something that needs to be felt and not just written about. It’s that Anubhuti or experience for a higher consciousness that can never get away from you.
When I first visited ISKCON Temple, I was so thrilled and so moved by the atmosphere from being showered in sandalwood fragrances to peaceful arti and the chants. One could not just want to come back. And outside the temple, when you do parikrama you just feel not the air but the presence of God like they are walking with you. I think that’s why it is said, you need to believe to feel them!
After darshan, we went to eat awesome food which was indeed the best satvik ( without onion or garlic) food you could have asked for. Definitely, you have to buy it but it’s very affordable and of course, it pleases your taste buds too.
We then stayed and listened to some Bhagwat lessons and with that, we finally bid adieu by keeping these memories and experience safe with us till the next visit! Radhe Radhe!
Under the direction of Swami Prabhupada, Sri Gaur Govinda Swami began construction on the ISKCON Temple in Bhubaneswar in 1975. The 108th and final shrine Swami Prabhupada ordered is this one. This sacred location was ultimately opened in 1991, in Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s presence, after a 17-year construction period.
Known as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organization. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada started ISKCON in New York City in 1966.
About ISKCON Bhubaneswar
The picturesque city of Bhubaneswar, which serves as the capital of Odisha, is home to the ISKCON Temple. Other names for it include Sri Krishna Balaram Temple. This sacred shrine was created by Sri Gaur Govinda Swami and serves as a fantastic hub for spiritual education and discussion.
Lord Krishna and Lord Balaram are the temple’s two presiding gods. Similar to other well-known ISKCON temples throughout the nation, this shrine is a major tourist destination in Bhubaneswar, often known as the “Temple City of India.” For devotees and visitors who are unable to attend the well-known Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, this temple serves as a substitute.
The Padma Mandira (Lotus Temple), which was built on the expansive temple property and dedicated in 1991 by Sri Nityananda Prabhu, houses idols of Sri Radha Gopinatha and Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Three additional altars—one each for Sri Krishna-Balaram, Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Jagannath, Sri Balaram, and Subhadhra Devi—can be found in the temple. The temple also houses the “Bhajan Kutir” the “Samadhi Mandira” and “Smriti Mandira” of Srila (Swami) Prabhupada.
Within the grounds, a “Brahmachari” ashram complex that can house 150 Brahmacharis has been constructed. The same ashram facility houses an office, a “Prasadam Hall” that can accommodate 300 devotees, a conference room that can accommodate 150 devotees, a library, and four “Sanyasi” rooms. On the campus, there are three kitchens: one that prepares food for the deities, one for the devotees, and one for the restaurant “Govindas Prasadam.”
Architecture Of Bhubaneswar ISKCON
The ISKCON temple in Bhubaneswar, which combines contemporary and conventional Indian architectural forms, is a masterpiece of modern architecture. The old Kalinga architectural style, which predominated in the area throughout the 10th and 11th centuries, served as inspiration for the temple’s design.
The main body of the temple is a massive construction built of white marble and red sandstone, with elaborate carvings and lovely murals gracing the walls and ceilings. From a distance, one can see a golden kalash (urn) and a flag on the temple’s central dome.
A spectacular prayer hall with a capacity of more than 1,500 people is also part of the temple complex. Beautiful stained-glass windows that depict numerous tales from Hindu mythology are used to embellish the hall. Additionally, the temple contains a number of smaller shrines to a number of gods, including Lord Krishna, Lord Jagannath, and Lord Baladev.
One of the architectural features of the temple is the Lotus Temple (Padma Mandira), which is situated on the site and is shaped like a flowering lotus. The shrine’s architectural features, which include Jagati, ArdhaMandapa, Mahamandapa, Garbagriha, Shikhara, Amalaka, and Kalasha, are typical of Hindu temples.
The temple, which is made of white marble, is not only stunning to look at but also exudes quiet and tranquillity. For the convenience of the worshippers, the staircase leading to the temple’s entrance has been made wide. A little garden that is enclosed is right in front of these stairs.
In addition to being a site of worship, the ISKCON temple in Bhubaneswar serves as a hub for spiritual and cultural education. The temple holds annual cultural events and festivals in addition to a variety of classes and seminars on Vedic philosophy, yoga, and meditation.
*The temple is open from Monday to Sunday with free entry.
The schedule for devotees to visit the temple has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, and the new hours are 7:30 am to 12:45 pm, 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm, 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm, 8:10 pm to 8:25 pm.
Things To Do in ISKCON Bhubaneswar
Tourists and followers of the religion can perform a variety of activities at the temple in addition to praying at the several temples located there.
Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita– Daily classes for Srimad Bhagavatam are held on campus from 8 am to 9 am, while daily classes for Srimad Bhagavad Gita are held from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Devotees have the option to go to these classes and enjoy a spiritual conversation.
Literature– There are many books of Vedic literature in the library and bookstall on the premises, many of which were written by Swami Prabhupada. The rich Vedic texts must be perused in the library by spiritual book aficionados and visitors to the temple.
Congregation Preaching– Visitors who intend to visit the shrine on a Sunday are welcome to participate in the congregation preaching program and hear lectures from ISKCON spiritual leaders.
Children’s Competitions– Visitors and devotees are encouraged to bring their children with them on that auspicious day if they plan to visit the temple on the eve of the Janmashtami festival. Sri Krishna Song Competition, Sri Krishna Art Competition, Sri Krishna Quiz Competition, and Sri Krishna Vesa Competition are just a few of the kid-focused competitions that the temple administration sponsors.
Bhagvata Darshan– Back to Godhead is the title of a monthly Odia publication named Bhagavata Darshan, which is distributed in the temple. Sri Gaur Govinda Swami released it in its initial form. When on the premises, devotees should read the magazine if they are interested in reading the writings on Krishna consciousness and other spiritual teachings.
The restaurant’s name is Govindas Prasadam, and it is located inside ISKCON Bhubaneswar. Govindas Prasadam is a 100 percent vegetarian restaurant that serves delectable breakfast, lunch buffets, evening snacks, and dinner buffets. Up to 85 persons can be accommodated there at once. 40 waiters from the restaurant serve the visitors who come here. The restaurant’s wonderful culinary selections are well-known. The greatest priority in this fantastic restaurant is cleanliness. The restaurant is not open right now.
Celebrations– The ISKCON temple in Bhubaneswar is well known for holding numerous festivals throughout the year on its grounds. The festivals that are fervently observed at ISKCON include Ratha Yatra, Narasimha Chaturdasi, Chandana Yatra, Ram Navami, Hare Krishna Utsav, Jhulan Yatra, Deva Snana Purnima, Radhashtami, Geeta Jayanti, Gopashtami, Balaram Jayanti, Goura Purnima, Deepavali, and Govardhan Puja.
The shrine’s two most significant holidays are Janmashtami and Nityananda Trayodasi when the temple is exquisitely decked and there is a festive atmosphere. In addition to that, the temple hosts Kirtans, Bhajans, and other types of religious chanting throughout the year.
Guesthouse– ISKCON Bhubaneswar guest home, which is close to the temple grounds, is a good option for devotees who want to stay close to the temple and frequent it frequently. The guesthouse offers both AC and non-AC rooms. This restaurant only serves vegetarian cuisine. To minimize any last-minute rush, interested visitors and devotees are recommended to reserve their lodgings in advance. The guesthouse is not open right now.
How To Reach ISKCON Temple, Bhubaneswar
Since the temple is located in the IRC Village, Nayapalli area, a well-known part of the city, getting there is a relatively simple process. You can use private cabs and auto-rickshaws to get here quickly from the airport, railway station, main bus stop, or any other area of the city.
ISKCON Temple Bhubaneswar and Biju Patnaik International Airport are separated by around 7 kilometers. From the airport, pre-paid taxis and autorickshaws are readily available. The journey from the airport to the temple takes about 12 to 15 minutes. IRC Village, Nayapalli is a 15-minute drive from the Bhubaneswar Railway Station. Tourists can use taxis and auto-rickshaws to get here by exiting the station and heading toward the Master Canteen Chowk. Another option for getting to this location quickly is to board a “Mo Bus,” a local bus service.
Things To Remember When Visiting ISKCON Temple, Bhubaneswar
Inside the temple compound, it is advisable to dress sensibly.
The guidelines for COVID protocols provided by the temple officials are as follows:
Carry a COVID-negative certificate or proof of final immunization.
Facial masks and social isolation are required.
Spitting is not permitted anywhere on campus other than at sinks and restrooms.
No one will be allowed on campus who has symptoms of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) or influenza-like illness (ILI).
According to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) standards, visitors are recommended not to come if they are under 10 years old, pregnant, elderly, or have comorbid conditions.
The ISKCON temple in Bhubaneswar is a remarkable illustration of the blending of traditional and modern architecture. The temple’s stunning layout and well-detailed carvings pay homage to the region’s historic Kalinga architectural style as well as India’s rich cultural history. The temple serves as a site of worship as well as a hub for spiritual and societal instruction, including classes and seminars on Vedic thought, yoga, and meditation. A trip to the ISKCON temple in Bhubaneswar is a must whether you’re a follower of Lord Krishna or just a curious traveler because it provides a genuinely extraordinary and illuminating experience.