The ISKCON Temples are one of the most popular sites of religious importance. The ISKCON or International Society for Krishna Consciousness is not just a religious society. They are heavily involved in different charitable works along with being a religious organization of the Gaudiya-Vaishnava Sampradaya. The ISKCON Temple in Bangalore is one such temple. If you are in Bangalore then you must visit the Bangalore ISKCON Temple once. You will get an insight of the massiveness of the temple along with the functioning of this society. In this article I have mentioned everything that you need to know before exploring this temple. So keep on reading this article.
Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road, Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore, Karnataka
ISKCON Temple Bangalore timings:
Usual timings of the temple are 4:15 am to 5 am, 7:15 am to 1:15 pm and 4:15 pm to 8:20 pm. However during weekends and public holidays the temple is open throughout the day without any breaks.
4:30 am Mangala Arati
5:15 am to 7:15 am Japa Meditation Session
7:15 Shringara Darshan Aarati
7 pm Evening Aarati and Kirtan
ISKCON Temple Bangalore tickets: There is no entry ticket to enter the temple. It is absolutely free.
How to reach ISKCON Temple Bangalore:
How to reach by road:
The Bangalore bus service is really extensive. The bus services are run by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). You will get a number of buses to reach the temple. Other than that you can hire a cab or taxi or a car or drive your own vehicle to reach there.
How to reach by train:
Bangalore City Railway Station at a distance of 6.9 km and Yeshwantpur Railway Station which is 2.2 km away are the two nearest railway stations to reach here.
How to reach by metro:
Nearest Metro Stations are Mahalakshmi Metro Station and Sandal Soap factory Metro Station. The temple is just a 10 minutes’ walk from there.
How to reach by flight:
Kempegowda International Airport is the closest airport to reach the temple. ISKCON Temple Bangalore distance is only 33 km away.
Read More: BEST DURGA PUJA IN BANGALORE
ISKCON Temple Bangalore History:
The main aim behind the ISKCON temples is to promote the idea of Krishna Consciousness through the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. These temples are not just religious sites. The ISKCON Temples are full fledged complexes devoted as a charitable society that also takes part in various charitable activities. In 1978 the society was registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. Later in 1987 the leaders of this society proposed the idea of constructing this temple to the Bangalore Development Authorities. A huge land spreading across 7 acres with a huge rock in the middle was allotted to the ISKCON society.
However, the area was not at all fit for the temple construction. Therefore a temporary arrangement was made at that time. Later Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa who was a qualified engineer and also was the President of ISKCON Bangalore Society conceptualized the construction of this temple. Along with the help of Jagat Chandra Dasa who was an engineer as well the construction of the temple started in 1990. Almost around 6000 skilled artisans and workers worked tirelessly for 7 years to build this beautiful structure. In 1997, 31st May the temple was finally inaugurated by the then President of India Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Moreover the main aim of building this temple was to mark the birth centenary anniversary of Sri Prabhupada, who is the founder of ISKCON.
Read More: KARYASIDDHI HANUMAN TEMPLE IN BANGALORE
ISKCON Temple Bangalore Architecture:
The Dravidian style of architecture is followed in the construction of this beautiful temple. Following a Neo Classical model of architecture, the temple is a splendid example of a grand complex. The ornate stone carvings and embellished walls are a sight to observe. You can see an inter mingling of glass and gopurams here. The modern and the traditional south Indian styles are mixed to build this temple. Inside the temple there are a total of 4 Gopurams. All of them are connected by a striking glazed glass canopy. Another important part of the temple is the Hare Naam Kirtan Hall which is a massive 10,000 square feet hall. The hall is adorned with beautiful paintings and exquisitely carved ceilings.
Bangalore ISKCON Temple inside view is spectacular and it will win your heart. However the main gopuram or the main shrine that is the Rajagopuram is the most exquisite looking structure. The beautiful water fountain and splendid archways are beautifully designed and ornamented. Here you will find the presiding deities of Radha Krishna.
Furthermore there is a Pravachana Hall and Kalyana Mantapa inside the temple premise. Along with that there are Vedic Museums, Exhibition Halls, Gardens, lecture halls and an amphitheater as well. This is not merely a religious site but also a cultural complex that is involved in various cultural programmes, classes and seminars.
One of the main features of the ISKCON Temple Bangalore is the gold plated Dhwaja Stambha or the flag post. It is almost 17 metres high or 56 feet tall. The gold plated Sikhara on top of it is 8.5 metres high that is 28 feet.
The main deities here are made of Panchaloha and are gold plated as well. Inside the temple complex you will find 6 dedicated shrines that belong to Radha-Krishna, Krishna Balarama, Srinivasa Govinda also known as Venkateshwara, Nitai Gauranga or Chitanya Mahprabhu or Nityananda, Prahlada Narasimha and Srila Prabhupada.
Festivals in ISKCON Temple Bangalore:
Sri Krishna Janmashtami
This is the most important and extravagant festival celebrated in all the ISKCON Temples. The birth of Lord Sri Krishna is celebrated through various rituals. This is the time of celebration for all the devotees and people across the world visit the temple during this time. The deities are adorned with beautiful garments and jewelleries and decorated well with flowers. Furthermore, the temple premise is elaborately decorated. There is chanting of Hare Ram Hare Krishna by all the devotees. Occasionally the devotees would also clap and dance to the tunes of the chanting. In itself this is a divine site. You can visit the temple during this time to observe the divine occasion.
This is a festival celebrated at the temple to glorify Devi Radha. It is celebrated on the 8th day of the bright fortnight that is Shukla Paksha Ashtami in the month of Bhadra. Generally the time of celebration is in between August to September.
The auspicious day of the appearance of Lord Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Sri Krishna is celebrated here. It is celebrated in the month of August on a full moon day in Shravana. The deities are bathed in sanctified water from 108 Kalashas. And a grand feast of 56 Dishes or Chappan Bhog is offered to Sri Sri Krishna Balarama.
This Festival is celebrated in the month of Shravana. It starts on the 11th day or the day of Ekadashi and continues till Purnima. The deities are placed on a Jhulan or swing and are decorated with flowers. After the evening Arati, the devotees are given a chance to sway the swing. This is considered as direct service to the deities from the devotees.
This is the day when Lord Ramachandra made his auspicious appearance. The festival is celebrated in the month of Chaitra that is around March- April. During Rama Navami the deities of Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama are dressed as Rama and Lakhsmana. Radha Rani is also dressed as Devi Sita.
This is the auspicious day when Lord Vamana made an appearance as son of Kashyapa and Aditi. For the celebration Lord Krishna is decorated as Vamanadeva.
The Ratha Yatra or the festival of chariots is also celebrated in a grand way in the temple. Here both Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama ride on the same chariot together. Devotees especially visit the temple to be a part of this celebration by pulling the chariot. Later Prasadam is distributed among all the devotees who take part in the Ratha Yatra.
This is a month-long festival that is also known as the festival of lights. The festivals take place in the month of Kartika during October-November. During this time the whole temple is decorated with 1000 lamps every single day.
Other than these other festivals celebrated here are Nityananda Trayodashi, Gaura Poornima, Brahmostsav, Narasimha Jayanti, Vaikuntha Ekadashi, Panihati Chida Dahi Utsav, Govardhana Puja, Hanuman Jayanti, Snan Yatra etc. You can check out the official website of the ISKCON Temple to get exact dates of the events that are celebrated there.
ISKCON Temple Bangalore food:
The food and prasadam services in the ISKCON Temple Bangalore surely deserve a special mention. They have the Nitya Annadana system where they provide free lunches to all the visitors from 11:30 am to 2 pm. This prasadam tastes heavenly and delicious and there is Rice, Sabji, Sambar, Sweet and Buttermilk. Nitya Annadana takes place in the Annadana Hall of the temple. Another service is the Krishnamrita Prasadam distribution. This is a process where food is prepared in typical Sattvik manner and it is distributed inside the temple premise.
What deserves special mention is the mid day meal services. This is done by the Akshaya Patra Foundation. The foundation was implemented to provide mid day meals to children in Government and Government aided schools. It was set up in the year 2000 and from then this is one of the most successful as well as the largest mid day meal programme run by a NGO in the world. They follow a public-private partnership in executing this. Central and State Governments are involved here in offering food to almost 1.6 million children every day across 11 states in India.
ISKCON Temple Bangalore Restaurant:
You will also find two restaurants inside the temple premise. First one is The Higher Taste. This is the first restaurant in Bangalore that serves proper Sattvik Bhojana, which is food made without onion and garlic. Also this is a complete vegetarian restaurant. Another is Annakut Prasadam Restaurant. This is a fine dine restaurant that serves different delicious food. The prices of the dishes are not too high and they maintain proper hygiene as well.
Things to remember before visiting ISKCON Temple Bangalore:
You will have to remove your footwear before entering the main temple. However they have arrangements of footwear racks here. You will receive a token that would point out which are your shoes and the system is very convenient.
Smoking and drinking is completely prohibited.
Photography is not allowed inside the temple premise.
For disabled and elderly people there are wheelchair services available here.
Toilet facilities are available inside the premises.
There is a huge space for parking two wheelers and four wheelers. However you will have to pay a very nominal charge for parking.
Try to wear decent outfits. Refrain from wearing shorts and short dresses and skirts.
The Bangalore ISKCON Temple is one of the popular ISKCON Temples in India. Your visit to Bangalore will totally be incomplete if you don’t visit the ISKCON Temple here. Also if you are already a resident of Bangalore and you haven’t visited this place, then you are missing out. Try to take some time out and invest a whole day in exploring the temple premise. And most importantly, don’t forget to relish the prasadam here as that will be a divine experience for you. Do let me know if this article was valuable for you in planning your visit to the temple.