Chennai

The Modern Temple: ISKCON, Chennai

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Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple (ISKCON Temple) in Chennai is a Modern Temple in looks and spirit!Β Fourteen years back, I remember going to ISKCON Temple in Bangalore for the first time and I was astonished to find shops, bakery, eateries, cinema theater (yes you read that right) inside that Temple!! This Krishna Temple in Chennai is a more recent one, and I thought why not visit and see what they have here.

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Needless to say, ISKCON Temples are neat and well maintained. There is no entry ticket for the Temple, and I found one donation box near the footwear deposition chamber (where they request an optional donation of Rs. 2). One person was confused whether this Rs. 2 was for one pair of chappals or three pairs of chappals (for his family). Taking advantage of the ambiguity, he decided to pay only Rs. 2 in the end πŸ™‚ There is a huge bike/car parking facility in front of the Temple.

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This is the ground floor. There are two shops on the left and right of this statue where they sell Krishna books, shirts, pictures, night lamps, idols, Non/Natural Coffee, distilled cow urine, decoration items, etc. Behind this statue is a chattaram/hall where some private event was going on and they were singing Krishna bhajan. The idol of the God/Temple is in the first floor. I went at 3: 30 PM and they informed me that the Temple opens only at 4:00 PM. So I went to the,

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Canteen. Have a look at what all delicacies they are selling in a Temple!! πŸ™‚ (Above photo). I had one Puliodara and Samosa. I thought the combination might go well, but nah! πŸ™‚

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Then I went to the Temple on the first floor where they have kept the idols. This is one of the idols kept there. Yes, you can take a photograph of the idol! They however ask us not to take a photo of anything else inside the Temple, including the paintings, etc. but people were clicking everywhere!

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This is the photo of another group of idols kept there. Have a look at all that woodwork! There is a large hall in front of these idols where one can sit and contemplate on the (non existent) meaning of life. While I was doing that, a Bharatanatyam dance program by some dance school students started! I watched a couple of dance performances and then left because I had to visit a Jain Temple nearby. Yes, the dance was good.

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This ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), popularly known as Hare Krishna movement, was started by Swami Prabhupada. It seems, he came to the US in 1965 on a freight ship (free lift) with equivalent of $8 USD in cash and many books. That’s all he had. And within 12 years, he established hundreds of Temples and developed a devoted following across the world. Don’t you think that’s fascinating?

If you want to visit this Temple, you might want to take a look at the events/timing from this chart:

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PS: While coming back from this Temple, I visited fellow Blogger Jeevan who blogs at Jeevan’s World, as his home was on my way back. We had a great time and discussed a lot of things, including blogs. Here’s his post on our meet.

Destination Infinity

Photos:Β By Destination8infinity (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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