Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hare Krishna ISKCON Temple, Pune

By chanting Krishna’s holy name,
One cleanses all the dust,
From the mirror of one’s consciousness.
~  Srila Prabhupada.

Strains of melodious Kirtan (holy hymns) and gregarious chants pierced through the air as I hurriedly paced across the corridor through the modestly set courtyard of the Sri Radha Kunjbihari ISKCON Temple in the camp area of Pune. After paying my reverence to Shri Ram at Tulsibaug and Lord Ganesha at Dagduseth in the morning, it was time for me to catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna and His beloved Radha and with the arti resounding in the environs… bliss was instant; it felt like peace descending from the skies above.


... I had been summoned at an opportune time.

Chappan Bhog art at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Welcome to ISKCON Temple, Pune: HIS home!

Sri Sri Radha Kunjbihari Mandir is one from amongst the twin ISKCON temples situated in Pune, this being the elder of the two. Located in the central city Camp area, the temple has been a spiritual retreat for the devout and a loving home for the deities since the last 27 years.

Entrance gate to Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Entrance gate to the ISKCON Temple, Pune

Set in a humble setting, the temple proceedings are led by IITian Radheshyam Das as the President and is inhabited by monks - youths, seniors and children alike - followers of the Hare Krishna movement, who dedicate their life towards spreading the message of recognizing the absolute truth, the Supreme Godhead, the all pervading, Krishna.

A statue of Lord Krishna on a sheshnag at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
The Absolute Truth, the all pervading, Krishna.

This is the same message that was first prescribed by their mentor, Srila Prabhupada, almost a century ago which gradually snowballed into the massive Krsna consciousness movement worldwide, today widely known as the Hare Krishna movement.

Shrimad Bhagvadam classes at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Wisdom from the Vedas: Shrimad Bhagvadam classes in ISKCON

The temple houses two Kutirs, small shaded canopied rooms – Krishna Kutir and Balaram Kutir – which cater to various educational and cultural in-house programs like the Shrimad Bhagvatam classes for children among others.

Krishna Kutir at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Krishna Kutir: The center for conducting spiritual programs and activities.

Little Children at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Little kids attentively listening to Krishna playtime stories.

Further attractions in the courtyard include a snack counter, Govinda's Restaurant serving pure vegetarian delicacies for the visitors,

Govinda restaurant at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Pure vegetarian meals at Govinda's - ISKCON center, Pune

... the Harinam Mandir - a monument solely dedicated to the power of prayers, expressed by writing 108 Hare Krishna Mahamantra in the Harinam book,

Harinam mandir at Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
'Harinam Temple' dedicated to the power in our prayers.

... and a gift shop – selling Tulsi beads, Vedic books, cow products and other religious paraphernalia.

Courtyard of Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Gift shop, just adjacent to the main temple hall.

I struggled to set foot in the main temple hall as it was jam packed with devotees, most of which stood transfixed in a trance swaying to the tunes of the Krishna arti. Nevertheless, I found a comfortable position such that, even from a far distance, I could fix my gaze at the loving eyes of the Master.

Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra

The yellow light of the diya (prayer lamp) billowed gently as the priest swayed it to and fro several times, only once coiling it to a complete orb and then repeating the entire cycle again. The arti united the expressive Radha - playful Krishna in a splendid luminous halo that I devoured through my small, empty, dreamy eyes...

Shri Radha Krishna Deities in Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari ISKCON Temple, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra

… the soothing chant of Hare Krishna nestled in my heart …


Traveler Tips and Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How many ISKCON temples are there in Pune?

ISKCON NVCC Shri Radha Vrindavanchandra is the name of the other ISKCON temple in Pune and apparently it’s spread in a larger area than this one. It’s ranked very high by a lot of travelers too. With so much recommendation floating around and the beautiful pictures that I have seen, I am sure I will be trying to visit it the next time around. You too, make sure to visit it while you are there.

2. I want to stay at ISKCON Temple in Pune. Is the guest house facility available?

The guest house facility is not available at Sri Sri Radha Kunjbihari Temple in Pune Camp.

3. What are the Pooja and Arti Timings of ISKCON Pune?

4:30 am : Mangala Arti
5:15 am : Tulsi-Puja
7:30 am : Sringar Darshan
7:40 am : Guru Puja
8:30 am : Srimad Bhagavatam Discourse
8:30 am : Dhoop Arti 
12:30 pm: Raj Bhoga Arti
4:30 pm : Pushpa Arti
6:45 pm : Sandhya Arti
8:50 pm : Shayana Darshan
9:00 pm : Temple Closes

Temple shall remain closed at the following timing:
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm and
9:00 pm - 4.30 am

4. What is the contact number, address, email-id of ISKCON Temple, Pune?

Address:

Sri Sri Radha Kunjbihari Temple: No. 4, Tarapore Road, Beside Dastoor Boy's School, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Sri Sri RadhaVrindavanchandra Temple: ISKCON NVCC Temple, New Vedic Cultural Center, Katraj-Kondwa Bypass, Pune.

Contact Numbers: 020 - 410 332 22 / 23 / 10 / 00
Email: nvcc@iskconpune.in
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogger Widgets