Echoing the chants of ‘Hare Ram Hare Ram…Krishna Krishna Hare Hare’ The ISKCON Temple in Delhi is devoted to the worship of Lord Krishna and Radharani. Popularly known as Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir, it houses the idols of Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi, Sita Rama Laxman Hanuman and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai.
Located in the East Kailash region of Delhi on the hilltop of Hare Krishna Hills, the temple is one of the popular tourist landmarks in the city. An outcome of the popular ‘Hare Krishna’ movement, the temple was constructed in 1993 by Achyut Kanvinde. In 1998, the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated the spiritual haven on the occasion of Sri Ram Navami.
The ISCKON Temple dominates the skyline with 90-foot-high ‘shikharas’. The temple walls have been decorated with the works of artists from Russia. The paintings portray different scenes from the lives of deities like Lord Krishna and Radha, and Lord Ram and Sita. The lessons from religious epics of the Hindu religion are also demonstrated in life-like paintings.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) follows a strict line of worship in the Vaishnava tradition. The Lord at the temple is serviced by twenty-four priests who inhabit the temple complex. They are assigned the task of carrying out essential prayers and services. The deities are dressed twice a day. The daily routine includes six aartis, namely Mangala Aarti, Darshan Aarti, Raj Bhog Aarti, Usthapana Aarti, Sandhya Aarti, and Shyana Aarti. The devotees are offered ‘bhoga ka prasad’ after prayers.
Apart from the divine core of the temple, there are many other attractions. The Museum of Vedic Culture is built inside the complex of the temple. It is well equipped with tools of modern technology for spreading knowledge about the Vedic culture. There are many beautiful bronze sculptures of the gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. The ISKCON Vedic Expo is of interest to people who want to know and learn about the ancient culture.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the appearance day of Lord Krishna, is the most auspicious day at ISKCON Delhi. This happens to be the biggest festival of the year with nearly 8 lakh devotees visiting the temple for a darshan (seeing) the Lord.
The temple also organizes a special Animatronics Robot Show in which clay robots narrate the teachings of the Bhagavadgita. The significant scenes from the epic Ramayana are demonstrated using multimedia presentations and light-and-sound effects.
The Vedic Centre for Performing Arts is an open-air amphitheater. It hosts the performance from all over the world. Devotees come here to present their skills, demonstrating scenes from the great epics of Hinduism.