A very popular temple flocked by devotees worldwide, Krishna Balarama Mandir is also popularly known as ISKCON Vrindavan and locally known as Angrez Mandir. It was established by Founder of Hare Krishna Movement - A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.
The main deities are Sri Sri Krishna Balarama, Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai. Adjacent to Gaur Nita, there are deities of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada (Guru Maharaj of Srila Prabhupada). There is 24-hour kirtan going on here in the main temple hall. It was re-started by Sripad Aindra Prabhu in 1986.
|Deity||Krishna Balaram, Gaur Nitai, Radha Shyamsundar|
|Acharya (Founder)||Srila Prabhupada|
|Darshan Timings||Summer: 4 AM - 1 PM & 4.30 PM - 8.45 PM
Winter: 4.30 AM - 1 PM & 4 PM - 8.30 PM
|Famous for||24 Hour Sankirtan|
|Important Sections||Srila Prabhupada Samadhi, Tulsi Maharani Plantation|
|Year Opened||1975 (on Ram Navami)|
|Festivals Celebrated||Janmashtami, Radhastami, Kartik, Gaur Purnima, Nityananda Triyodashi|
History & Hidden Facts
The place where Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Mandir stands today in Vrindavan is the place where Krishna and Balarama used to play with their sakha friends in soft sands of Vrindavan. Hence, the central deities are of Krishna Balarama.
The temple was conceptualised and inaugurated by Srila Prabhupada on eve of Rama Navami in 1975. Srila Prabhupada personally oversaw the construction and development of this temple.
There's popular incidence known amongst vrajvasis and devotees who were there in Vrindavan when the deities arrived at midnight prior to the opening of the temple. As the truck carrying the deities entered Vrindavan and reached the temple, the weather changed into a beautiful ambience, there was a singing of birds, peacocks, the cows started meowing and the monkeys started jumping around Vrindavan. There had never been such sight for devotees here and people were perplexed on why the whole environment has changed at midnight. It was later realised by devotees that the deities are home!
The picture of Srimati Radharani that is most popular the world is none other than that of the Srimati Radharani at Krishna Balarama Mandir.
Srimati Radharani is in a slightly different pose here, and Srila Prabhuapda personally posed for her while giving a brief on how Radharani at this temple would be. He said as long as She is dancing, our movement would go on very nicely.
Anybody can get captivated by taking darshan of Srimati Radharani at Krishna Balarama Mandir. You can check the picture on phone and computer screens, but the visual and emotions that would churn when you are taking darshan of Radha Shyamsundar live is a different experience altogether and very difficult to describe in words.
Srila Prabhupada is a Gaudiya Vaishnav saint, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and representatives in line of teachings of Lord Chaitanya and Srila Rupa Goswami. Gaudiya Vaishnavas are also called as rupanugas, or followers of Srila Rupa Goswami.
Srila Prabhupada went to the US at the age of 70 to preach the holy names of Lord on instructions of his guru maharaj Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada.
There are three altars in the main temple complex.
- On the left are deities of Gaur Nitai, Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
- On the centre are deities of Krishna and Balarama.
- On the extreme right are deities of Sri Lalita Sakhi, Krishna, Radharani and Vishaka Sakhi.
On the front part of the temple is Srila Prabhupada Samadhi, where there is a huge deity of Srila Prabhupada.
How to Reach
The temple is located at Raman Reti, on Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg. If you are coming from Mathura Railway Station, just ask the auto-wala to drop you at ISKCON. You can also get a shared auto (Read more about it and auto fare on Detailed Vrindavan Travel Guide here).
Important Sections of Temple
- Srila Prabhupada Quarters: It is at the backside of the temple. This is where Srila Prabhupada spent his last few years and took samadhi into the nitya-lila of Divine Couple. The place has a very caring and deep spiritual vibe.
- Srila Prabhupada Samadi
- Tulsi Maharani
- Aindra Prabhu's Room
- Govinda's Restaurant
- Bakery (Samosa's and soda are really good)
- Book Stall (You can find a lot of spiritual books by Srila Prabhupada)
- 4 AM - 1 PM
- 4.30 PM - 9 PM
- 4.30 AM - 1 PM
- 4 PM - 8.30 PM
- Sit in kirtan (for 15-30 minutes. It would be a never-felt experience altogether. A lot of first-timers in Vrindavan just come and sit for hours straight in kirtan completely absorbed)
- Do tulsi parikrama (Take 4 parikrama around tulsi maharani plantation near the backside of the temple)
- Parikrama at Prabhupada Samadhi
- Take darshan of all deities and pray for vraja-prema-bhakti
Safety Tips and Important Instructions
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