High on a hilltop in the north of Bangalore, the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple is one of the organization's largest complexes on earth and one of Bangalore's most popular Hindu places of worship. Unlike many of the temples in the city, this one features contemporary architecture and modern interiors.
Built in 1997, this enormous temple complex atop a 7-acre (3-hectare) hill is a popular stop on pilgrimages and most city tours. The complex has six shrines, a gold-plated flag post, and various shops selling snacks and religious materials. Daily activities include worship, philosophy talks, and devotional chanting. The temple also runs a variety of special programs for Hindu festivals and other important holidays.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The temple is a great place to visit for those interested in religion and local culture.
- Note that the temple closes a few hours daily for lunch; check ahead for timings.
- Dress conservatively and be prepared to take off your shoes before entering.
How to Get There
The ISKCON Temple is located in the Rajajinagar area of North Bangalore on Chord Road. It’s about 6 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the city center. The nearest metro station is Mahalakshmi, a 5-minute walk from the temple. The Green Line runs south into the city from here, connecting to the Purple Line at Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Station; for Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace and Bangalore Fort, get off at Krishna Rajendra Market.
When to Get There
The temple is open daily, from early morning until well in the evening, with breaks for lunch on weekdays. It's a year-round attraction, though the most atmospheric time to visit is when the temple community is celebrating one of many Hindu festivals, such as Deepotsava (Diwali) in October or November or Holi (the festival of colors) in early spring.
Adherents of ISKCON are often known in the West as Hare Krishnas for their frequent use of the Hare Krishna mantra. Although the organization has a large presence in India, it was originally founded in the US in the 1960s by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, an Indian renunciate who played a major role in promoting Indian philosophy in the West, at the peak of the counterculture movement of the '60s and '70s.