Delhi’s ISKCON Temple is a large, contemporary temple complex that features a modern take on an eclectic array of traditional Indian architectural styles. It's the local hub of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (aka the Hare Krishnas) and provides a good introduction to Vedic beliefs, especially for Westerners.
Along with a main temple and multiple shrines, this large complex features a restaurant, multiple bookstores, and a Vedic museum featuring a robotics show, an art gallery, and a "quadroscope," a sort of video globe showing an animated video about the sacred Bhagavad Gita text. It's a popular stop on South Delhi tours and is frequently visited in conjunction with the nearby Baha'i House of Worship, the Lotus Temple.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The ISKCON Temple of New Delhi is a must-visit for those interested in spirituality and local culture.
- Remember to dress modestly, with clothes that cover shoulders and knees.
- Shoes aren’t allowed in the shrines, but you can leave your shoes at a secure shoe-check area.
How to Get There
The ISKCON Temple is located in eastern South Delhi, within a 20-minute walk from both the Lotus Temple and the Shri Kalkaji Mandir. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Connaught Place, Delhi’s de facto city center, though the trip can take considerably longer during periods of dense traffic. The nearest metro stop is at Nehru Place (a 14-minute walk away), which connects to central Delhi via the Violet Line.
When to Get There
The ISKCON complex is open throughout the year, from early morning until well into the evening, though the main temple hall closes for a few hours in the middle of the day. Prayer ceremonies, lectures, and devotional chanting sessions take place throughout the day, with special programs on key religious holidays, such as Krishna Janmashtami (which honors the birth of Lord Krishna, in August or September) and Holi (the festival of colors, in February or March).
ISKCON is known for its food, and The Higher Taste cookbook is one of their most popular publications. You can try many of their dishes at the Delhi temple’s Govinda’s Restaurant, which offers around 18 different dishes daily at lunch and dinner, served buffet style. All of the food here is vegetarian (without eggs) and cooked without garlic or onions or excessive spice, and many of the options are vegan.