Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Extensive Renovations and Expansions Underway at ISKCON New Mayapur
By Kulavati Krishnapriya Devi Dasi, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Jun 16, 2024

Govinda Das, Construction Manager.

ISKCON New Mayapur temple, housed in a 100-year-old castle with an area of approximately 83 hectares, is receiving a much-needed restoration and renovation under the guidance of Temple President Locananda Das and Vice President Gandharvika Rai Devi Dasi.

One significant sustainability initiative at ISKCON New Mayapur is the implementation of a centralized heating system designed to operate on carbon-neutral principles. By utilizing fallen wood from the forest, the system minimizes environmental impact while efficiently reducing electricity consumption. Complementing this eco-conscious approach is a substantial rainwater catchment system, ensuring responsible water management within the castle’s premises.

Govinda Das, who is in charge of all the construction work, said, “One of the main projects that we have going on right now since 2016 is fixing the castle roof, which we’ve divided into eight parts and still have five parts to do. And that’s going to cost about between 250-300,000 euros.”

The temple’s original kitchen, anticipated to cost approximately 60,000 to 80,000 euros, is also being revived after being dormant for nearly three decades due to a dwindling community. The extensive renovation includes flooring, plumbing, electrical rewiring, and the incorporation of a stainless steel wall to align with contemporary standards of maintenance and efficiency. An automatic dishwashing system and an elevator will also be installed.

It has also been decided to expand the parking area to accommodate more vehicles. Govinda Das said, “Up to now, we’ve had a parking lot that can house about 30 cars, and we’re making it bigger to 1,200 square meters so that we can have about 60 to 80 cars parked. This is a project that’s going to cost about 25,000 euros, which covers not just the rental of the machines but also all the stones that we have to buy.”

Expanding the parking lot.

Plans also exist to install underground electrical infrastructure to support electric vehicles, including electric charging points, facilitated by contributions from dedicated individuals offering their expertise. 

Srila Prabhupada started the second Gurukul of ISKCON in New Mayapur. Efforts to reopen a world French and English-speaking school for children are underway, with Temple Vice President Gandharvika Rai Devi Dasi taking charge of managing the Gurukul.

Another project is the renovation of the yoga hall, which will be completely redone in plasterboard. Govinda Das explained, “We’ve already put the plasterboard, but now we have to do all the rendering, buy and install new double-glazed windows, and install the heating system. Without the heating system, it’s about 15,000 euros a job.”

Renovations of the Yoga Hall.

There are plans to transform the Barn into a complex for organizing retreats and courses, with two large halls and a restaurant/bakery. Since ISKCON New Mayapur is located near the Beauval Zoo, which has 16,000 daily visitors, many of whom are looking for guest house facilities, there is also a plan to upgrade the guest house. This plan is also based on inspiration drawn from the retreat of Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj in 2019 where he expressed his desire to improve the guest house. The plan is to expand the accommodation capacity to 114 visitors through the addition of eight small rooms, six medium rooms, and seven large rooms along with the 12 existing rooms.

Catering to the needs of resident families, practitioners, and visitors alike, the renovation endeavors also include the construction of modernized roads. Earlier, the roads would get muddy, causing many children and devotees to fall. There are also plans to build two houses with attached bathrooms for the elderly, with efforts to include healthcare facilities for them in the near future.

Gopaswami Das and Krishnacaranaravinda Devi Dasi, residents at New Mayapur, shared, “Since a few years now, maybe five or six years, under the very sincere inspiration of Jnananda Maharaja and his crew of young leaders, things have improved in a fantastic way. After the first big improvement, they are entering a new phase of improving again,” they continued, speaking directly to future guests, “So it’s very encouraging for us residents here and you guests. We are very happy to invite you because really New Māyāpur is blossoming, and devotees here are happy to receive everybody.”

To learn more about ISKCON New Mayapur, please visit their website.  You can also connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, where you can watch several videos of improvements and renovations underway.

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