Since past few years ISKCON has had a small temple in the heart of Varanasi, in Bhelupur and now the temple is expanding and evolving into the impressive ‘Sri Sri Radha Gopal Mandir Vedic Indian Cultural Center’ (VICC). The talented young devotees’ ensemble of the Temple envisions making ISKCON VICC the most attractive place in Varanasi succeeding the popular Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Ghats of River Ganga.
VICC aspires to become a source of enlightenment for spiritual seekers and a cultural symposium for tourists to cherish the rich Indian heritage. Acyuta Mohan Das, Chairman ISKCON Varanasi commented, ‘It’ll be an effort to present the traditional values and culture of Vedic India through modern means and help holistic development of the society.’
VICC was inaugurated on Radhastami this year during the Annual Anniversary Celebrations of ISKCON Varanasi temple. The Chief Architect Anup Sahni, CEO Ellypsium Architects promised to complete the project by Summer 2023, which will make ISKCON Varanasi VICC the second grand temple in Uttar Pradesh, India, after ISKCON Kanpur Temple.
VICC will provide an array of facilities, starting from yoga to accommodation for guests and students to auditoriums to three seminar halls, and an ayurvedic spa. The well-established ISKCON Bhagavat Vidyapith of Govardhan, India, will be an integral part of VICC, offering enlightening courses on Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Upanisadas, Caitanya Caritamrta, and many other scriptures. There’ll be qualified teachers from around the world. In the seminar halls, the tourists will get a sneak peek into the rich Vedic Culture through video projections, dances, music, theatrics, etc.
The architectural style of the VICC temple will reflect that of Royal Jaipur Palace, hence it’ll be a palatial monument, where more than 250 devotees and guests can take Darshan of the deities, attend kathas and Kirtans. Alongside the temple, there’ll be two banquet halls dedicated to cultural and corporate events, and a Matchless Gift Shop with all the spiritual paraphernalia. The devotees will be doing regular Food for Life program.
An ISKCON temple is incomplete without a Govinda’s Restaurant, hence VICC will have one too.
ISKCON Varanasi Chairman, Acyuta Mohan Das remarked, ‘The land our temple is standing on was donated by the iconic Dabur Family in the memory of their spiritual master Sri Acyutananda Maharaj, which now, with everyone’s grace is being transformed into an mega ISKCON tourism project.’
The temple committee is asking devotees from all over the world to bless them and support them to realize the project and fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s mission in the holy land of Kashi, now known as Varanasi.
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Please visit www.iskconvaranasi.com to know more and become part of this project.
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org