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

Second New Temple to Rise in New Jersey
By Madhava Smullen   |  Sep 11, 2015

Just one week after the grand opening of an 18,000-square-foot temple in Plainfield, New Jersey, comes the news that a Bhumi Puja ceremony will be held to break the ground for another new ISKCON temple in Parsippany on September 26th.

Brahmana priests headed by Amara Das from Germany will carry out the elaborate fire ceremony on the 3.2 acre site at 170-180 Troy Road, which was acquired back in 2008 for $1.9 million.

Over five hundred congregation members and devotees are expected to attend, including ISKCON Deity Worship Minister Jayananda Das, and150 donors who will play an important role in the ceremony.

A 3d model of the planned new temple

The event will begin at 8:00am with a procession around the land carrying small deities of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai. A deity of Ananta-Sesa will be installed in the ground, followed by kirtan, sanctified vegetarian food, and an inspirational speech by fundraiser Radha Jivan Das.

The new temple will be replacing the current one in Towaco, a 100-plus-year-old protected historical building that is beyond renovation and is now too small for the growing congregation.

It’s been a long journey. “It took us seven years just to get the permit to build the new temple,” says Namarasa Das, a brahmana-initiated young community member whose Indian immigrant parents have served at ISKCON of New Jersey since he was two.

Sita Rama Lakshman Hanuman at ISKCON of New Jersey

The first phase of the new temple in Parsippany – 15 minutes’ drive from Towaco – is expected to be open by summer 2017, and will include a 4,000 square-foot prayer hall. The current presiding deities of ISKCON in Towaco — Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sita Rama Lakshman Hanuman, and Gopal Nathji, will be worshipped there.

When completed, the temple will also feature a dining hall, offices, classrooms, kitchens, and residences for priests. It will serve a congregation of about 100 families like Namarasa’s.

“We have a lot of Bhakti Vriksha groups in Parsippany, and we’re constantly getting new people who start chanting, following the devotional process, and serving at the temple,” says Namarasa. “So this new temple will facilitate our growing congregation.”

Chanting at the Pushpa Abhishek festival in ISKCON of New Jersey

Parsippany’s new project joins ISKCON of Central New Jersey, ISKCON Brooklyn, and the Bhakti Center in Manhattan to make four temples in the New York/New Jersey area.

“I think it’s wonderful that we’re having more and more temples,” Namarasa says. “I think it’s needed for the heavily populated tri-state area, and especially for New Jersey, which is the most densely populated state in the country!” 

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