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

ISKCON 50th Anniversary Inauguration Celebration in Kolkata
By ISKCON News Staff   |  Aug 14, 2015

On Thursday August 13th, ISKCON temples worldwide celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the westward journey of founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who, at the age of 69, left India this day in 1965 to introduce Krishna-consciousness to the West.

Then, on July 13th, 1966, in New York, Prabhupada established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which now, 50 years later has:

  • 650 temples in
  • over 100 countries. 
  • Established 65 farms and eco-villages,
  • 54 educational institutions, including primary schools, secondary schools and colleges, and
  • 110 vegetarian restaurants.

Over the past 50 years, approximately

  • 75,000 ISKCON devotees have received initiation.
  • There are 2,000 home study (Bhakti Vriksa) groups meet regularly (consisting some 30,000 devotees).
  • There are 7 million worshippers attend ISKCON centers annually.

The poster of the inauguration event in Kolkata

  Since its establishment ISKCON has

  •  published and distributed 516 million books, and
  • gave out 3 billion plates of sanctified vegetarian meals (prasadam) worldwide.

Today, there are

  • 1,000 public harinama chanting parties going out on the streets worldwide every week, and
  • 6,000 Vaishnava festivals held every year globally in ISKCON Centers annually.

To this date, Padayatra (pilgrimage) devotees have walked 210,000 km on Padayatra Worldwide, visiting 52 000 villages in 110 countries. 

The Netaji Indoor Stadium was packed.

To inaugurate the ISKCON 50th Anniversary year, on August 13th in Kolkata a grand celebration was held with the participation of thousands of devotees from 108 countries, spiritual leaders and dignitaries such as the Chief Minister of West Bengal.  

India’s Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi and US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard sent ISKCON their special greetings on this occasion.

A brass sculpture of Swami Srila Prabhupada measuring 2.05m was unveiled at Kidderpor Dock, Kolkata, from where Prabhupada began his journey.

Watch the video of the event: