ISKCON Opens Yadagiri Centre
Posted January 19, 2011
On 22 December 2010, devotees inaugurated a Namahatta ISKCON centre at Yadagiri Gutta, a holy place 60 km east of Hyderabad in South India. This place is known for its hilltop temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva.
Touted as a second Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh, it is the holiest place in the Telangana region and assumes all the more importance due to ongoing agitation for a separate Telangana state. This area has 200 practicing ISKCON devotees, and over a hundred of them are chanting 16 rounds. In November 2010, 18 devotees from the area received their first initiation, and many more are in the queue.
The devotees would like to build here a replica of the Govindaji temple of Vrindavan, which was erected under the direction of Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis in 1590. The towers and parapet of Govindaji were demolished in 1670 by the tyrant Aurangzeb, who also razed the garbha griha to the ground; the temple was partially reconstructed in 1854.
Of course, sandstone contruction is prohibitively expensive these days, but the same model can be built using reinforced cement concrete (RCC). To this effect, some devotee architects are researching archives to unearth the original designs. The 19th-century British officer, Frederick Salmon Growse, in his 1882 book Mathura: A District Memoir, gives glimpses into the unique architecture of this great temple, which combined many world styles of the time. Growse describes the temple as being of a form similar to but smaller than that of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, though with a more elegant dome, the whole centred within a pyramidal tower.
The centre’s management is being looked after by HG Hari Krishna das, a software engineer who has resigned his job a few months ago and is now engaged full-time in preaching service. His uncle, Mr Jayaram Goud, is a wealthy man who is also a practicing devotee. He has pledged an initial 3 acres of prime road-frontage land for preaching of Krishna consciousness in the area.
In the coming year 15 new villages are being adopted, and preaching programs are starting there. Thus "Team Yadagiri Gutta" seeks the blessings of all the Vaisnavas in order to play a role in helping to fulfill Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's dream of spreading Krishna consciousness to every town and village.
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