Temple Architecture & History
In September 1987, ISKCON Bangalore was operating from a rented house in the city with a handful of devotees. Under the leadership of the Temple President, Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, ISKCON Bangalore applied for a 7-acre hillock from the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The BDA had described it as “karaab land” (waste land) as it was a huge piece of monolithic rock and could not be converted into sites. The BDA sanctioned the land at a cost of Rs. 11 lakhs to be paid in 90 days. With practically no resources in hand, the team of devotees managed to collect the sum partly with the help of some donors and partly through loan.
On Lord Balarama’s appearance day of September 1988, the Deities of Krishna Balarama moved to a temporary shed on this land.
The master plan of the project on the Hare Krishna Hill was conceived by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, who is a qualified civil engineer from IIT (Mumbai). The initial concept as it stood from outside was conceived by Sri Jagat Chandra Dasa who is an architect as well as product engineer from IIT (Mumbai). The unique combination of glass and gopuram, blended modern and traditional elements. Considering the nature of the sloping rocky hillock, this unique concept was further developed architecturally into the present design as it stands by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and Bhakti Lata Devi.
The whole construction was carried out by the ISKCON Construction Department. Between 1990 and 1997 a total of 10 million man-hours were put by 600 skilled craftsmen, 32,000 cubic meters of stone, 131,250 tons of cement and 1,900 tons of steel were used.
The Deities The Deities in the main sanctum sanctorum are standing on complete piece of stone column of about 90 feet height.
The gopurams were made with special technology using Ferro cement. It was for the first time that this technology was used for temples. The basic structure is a main frame of steel and wire mesh covered with cement and concrete of around 6 inch that adds to the dynamics of the structure.
The 36 feet high and 18 feet base, intricately designed and gold plated kalasham was placed on top by a chain pulley from the floor level to the top about 150 feet high. This was an engineering feat considering the risk of lifting 1.5 tons of gold plated kalasham going over a glass canopy to a height of 150 feet.
The original simple temple design started in 1990 and estimated to cost Rs.10 crore gave way to a more stunning, unique architectural model that cost Rs.32 crores and that today represents a fusion between majestic traditional styles and bold new aesthetics.
The prathistha ceremonies or Deity installation ceremonies was conducted in the month of April 1997. Yajnas were held for continuous 45 days non-stop. On 31st May 1997, the President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma inaugurated the Sri Radha Krishnachandra Temple and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Cultural Complex.
Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma said, “It gives me immense pleasure to associate myself with the inauguration of this Center For Advancement of Culture of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) here in Bangalore. This magnificent complex, a blend of tradition and modernity, is a symbol of the dedication and devotion of ISKCON to the cause of bhakti and service. It is an architectural landmark.