The chanting of ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama’ engulfs Imphal as the famed Iskcon Temple on the banks of the Imphal River attracts pilgrims from across the region and the world.
In recent years, the temple is also emerging a tourist hotspot, giving a much needed boost to landlocked Manipur’s tourism sector.
Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the Shri Shri Radha Krishnachandra Temple has emerged as a much sought after spot of pilgrimage.
Dr Sarada Ningthoujam, a professor at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIIMS), said, “If you really want to know about the roots of Vedanta, everything is there in Krishna Consciousness and that’s why you need to go to the temple. Over there, you get to meet the devotees. You get to hear the words of Krishna from the devotees. It is very difficult for anybody to go through the Vedic scriptures by his or her own. So, at Iskcon, we follow the tradition of bonafide spiritual masters giving instructions. We need to maintain certain regulations and the devotees will be able to give you what exactly we should know.”
The temple is made with bricks coated with white cement, giving an impression that the shrine is built out of white marble. Its dome-shaped roof has paintings portraying tales from Lord Krishna’s life, adding beauty to the surroundings.
The non-stop chanting of ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama’ infuses the mind and soul with serenity.
The idols of Lord Krishna, Balabhadra and Subhadra are adorned in spiritual clothes and other than Manipur, devotees from different parts of the country are seen making offerings and seeking blessings from the deities.
‘Prashadam’ are also offered and distributed to the devotees.
Sudhir Kumar, says, “I had never thought that the northeastern state of Manipur will have such temples with ‘Naam Kirtan’ happening every day. I have been to ‘Brindaban’ very often and I was really sad when I was transferred here. But this temple is really unique. One such uniqueness is the continuous distribution of prasad and other is development work. I have been visiting this temple from the last one-and-a-half years.
With the development work in progress, the temple is under renovation which in the near future will add to the glory of the temple as well as attract more foreign tourists. It will set a benchmark in the tourism map of the country as one of the best religious destinations.