Over this past weekend, from Friday May 6 through Sunday May 8, the South Vrindavan temple by ISKCON devotees at Puthur village, Thrissur District, Kerala, was inaugurated.
Deities of Sri Sri Radha Vrindavan Krishna, Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadradevi, and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai were installed in the temple. The temple is promoted by the devotees of ISKCON Balaramdesh, headed by Udarakirti Das, the temple president.
Situated on 12 acres of land, and surrounded by the homes of ISKCON Balaramdesh devotees who are relocating to South Vrindavan, the temple was built in Kerala style, but with modern building materials. There are a number of beautiful paintings and relief artworks that decorate the temple.
Senior devotees from Mayapur, Bhadra Charu Das performed the installation with the help of ISKCON Vrindavan head pujari Mukunda Datta Das. Other senior ISKCON devotees who participated in the inauguration festival were Bhakti Vikas Swami, Radha Raman Swami, Bhakti Vinoda Swami, (zonal secretary for Kerala), Basu Ghosh Das (Temple President, Baroda), Murali Mohan Das (Co-President, Vijayawada), Patri Das (Regional Secretary for Nepal), Atul Krishna Das (Director of the Mayapur Institute, Sridham Mayapur), Ekalavya Das (Kolkata), Nityananda Ram Das (Vice President, Baroda), and Pundarikaksha Govinda Das (General Manager, Juhu, Bombay). Nandaputra Das from Nagarcoil, Jagadsakshi Das (Temple President, Trivandrum), and Vikram Govinda Das (Manager, Kanyakumari) were also present.
Many other devotees came from around India and from Bahrain, as well as from Dubai and Sharjah in the U.A.E. Brahmachari kirtaneers from ISKCON Chowpatty, Bombay, were also in attendance.
The function was blessed by HH Jayapataka Swami in a letter sent to the organizers of the program. Maharaj was unable to attend due to the renewal of his US green card, and had to meet a deadline to enter the USA by May 10.
Kerala is known throughout India as “God’s own country” for profuse coconut trees, jackfruit trees, araca nut trees, black pepper vines, and several exotic varieties of banana trees. The hills, rivers, greenery, and the way old Hindu/vedic culture has been preserved in so many ways makes Kerala a very attractive place for devotees of Lord Krishna!
On behalf of the organizers at ISKCON, you are all invited to visit!
Nearby South Vrindavan, about 15 kilometers West, is the famous temple of Lord Krishna known as Guruvayoor, the most popular place of pilgrimage for Keralites, and one of the most popular places for Tamil Nadu residents as well!
One of the features of the Guruvayoor temple is the daily procession in the evening where the “utsava” (festival) Deity of Lord Krishna is taken on parikrama (circumambulation) around the temple on top of a male elephant! The temple maintains 65 elephants in an elephant sanctuary, near by the main temple.
Just 10 kilometers East of South Vrindavan is district headquarters Thrissur (tri-Shiva in Samskritam), where there is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva, Vadakkunnathan, that is also one of the popular pilgrimage places in Kerala. Kerala “Pooram” festival held annually during Pooram nakshatra in the Keralite month of medam – it falls usually during April.