Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA -6

Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA

Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple (Spanish Fork), Utah

  • hree M
  • The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah,  was built to meet the needs of the Hindu community in Utah County. The temple hosts seasonal festivals, weddings, receptions, and other weekly services for prayer and meditation.


The history behind the Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple is rooted in devoted members of ISKCON and their efforts to bring awareness of their religion and Indian culture to Western countries. The influence of this movement can be traced back thousands of years to the basic beliefs surrounding Krishna, and additionally to modern advocates for Krishna Consciousness like Swami Prabhupada.
The Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple located in Spanish Fork, Utah, is in existence mainly due to the efforts of Charu Das (formerly Christopher Warden) and his activity within ISKCON. Charu Das, an American by birth, left the United States in order to protest and avoid the Vietnam War. He then traveled through Europe, India, and Singapore. While in Singapore he met his future wife, and the two of them began a lifetime of work to further Krishna Consciousness. The two went to Australia where they lived and worked for a time. After spending several years with a community of Krishna devotees, Charu left Australia and returned to the United States where he served in several positions for the ISKCON.
Charu Das first visited Utah in 1975 when he traveled to BYU to sell books for a trust under ISKCON. His impressions were positive, and he appreciated the atmosphere of tolerance and interest. Years later, after leaving his position at a temple near Berkley, he returned to Utah. On November 10, 1996 ground breaking ceremonies were held at the temple's current location in Spanish Fork, and on February 16, 1998, the construction of the temple began.
The Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple continues to thrive each year as it attracts thousands of guests for both tours and seasonal festivals.

Events, festivals and grounds

The temple houses a natural amphitheater with the capacity to accommodate thousands. From March through October the temple usually holds entertainments such as art and photography displays, tour guides, cuisine tasting, cultural exhibits on India, a gala pageant of the epic Ramayana, the burning of a 20 foot high effigy of the demon Ravana, weddings and receptions, guided llama tours, and fireworks. There is a gift shop on site as well. The Authentic Indian Gulal is especially imported from India. There are many different visitors such as schools, scout troops, summer or senior organizations, and family reunions.
Annually, the biggest celebration in Western Hemisphere of the Holi festival (also known as the Festival of Colors) is held here, typically teaching a Hindu message to a vast audience of diverse ages and religious backgrounds. Visitors can buy different colored powder to throw at each other and into the air at specific times throughout the day, while live bands perform music. A replica of Holika the witch is burned in the a bonfire.

Weekly services

The services at the Krishna temple are open to the public every day from 6 am to 7:30 am. Every Sunday at 5 pm, a feast and regular services are held and are open to students. Free yoga and meditation classes are also available.
Steps to Involvement
The closer your relationship is to Krishna, the more his opulence (All Attractive, All Wealthy, All Wise, All Knowing, etc) applies to you and your life. His love and mercy for us is unlimited. The temple is a means to come into His circle, to experience the bliss of His company. Here, there is offered a sequence of steps……

Hindu Spring Festivals Increase In Popularity

Washington Post
"It’s not every day that a stranger says you’d look good in pink and douses you in colored powder. But at last Saturday’s Holi celebration at the Hare Krishna temple in Potomac, this spontaneous act was in no short supply. It was the temple’s fourth annual Holi festival, a Hindu celebration of spring’s arrival primarily recognized in India and Nepal. But Holi festivals are also held worldwide, as Hindus and non-Hindus gather every year to hold the boisterous, family-friendly celebrations."  


'Temple of Vedic Understanding' Documentary Film

 As construction on the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium—ISKCON’s flagship temple in Mayapur, West Bengal—continues, a new documentary has been released online at TOVP.org and on Youtube chronicling the temple’s rise

 Holi Spanish Fork Wrap Up

Visit our facebook page at this address for the latest YouTube Videos, News Reports, and Photo galleries of the Spanish Fork Festival of Colors. If you didn't make it, or would like more of the same, Salt Lake City Holi will be held from 11 am - 6 pm at the Slat lake Temple on Saturday April 20. The address is 965 East 3370- South 84106.

One Day til Color Fest Spanish Fork

One day left until the Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork. Pre registrations (almost double from last year) closed at midnight last night. You can still come to the Spanish Fork temple today til 8 pm and buy your tickets colors, bandanas, t shirts etc. Or you can purchase everything tomorrow - long lines, but doable.
8628 South State Rd.
(311 West 8500 South)
Spanish Fork, UT (Google Map) 

Phone: 801-798-3559
Spanish Fork Temple Hours:
Daily 10am - 8pm

Sunday 5pm 

Gift Store
Govinda's Buffet
Animal Farm
School Field Trips & Tours

Daily Schedule:
6:00 am Mangal Arati
6:20 am Srimad Bhagavatam Class
6:45 am Guru Puja
7:00 am Japa
8:30 am Breakfast in the ashram
10:00 am Open for Tours
11:00 am Buffet Opens
6:00 pm Evening Arati
6:15 pm Bhagavad Gita Class (Tuesday nights special power point or movie)
6:45 pm Hatha Yoga Monday (Monday-Thursday, & Sat. 12:30 pm)
7:00 Tours end, Buffet closes
8:00 pm Temple closes

"When will that day come when a temple will be established in every house in every corner of the world?"
- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad

The Spanish Fork Krishna Temple is dedicated to bring people to Krishna Consciousness and membership in His devotional family, develop them to spiritual maturity, and equip them for their service in the temple and life mission in the world, in order to magnify Krishna’s Holy Name.

Transit Directions from Brigham Young University: 45 Minutes
Catch the #822 Bus, on E Campus Drive, just outside the Wilkinson Center, heading to Payson.
The bus will stop just south of the Temple on South State Rd.  Walk a short way north on State Rd.

Transit Directions From Utah Valley University: 90 minutes
Catch the #830 Bus, heading towards Provo.  When you reach BYU follow the directions above.


Community Service

There are a wide range of benefits realized from serving worthy organizations in the community. Many area schools emphasize community service as an integral part of education.
Community service can also be a means of developing a positive civic attitude and reversing destructive behavior patterns among youth. Many court systems  require it as a remedial measure.
A consistent favorite in Utah County for both voluntary and mandated community service is the Krishna Temple.  Since 1995 Vaibhavi has supervised hundreds individuals and groups who have fixed fences, fed and trained llamas, cared for cows, mowed lawns, served food, cleaned and cooked. Youth have benefitted in some of the following ways:
  • Learned how to work with animals, brushing/feeding/cleaning
  • Seen how a farm/ranch operates
  • Landscaped/pasture managed/xeriscaped
  • Planted trees, cleared weeds
  • Constructed festival facilities like booths and animal obstacle courses
  • Attended booths at festivals and cultural events
  • Set up for large events and parades
  • Cleaned, prepared and served food.
They learn :
  • Accountability
  • Emotion/impulse self-management
  • Problem solving
  • How to work together to get things done
  • How to get along with others
  • How to follow directions and respect authority
  • How to use tools
  • What they like to do and what they are good at
A Daily Herald article mentioned these volunteers at the 2007 Holi Festival :
"Fifteen members of the Journey Impact Ranch, a work program for Utah juveniles in trouble with the law, helped keep the buffet flowing for hours. Their supervisor, Lucas Kane, said the program has brought youth to volunteer at the temple at least once a week for the past three years as a way of helping the teens work off court-ordered community service.

"This gives them an opportunity to see new things while they work here, and work with animals," Kane said, noting the youth also help care for the temple's herd of llamas."


New Vrindaban, Moundsville, West Virginia

New Vrindaban is an unincorporated town and ISKCON (Hare Krishna) intentional community located in Marshall County near Moundsville, West Virginia.  The town consists of 1,204 acres (4.87 km2) (of which 0.1 km2 is of water),  and several building complexes, homes, apartment buildings, and businesses including the Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra Temple (RVC Temple) and the Palace of Gold. New Vrindaban was founded in 1968 by Kirtanananda Swami and Hayagriva Swami. New Vrindaban is named after the Indian city of Vrindavan. The religious organization, ISKCON New Mathura Vrindaban, was expelled from ISKCON in 1988,  but was readmitted 10 years later.

Unincorporated Town

According to the 2010 US Census, the 6 census blocks that make up New Vrindaban had a population of 352 and has the West Virginia status of unincorporated town. It is bordered on the north and northwest by Big Wheeling Creek, on the East by Stull's Run, and on the southwest by the village of Limestone. The town's water and sewage utilities are provided by the New Vrindaban Public Service District and following the Marshall County Commission's road naming project all streets in New Vrindaban have been fully named. In addition to ISKCON, the town is the location of McCreary Cemetery, resting place of West Virginia pioneer Lewis Wetzel, various locally owned business, and other ISKCON affiliated organizations. The chief economy in New Vrindaban are tourism, agriculture, and cottage industries.
The religious organization, ISKCON New Mathura Vrindaban, is the largest holder of land in New Vrindaban with 38% of the land in the town, agribusiness GEETA Inc. holds 14%, and all other organizations and individuals own 48% of the land encompassing New Vrindaban. In addition to the previously mentioned organizations, jewellery manufacturer Lone Ones Inc., organic commercial bakery World's Best Cookie, Vaishnava Performing Arts Inc., and Vedic Heritage Trust Inc. have facilities in New Vrindaban.


The community was founded in 1968 by Kirtanananda Swami and Hayagriva Swami, two early disciples of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  New Vrindaban developed under the controversial guidance of Kirtanananda Swami (honored as "Srila Bhaktipada" after March 1979), and by the mid-1970s the live-in population had grown to over 100.[citation needed]
ISKCON New Mathura Vrindaban is strictly vegetarian and believes that meat consumption creates negative karma. Alcoholic beverages and illegal substances (such as drugs) are prohibited in the main Holy sites around the Temple of Understanding Circle Drive.
According to ISKCON News, on 4 July 1983 Vedavyasa Priya Swami installed the statue of Sri Nathji at the RVC Temple.  Conversely, according to Gargarishi Das, the deity was not installed by Vedavyasa Priya, but was installed instead by Kirtanananda Swami.
In October, 1986, a census report showed 377 adults living at the community.
On March 16, 1987, during their annual meeting at Mayapur, India, the ISKCON Governing Body Commission expelled Kirtanananda from the society for "moral and theological deviations."  The community of New Vrindaban was expelled from ISKCON a year later
After Kirtanananda Swami left New Vrindaban, and new leadership stabilized, the community was readmitted to ISKCON  The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported in 2006 the population stood at about 100.  However, this number only indicated how many people were members listed in the community directory rather than official census numbers.

Prabhupada's Palace of Gold

Originally intended in 1972 to be a residence for A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896–1977), the Founder/Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON),  the plans evolved after Prabhupada's death in November 1977 for an ornate palace of marble, gold and carved teakwood, which was dedicated as a memorial shrine on September 2, 1979. Kirtanananda Swami (the leader of the New Vrindaban Community) and Bhagavatananda das (the community's principal architect and sculptor) were the two primary forces behind its design and construction.
It reportedly cost $600,000 in materials, and the labor was donated by the devotees.  The unpaid workers were often untrained and learned on the job.
Kirtanananda explained, "In the beginning, we didn't even know how to lay blocks. As our Krishna consciousness developed, our building skills developed, then our creativity developed, and the scope of the project developed."
The Palace of Gold opened in 1979 to positive reviews.[17][18][19] CBS PM Magazine reported, "the magnificence of the Palace of Gold would be hard to exaggerate." Life magazine called the Palace "a place where tourists can come and be amazed."  The New York Times proclaimed "Welcome to Heaven."[17] The Washington Post called the Palace "Almost Heaven."  The Courier-Journal of Louisville stated, "It's hard to believe that Prabhupada's Palace is in West Virginia. In fact, it's hard to believe it's on this planet."
Since the early 1990s lack of sufficient financial resources has caused palace maintenance to be neglected; nevertheless, 50,000 tourists and Hindu pilgrims reportedly still visit each year.
As of mid-2011 an ambitious five-year, 4.27 million-dollar restoration effort has been underway to restore and renew the Palace.

Current activities

The community is overseen by a Board of Trustees of long-standing community members who oversee land and legal issues. Day-to-day management of the temple and lodge is overseen by a Management Team working with the different departments.


 BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston, Stafford, Texas

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Houston is a mandir, or Hindu temple, in Stafford, Texas in the United States. It was the first traditional mandir of stone and marble to be constructed in the United States.
The mandir was created entirely according to ancient Hindu architectural manuscripts known as the Shilpa Shastras, but also meets all modern regulations. Opened on July 25, 2004, by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the present spiritual guru of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), it was constructed in 16 months starting from the day its first stone was laid.
The 25,620 sq ft (2,380 m2) mandir is constructed entirely of marble from Italy and limestone from Turkey. There is no iron or steel anywhere in the structure. The stone that makes up the temple was shipped to India where it was hand-carved with traditional Vedic deities and motifs. Approximately 33,000 individually marked pieces were then shipped to Houston and assembled like a giant three-dimensional jigsaw.
The mandir was created by BAPS, an international Hindu organisation belonging to the Swaminarayan faith of Hinduism.
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston is the first traditional Hindu Mandir of its kind in North America. You may experience hours of discovery and enjoyment at the Mandir. It is a masterpiece of intricate design and workmanship, replete with its 5 towering white pinnacles, 12 smooth domes and glittering 136 marble pillars. Over 33,000 pieces of Italian marble and Turkish limestone were hand-carved by skilled craftsmen and assembled by volunteers in just 16 months. Ancient Indian arts, traditions and philosophy have been encompassed in this house of devotion and worship that is a testimony to human commitment.

The Mandir opened to all after the Murti-Pratishtha ceremony was performed by His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj on Sunday, July 25, 2004. People come to experience living Hinduism and the peace and tranquility that the sacred Mandir and Murtis provide. Together with the Mandir, the 'Understanding Hinduism' exhibition treats visitors to a concise, yet comprehensive study of the Hindu religion. It is an ideal place to learn about the glorious culture of India and the values of Hindu Dharma.
The Mandir also has a number of activities for both the young and old. Many sports such as football, volleyball, basketball are played by the youngsters inside the youth center. Annual sponsored walks are held. Medical help is provided to the community through health screening and medical seminars. Similar activities also take place in other centers across the United States.
Festivals are celebrated on a grand scale at the Mandir. Swaminarayan Jayanti, Diwali, Annakut, Ramnavami, Janmashtami, Shivratri, Holi and Ganesh Chaturthi are some of the festivals celebrated in a traditional manner at the Mandir.

Mandir Information

Enjoy hours of peace at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. As a masterpiece of exotic design and workmanship, it is replete with luminescent white pinnacles and glittering marble pillars.

Using premium Italian Carrara marble, and the finest Turkish limestone, it was hand-carved into 33,000 pieces by skilled craftsmen in India. Ancient Indian heritage and traditions have been encompassed in this place of worship that has revived India’s culture through its beautiful architecture.

Deities and motifs spring from the walls, ceilings, and windows, representing the sacred faith and beliefs of a culture that dates back over 8,500 years.


The householder segment of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, the satsangis as they are popularly known, includes a spectrum that ranges from the simple farmer and the hardy tribals of rural India to the harried, city-bred doctor, solicitor and executive; a spectrum enhanced by the toddler and great-grandfather, by the adolescents and the middle-aged.

Our youngsters and grown-ups constitute a thriving and vibrant Satsang that is the very bedrock of our Sanstha. Together, we work in happy cooperation towards realizing the essence of all our activity - man's social and spiritual welfare. And in furthering their cooperation, our satsangis leave no obstacle unhurdled, no duty unperformed. Young and old alike contribute to make the admixture of ascetic and householder a living, organic whole.

From helping the Hurricane Katrina victims to recharging wells in rural India; from campaigning against harmful addictions to providing pure herbal medicines; from building and maintaining beautiful permanent structures such as the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston to setting up large platforms for single-day conventions; from organizing cultural festivals attended by millions to inspiring individuals to lead a morally pure life; from providing free education in India to giving extensive career guidance... BAPS believes that social change can come only if people join in and sincerely contribute voluntary effort towards removing society's ills.

All of the activities detailed in this site are but small examples of the vast contribution the organization is making in all spheres of life - moral, spiritual, cultural, educational, environmental and social - all over the world.


Mandir Visit

7:30 am - 8:45 pm

Arti Timings

(Worship ritual of waving lighted wicks before the murtis of God.)
7:30 am
11:30 am
7:00 pm
8:30 pm

Darshan Timings

(Viewing of Sacred Deities)
7:30 am -
10:30 am
11:30 am -
12:00 pm
4:00 pm -
6:00 pm
7:00 pm -
7:45 pm
8:30 pm -
8:45 pm
Please Note: Due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, management reserves the right to curtail, cancel or reschedule tours of the Mandir without any prior notice. Under the circumstances management will make sincere efforts to avoid inconveniences.

Weekly Assembly Timings

Satsang Sabha
Every Sunday 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Mahila Sabha
Every Sunday 2:30 pm to 3:45 pm
Bal/Balika Gujarati Class
Every Sunday 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm
Tabla Class
Every Sunday 3:00 pm to 3:45 pm
Bal / Balika Sabha
Every Sunday 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm Bal Mandal Website Balika Mandal Website
Kishore / Kishori Sabha
Every Sunday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Kishore Mandal Website Kishori Mandal Website
Yuvak / Yuvati Sabha
Every Sunday 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Temple Address:

1150 Brand Lane, Stafford, TX 77477 | 281.765.2277


Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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