Sri Mayapur is a sublimely beautiful village on the sacred bank of river Ganga, lovingly known as mother Ganga. Geographically, it's situated around 130km north of Calcutta (Kolkata) in West Bengal state of India. ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) or the Hare Krishna movement has its headquarters here. It is the birthplace of Sri Krishna Chaitanya, who appeared in 14th century, 1486, incarnation of Krishna (according to local and broader belief). He is the one who started the Hare Krishna movement- he was the first to teach widespread mass chanting and singing of the Hare Krishna mantra. Mayapur is 130 km north of Calcutta and across the Ganges from the city of Navadvipa. Mayapur is one of the most sacred and peaceful areas in all of India.
ISKCON Kolkata operates AC and Non-AC buses Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The bus takes passengers from various pick up points in Kolkata straight to Sri Mayapur.
If you are catching a train at Howrah station, a clean and less-crowded train to catch is Intercity express, which leaves Howrah at about 3:15PM (the train does not operate on Sundays.) It reaches Nabadwip Dham by about 5:15PM.
There are trains leaving Howrah and which pass through Nabadwip Dham, practically every hour and a half, but they are sometimes quite crowded. It takes about 3 hours to reach Nabadwip Dham from Howrah.But it is a better option to get down at Bishnupriya Halt Station which is nearer to Mayapur Ghat.
Once you reach Nabadwip Dham station, you have to take a rickshaw to Mayapur Ghat and then get on a boat to cross over the Ganga to reach Hular Ghat at Mayapur. Take a rickshaw to come to ISKCON’s Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir.
Sealdah is a train station located within Kolkata. There are trains leaving Sealdah and which pass through Krishnanagar. Usually these trains are crowded. It takes about two hours to reach Krishnanagar from Sealdah.
From Krishnanagar, you can catch a rickshaw to go to the bus terminal (“bus stand”) and catch a bus to ISKCON Mayapur. Or, you can get into a three-wheeler to go to Mayapur Ghat in Swarup Ganj (where Bhaktivinoda Thakura used to live), get on a boat to cross over the Jalangi river to reach Hular Ghat at Mayapur. Then take a rickshaw to come to ISKCON Mayapur.
Bethuadouri Forest: This reserve forest is situated 15 KM away from this Place. Maintained by West Bengal Forest department you will find lots of Deer in this 5SQ KM forest. There is a Bunglow inside the Forest too. To stay there you need to contact West Bengal Forest Department.
Krishna Nagar City : 15 KM away from here. This city is an old city having historical value. One can see a beautiful Cathedral charch,An Old Palace of Maharaja Krishnachadra and house of Famus Gopal Bhar. One must visit the Ghurni Putulpatti which is an arcade for selling Mud Sculpture. and this place is known for Making one of the best Mud Sculpture in the Country.
Nabadwip City: This is an old city
"BALLAL DHIPI"" : This 30-ft high mound spread over an aprawling area of 1,300 sq ft, has been standing at Bamunpukur village near Mayapur. The locals call it Ballal Dhipi, named after King Ballal Sen, of the Sen dynasty, who ruled Bengal in the late 12th Century AD. ASI excavated between 1982-89.Excavation has revealed a stupendous brick structure in an extensive yard, covered on all sides by enclosures walls. Stucco heads, terracotta human and animal figurines, copper utensils and other objects, iron nails etc were found from excavation. The upper remains are dateable to 12th century AD and built over the earlier structures of 8th and 9th century AD. To get there the best possible way is to arrange for rikshaws they charge something between Rs60-70.
ISCKON Temple: Sri Sri Radha Madhava temple complex.
On the left side of the main temple room is a murti of ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, Srila Prabhupada in his Vyasasana. On the right side, on the main altar are the presiding deities: the beautiful larger than life size Sri Sri Radha Madhava, surrounded by Their Ashta-sakhis (eight principal gopi friends) — Sri Lalita, Sri Champakalata, Sri Chitra, Sri Tungavidya, Sri Vishaka, Sri Indulekha, Sri Rangadevi and Sri Sudevi, along with Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Giri-Govardhana. The small Radha Madhava Deities in the altar goes out in procession during Ratha-yatra and other festivals like Jhulana-yatra (swing festival) or boat festival. These Deities also come out in procession on a chariot every Saturday after Sandhya-arati during winter from the beginning of the Kartika (Damodara) month till Gaura-purnima. In the center of the temple is the merciful deity of Lord Nrisimhadeva. This rare form of Nrisimhadeva is known as “Sthanu-Nrisimha” and this is the only place where this particular form of Nrisimhadeva is known to be worshipped. With bent knees and in great anger with reddish eyes, He is ready to spring out of the pillar to attack the demons and protect His devotees. The Deity was installed here in 1986 after the temple was attacked by dacoits.
The third altar (past Lord Nrisimhadeva), adjacent to the main temple hall is the Sri Sri Pancha-tattva temple. The most attractive and magnificient larger than life dieties of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with His associates Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acharya, Sri Gadhadhara Pandita and Sri Srivasa Thakura were installed in 2004, which was a remarkable event in the history of ISKCON. The small Pancha-tattva deities were installed earlier, in 1996.
Timings of some of the prominent daily events here are:
Mangala-arati: 4:15AM (closes at 5:00AM) Darsana-arati: 7:00AM Srila Prabhupada Guru-puja: 7:30AM Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam (English and Bengali separately): 8:15AM Bhoga-arati: 12 noon (temple closes at 1:00PM and reopens at 4:00PM) Sandhya-arati: 6:30PM Class on Bhagavad-gita (Bengali): 7:45PM (temple closes at 8:30PM)
Srila Prabhupada’s Pushpa Samadhi Mandir The magnificient memorial shrine of Srila Prabhupada is the largest of its kind in India. The tall majestic marble dome dominates the skyline and shines beautifully in the golden rays of the sun at sunrise and sunset. The garland which adorned His Divine Grace while placing him in Samadhi has been brought and laid down in the Pushpa Samadhi Mandir. A larger than life size brass murti of Srila Prabhupada has been installed and worshipped here. The Samadhi Mandir’s gardens are very beautiful and extensive. They never fail to attract the attention of all guests. Upstairs, inside the Samadhi, a large diorama display depicts Srila Prabhupada’s life and struggles to establish ISKCON and its preaching mission. Outside, the walls are decorated with terra-cotta displays of Krishna’s pastimes from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. A large auditorium is in the basement with facility for stage lighting. It is equipped with a sound system and seminars, festivals, ISKCON film shows and cultural programs take place here.
The Samadhi Mandir is open for general guests from 7:30AM to 1 p.m. and 3:30PM to 8:30AM
Timings of some of the prominent aratis are:
Srila Prabhupada arati: 4:00AM Srila Prabhupada Guru Puja : 7:30AM Bhoga-arati : 12:15PM Sandhya-arati : 6:00PM Srila Prabhupada’s Bhajan Kutir When you walk in through the “main gate”, on the immediate left is the straw hut where Srila Prabhupada stayed from 1972 to 1976 while the first main building (the Lotus Building) was built. A 24 hour kirtana takes place here following Srila Prabhupada’s instruction that there be continous chanting of the holy name in the dhama. On the left side are Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundara, large neemwood Deities who traveled throughout India on Pada-yatra. These Deities also come out in procession on a chariot every Saturday after Sandhya-arati during winter from the beginning of the Kartika (Damodara) month till Gaura-purnima.
Deity darsana and arati timings are similar to the timings of Sri Sri Radha Madhava. Additional explanation of the Bhajan Kutir is posted here.
Chaitanya Lila exhibition This is in the main temple. It is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. You will find more information on this here.
Srila Prabhupada’s personal quarters: On the second floor of the Lotus building are two rooms (currently Room 18) that were used by Srila Prabhupada as his personal quarters in 1976-77. These rooms have been maintained as when His Divine Grace was present. The first room was Srila Prabhupada’s darsana room and in the next room, Srila Prabhupada’s personal Deity of Sri Mayapur-chandra and the imprint of Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet are there. In the darsana room, a larger than than life size murti of Srila Prabhupada is present and behind this murti is a display of his personal belongings and books. On his right is a display of his books that have been translated into many languages.
Goshala ISKCON Mayapur’s Gosala takes care of more than 200 cows and bulls who are looked after with care. A veterinary doctor performs timely health checks. As our cows grow old and unable to give milk, they are not abandoned rather they are retired within the Gosala. The Mayapur Gosala also sells health products derived from the cow such as Ghee, Yogurt, Go-ark (distiled cow urine) and others.
The best thing recommended while being in Sri Mayapur is chanting the holy names of the Lord. It's recommended in the scripture that for Kaliyuga, the current age of iron (quarrel and hypocrisy) the most powerful mantra to be chanted is the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, i.e. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This maha-mantra is chanted 24x7 in Sri Mayapur and one should participate in the Kirtan (congregational chanting of the holy Names)as much as possible.
One should read spiritual books like Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita depending on their level of spiritual advancement. ISKCON's founder-acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada has left for the world a great treasure of spiritual knowledge filled with pure devotion, and every person visiting this place is strongly recommended to read his writings for adding further benefit to his or her visit to this most sublime and powerful spiritual environment on the planet.
Taking Prasadam (food offered to Lord Krishna) is another important activity one should perform here. Prasadam is not only karma-free but is filled with the Love of Godhead.
Hearing Krishna katha (glories and pastimes of the Supreme Personality Godhead) is immensely beneficial.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
There is only one restaurant (Govinda's) located inside the temple campus complex, open all day for snacks. Meals (lunch and dinner) are generally provided at Gada Bhawan at a very reasonable price. Food is high quality in general and only vegetarian food is available at both places.
There is also an organic food and medicine shop located opposite main gate of Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi. Open 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 - 8 p.m. daily. Tel. 91-9593493731
All food establishments and shops sell a variety of boxed juices, bottled water and carbonated soft drinks. No alcoholic beverages are sold nor allowed.
You can stay in the ISKCON Mayapur Guest House when in Mayapur. ISKCON Kolkata also has a guest house facility. To book a room at the ISKCON Kolkata guest house or a seat in the bus, call up +91-3330-289258.
“Gauradesh Currency Exchange” is overseen by ISKCON Mayapur’s Treasury department. It is located at Room No.103, Chakra building. Working hours from 10am to 5pm. Phone: +91-3472-245403. A passport will be required to exchange currency. Western Union has a representative here also.
The Chakra building also houses the internet/telephone room, a full-service post office, ATM, and fax/photocopy services. ISKCON Mayapur Guest House also provides access to a number of additional facilities. <ref>http://www.mayapurguesthouse.com/krishna/information/</ref>
If you wish to book a room or tour package online to Mayapur, please visit:
www.travelmayapur.com or call +91 33 64588777 +91 33 32488041