ABOUT ISKCON KOLHAPUR
Hare Krishna! Welcome to ISKCON Kolhapur – one of the most frequented spiritual landmarks in Kolhapur city. ISKCON Kolhapur is home to a loving community of practicing Hare Krishna devotees and is dedicated to the practice of bhakti-yoga or loving service to Krishna, the Supreme Person (God). We are a branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a worldwide spiritual movement founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in New York City in 1966.Importance of Kolhapur Dham
Kolhapur city has a great spiritual and historical heritage. Kolhapur is also known as “Dakshin Kashi”. Kolhapur is the Abode of goddess Mahalakshmi.
According to scriptures, to test the supreme lord, once Bhrigu Muni, one of the powerful ancient rishis or sages visited Lord Vishnu, who was resting on his Sheshnaag, the great serpent, with Goddess Laksmi at his feet. In anger, Bhrigu Muni kicked Vishnu in the chest. To placate the angry rishi, Lord Vishnu apologized and began pressing his legs, in a show of respect. This act of apology angered his consort Lakshmi, who left their abode ‘Vaikunta’ , in anger and settled down in Kolhapur, where she stays till this day.
It is one of the major ‘Shakti Peethas’ i.e. important shrines in the form of Shakti. The goddess arrived here to protect the locals from a demon named Kolasura, who was harassing them. The Goddess defeated the demon and it was his dying wish, that the place be named after him; hence the name ’Kolhapur'.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself visited Mahalakshmi temple during His visit to South India yatra.ISKCON Kolhapur
ISKCON Kolhapur's journey started in the year 1993-94 in a humble way. It began with a few interested families and members coming together for satsang at the residence of one of the congregation members. Initially, there were 15-20 members which increased till 150 members. As the congregation members’ commitment and dedication increased, the preaching and enthusiasm to join ISKCON expanded rapidly. Eventually due to limitation of space weekly satsang program shifted to local Radha Krishna temple. Fortunately, by the team work of congregation members, guidance of seniors and wholehearted support of donors and patrons, ISKCON Kolhapur temple shifted to own serene, peaceful location of Hari Om Nagar near beautiful Rankala lake.
Presently ISKCON Kolhapur has a beautiful temple hall which can accommodate more than 500 devotees at a time.Major highlights of ISKCON Kolhapur
● Weekly Sunday Feast Program: Every Sunday the congregation members and well-wishers come together for Satsang Katha, Kirtan and delicious prasad. Around 500 devotees take benefit of this program.
● ISKCON Youth Services (IYS): IYS organizes regular discourses for youths on self development, inculcating good habits. Discourses like “Discovery Yourself (DYS)” which is based on Vedic wisdom.
● Various Discourses and Seminars: “Journey of Self Discovery (JoSD)” - It is a systematic and practical course based on the teachings and wisdom of Bhagavad Gita. To continuously educate and develop congregation members various workshops and programs are organized frequently. Senior and experienced devotees from Mumbai and other parts come to guide.
● Festivals: Major festivals of Kolhapur ISKCON are Shree Krishna Janmashtami, Jagannath Ratha Yatra, and Gaur Pornima; where thousands of people take part and various cultural activities like cultural dance, drama, abhishek, maha Sankirtan are carried out.
● Social Contribution: ISKCON Kolhapur has also been contributing to various critical situations like flood relief and food distribution.