(Friday) I woke up at 4AM, ordered for my cup of tea and took a hot shower. I wanted to visit the ISKCON temple and decided to walk down in that early morning hours. It would serve as a good exercise for me, and moreover, I doubted if I would be able to get an auto at that early hour.
I was ready at 4.30 and started walking. With my speed of walking, I was at the temple in about 20 minutes. I reached just in time for the Tulasi Arati at the temple. The belief is that a person becomes pure for worshipping Radha Krishna, if he/she worships the Tulasi. The main idol of Krishna and Radha were inside this temple. There were scriptures in the sidewalls that illustrated the stories of Radha-Gopinath.
I read that there would be Japa meditation right after the Arati. It would start at 5.30 and ends at 7.30 AM. All that the devotees do is to chant “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama” throughout. I decided to look around the temple instead.
I learnt that the ISKCON temple in Rajahmundry is the third largest after Bangalore and Tirupathi. As I walked around, I saw that around the main temple, there were ten other mantaps, which indicated the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu.
The main temple itself is two-storied and as with all the other ISKCON temples, the structure was white in colour. After visiting the smaller deities outside, I took in the view. It was so beautiful. The temple, located on the banks of the Godavari River, adds to the quietness and serenity.
The impressive thing about the place is that the temple, the idols and the surroundings have a well-maintained look. The visitor or the devotees can buy memorabilia from the kiosks located inside the temple. I wandered around the place for some time, taking in the peace and quietness. By 7.30, I went inside to witness the Shringar Darshan and Guru Puja.
I saw that the deities adorned fresh clothes, garlands and ornaments and worshipped them with an Arati. The puja was over at 8.15 and I went outside. My next destination was Ryali Temple.