India is touching dizzying heights of glory with back-to-back massive constructions. The country, which is now home to the world’s tallest Statue of Unity in Gujarat, the world’s tallest Shiva statue in Rajasthan, and the world’s tallest railway bridge in Jammu & Kashmir, will see the inauguration of more wonders including the world’s largest Vedic monument in Bengal, and the world’s tallest temple in Uttar Pradesh.
The world’s tallest temple in question is Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir under construction at a whopping cost of $1 billion. Speculated to be one of the most expensive temple buildings in the world, this ISKCON temple will boast an astounding height of 700 feet on completion. Interestingly, the temple will surpass the world’s tallest Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (597 feet) in height.
The temple complex sprawls over 62 acres, while the 7-story temple building will have a total floor area of 540,000 square feet. A contemporary touch to the temple’s traditional Nagara style of architecture is meant to serve ISKCON’s purpose to reinterpret the profound wisdom from India’s ancient scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam within the modern context to render their eternal relevance to the current generation.
The towering structure will have four temples on its four ends. The temples will be dedicated to Krishna Balram, Radha Krishna, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Swami Prabhupada. The main temple housing the idols of Radha Krishna will have a grand prayer hall that can accommodate 5000 devotees at a time. The prayer hall will be beautified with sculptures and frescoes depicting the life of Lord Krishna in Vrindavan. The soon-to-be inaugurated Mayapur ISKCON Temple near Kolkata will have the largest prayer hall with space for 10,000 devotees.
Anticipated to be a colossal wonder of white marble, the world’s tallest ISKCON temple will feature a lotus-shaped dome with the glass surface that will be dazzling on moonlight nights. The temple is a dream project for renowned architect Bimal Patel, a Padma Shri awardee, and his team. He is the chief architect for the Rs 14000cr Centra Vista, Gandhinagar Akshardham Temple, Gujarat High Court, Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Varanasi Viswanath Dham, and the new campus of IIM Ahmedabad.
The upcoming Radha Krishna temple site in the holy land of Vrindavan will also house a spiritual sanctuary comprising 12 forests, which will be named Madhuvana, Talavana, Kumudavana, Bahulavana, Kamyavana, Khadiravana, Vrindavana, Bhadravana, Bilvavana, Lohavana, Bhandiravana, and Mahavana after the twelve gardens of Brijbhumi. These forests are said to be modelled on the gardens described in the stories of Sri Krishna. Each forest will be landscaped with orchards, lush vegetation, green pastures, waterfalls, lotus ponds, musical fountains and artificial hillocks.
There will be a heritage museum, a library, a cultural center, and a viewing tower with telescopes at the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Temple complex. Visitors can catch panoramic views of the premises, Vrindavan town and the Yamuna River from the viewing tower. The 7-storey temple tower will have an elevator. Visitors will be able to enjoy a light and sound show on the universe’s planetary systems, as described in the Vedic literatures of Bharat.
Seva being integral to the culture and philosophy of ISKCON temples worldwide, the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir will have a spacious Annadanam Hall and food distribution counters. Sadhus, pilgrims and the underprivileged will be served sattvic meals in the well-ventilated Annadanam Hall, while the food distribution counters will offer one serving of prasadam to every visitor. A huge temple kitchen where sattvic food will be cooked for the deities, priests and visitors is also on the construction agenda.
An expansive biodiversity park within the temple complex will feature themed zones like sacred forest, butterfly park, and ayurvedic herbal garden. It will not only serve as a natural habitat for some local species of flora and fauna, but also provide a serene space for visitors to revel in the beauty of nature. Beautiful nature trails will meander through flower gardens, trees, small lakes, and water fountains. A walk through the ayurvedic herbal garden will enrich your knowledge of medicinal plants.
One of the most interesting facts about ISKCON’s Vrindavan Chandrodaya Temple is that its foundation is deeper than the world’s tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa in Dubai by five meters. Burj Khalifa has got its foundation rooted 50 meters under the surface. Moreover, the temple will have earthquake-proof features, like shock-absorbing foundations and seismic isolation systems. Despite its location in the earthquake-prone region of the country, the temple can withstand intense tremors up to magnitude 7.5.
Reportedly, one end of the temple complex will be connected to the other end with skywalks. Devotees from across the country will have various accommodation options to enjoy the divine bliss for a few days within the complex. Other than a helipad, the temple site will have a 12-acre parking lot, goshalas, and a huge convention hall for religious and cultural events. The convention hall can also be booked for marriages and other social ceremonies.
Interestingly, the temple site is expected to have a Krishna theme park with fun rides among various attractions for young devotees (kids). other than community development, welfare programs for the underprivileged and widows of Vrindavan will be on the agenda of the temple body, as per reports. While Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir is expected to be fully completed in 2026, its south wing is set for inauguration in the auspicious month of Kartik in 2023.