History was made on October 1, 2023, as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) proudly welcomed its first centre in the North West province of South Africa.
The event was a testament to the dedication of the Klerksdorp Hindu Samaj, established in 1963, to ensure that the years of hard work in developing its temple and community will continue to flourish under ISKCON’s care. The temple was built in 1983.
To mark this auspicious occasion, the Klerksdorp Hindu Samaj graciously hosted members of ISKCON leadership at the temple in Klerksdorp, where a special programme and prayer service were held, culminating in the official handover of the temple, the hall, and the property to ISKCON.
The newly named “New Vrindavan Hare Krishna Centre” stands as a beacon of spiritual light, marking the first of its kind in the North West province, explains His Holiness Bhakti Caitanya Swami, co-GBC lead for Southern Africa, who attended the official handover together with senior leaders of the ISKCON movement.
“Given the changing demographic landscape, with many community members now residing outside of the town, particularly the youth, the Klerksdorp Hindu Samaj recognized the need for a new organisation to reinvigorate and guide the future of the centre,” said Bhakti Caitanya Swami, “The vibrant team in ISKCON, led by His Grace Jai Gopal Prabhu, will ensure that this project is poised to extend the message of Krishna consciousness not only within the local Hindu community but also to wider communities in Klerksdorp. The goal is to inspire individuals to embrace Krishna consciousness in their lives.”
Prakash Kalanjee, a spokesperson for the Klerksdorp Hindu Samaj, expressed heartfelt gratitude for this historic transition, saying, “This donation signifies a commitment to preserving cultural and religious traditions in the North West province, ensuring that the precinct thrives under ISKCON’s nurturing care.”
His Grace Jai Gopal das emphasized that the Klerksdorp Hindu Samaj and ISKCON are unified in their shared vision of a vibrant, inclusive, and spiritually rich community, remarking, “Together, we look forward to creating a dynamic centre for Krishna consciousness that all can take pride in. ISKCON expresses its deepest appreciation to the Klerksdorp Hindu Samaj for entrusting it with this sacred responsibility. Together, we embark on a new chapter of spiritual growth and community empowerment.”