ISKON's Hare Krishna Centre to reopen after 2011
Almost six years after suffering extensive damage in the 2011 Earthquake, ISKCON Christchurch will be holding a three-day grand opening ceremony of its newly constructed Hare Krishna Centre between 3 and 5 March this year.
The event will feature official opening of the new temple, fire yajnas, kirtans, aartis, guru pujas, and an initiation ceremony by Indradyumna Swami. Installation of the deities including that of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurachandra - forms of Krishna who appeared 500 years ago as Lord Caitanya and His brother Lord Nityananda, will also form part of the ceremony.
The Hare Krishna movement was brought to Christchurch around 1972, with the first temple constructed in Waltham Road in 1973. Later, the temple was moved to a house in Worcester Street, Linwood, before moving to a larger property at 30 Latimer Square in 1979. Then in 1986, the present site – at 83 Bealey Avenue, became the Hare Krishna Centre's permanent home.
Unfortunately, the Centre suffered extensive damage during the September 4, 2010, Earthquake, but engineering inspections determined that the building could be repaired. A double whammy struck before any work could commence, on February 22, 2011, as another Earthquake struck, completely destroying the building and everything inside.
Since then, the Christchurch Hare Krishna devotees relocated their Sunday community gathering to a rented hall in Ferrymead, and this has continued since then. The organisation has also been running it's Hare Krishna – Food for Life programme, at Christchurch's New Brighton Clocktower every Saturday since last year and a half.