Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir (ISKCON) is a magnificent temple devoted to Sri Sri Krishna Balaram. It is built and run by The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known as the Hare Krishna movement and is a Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation.
Planning a Visit
Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir (ISKCON) is located in the heart of Gaborone, in close proximity to many of the best hotels in Botswana. You can arrange a visit by speaking to the staff of the resort that you are staying at such as Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino, who will be happy to arrange transportation and help with procuring offerings if you decide to visit during one the many festivals that the temple is famous for hosting.
What to Expect: A Quick Tour
This magnificent temple sprawls over 17,000 square feet of land. Within the elaborately constructed outer walls, sits an enchanting Tulasi garden and a pagoda where the sounds of peaceful chanting echo throughout the temple. The 6,500 square-foot, three-storeyed temple houses many facilities for priests and devotees alike. The first floor includes the living quarters for the priests and visiting devotees as well as the dining hall and kitchen. On the second floor, there is a temple room that houses the Grand Golden Altar of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama. This room also has a stage and changing rooms for cultural programme performers. Moving up to the third storey, you will find another hall and a spacious roof terrace that offer ample open space for meditation and chanting.
All of the major festivals such as Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Rath Yatra (Festival of Chariots), Diwali and Holi are celebrated throughout the year at the temple. People from all over Botswana and devotees from across the globe visit and take part in the festivities.
The ISKON movement in Botswana has bolstered its ranks since the opening of the temple. Much help has been provided to the locals through their many programmes such as the Food for Life programme and Bhakti Sastri Courses on Prabhupada’s books, which have been published in the local language of Setswana. Many schools send children on class trips to visit and see the temple as part of their interfaith dialogue programmes.