ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple Of Dallas
The first group of devotees came to Dallas, Texas in 1970 and established a preaching center at 5108 Mission Street. In the spring of 1971, the devotees moved the center to Turtle Creek, a more fashionable district of Dallas and rented a small building for a few months. All the while, the devotees had been looking for property to buy. Finally in late 1971 they bought a former church property (formerly the Mount Auburn Christian Church) at the corner of Gurley Avenue and Graham Street in a residential section of East Dallas. The purchase of this property was with the idea of starting a gurukula.. And so, with the approval of Srila Prabhupada, the ISKCON Governing Body Commission at that time bought the former church property for ISKCON.
In 1972, the Deities Sri Sri Radha-Kalachandaji were officially installed in the newly purchased Dallas Temple by Srila Prabhupada himself. Srila Prabhupada came to Dallas two weeks before the actual installation, showing the devotees how to do everything properly. The Deity of Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji is the oldest Deity form of Krishna found outside of India (500 years old).
Renovation of the temple began in 1979 and was completed in 1981. The restaurant was built soon afterwards. After Srila Prabhupada left his body in 1977, many of the devotee members of the famous Radha-Damodara Sankirtana Party came to stay in Dallas and Houston. Today, more than 15,000 followers now live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. There are presently 25 temple-owned homes in the immediate neighborhood which have became models of community redevelopment. The Gurukula continues to provide education from elementary through junior high levels, and Kalachandji`s restaurant is ranked among the city`s best. By the grace of Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji and Srila Prabhupada, the devotees of the Dallas Hare Krishna temple continue to maintain high standards of preaching and worship, as demonstrated by their enthusiastic Sunday Feast program.
Five hundred years ago in India, Kalachandji, literally translated as “the beautiful moon-faced one,” was worshipped as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by thousands of devotees. Impeccable craftsmen constructed an elaborate temple for Him; famous artisans decorated it. Accompanied by drums, cymbals and tambouras, His followers filled the halls with melodious prayers throughout the day, and the air was sweet with myriad varieties of richly fragrant incense. Daily He was offered sumptuously prepared foods of all descriptions made from grains, milk products and fresh vegetables. Everyone, from the King to the street sweeper, visited Kalachandji, paying respects and obeisances. No one could imagine passing the day without having His audience.
From one generation to another the tradition continued, and then, suddenly, the Moguls invaded India. Fearing for Kalachandji`s safety, His devotees hid Him from the plunderers, and thus the opulence and worship which He had formerly enjoyed all but came to an end. With grief in their hearts, His followers prayed for the day when His true position could be established again.