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SELF-GUIDED TOUR

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1. Apartment Complex and Gopal’s Garden Homeschool Co-op

During the summer, New Vrindaban engages over 100 staff 

members, and these devotees need housing. So, in addition to the temple’s 35 apartments, in 2023 we constructed

ten more one-bedroom apartment units. Five of these new apartments are handicap-equipped to facilitate elderly or disabled devotees. On the far end, the small, white building is New Vrindaban’s Homeschooling Co-op which serves our children from Preschool to Grade 8.

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2. McCrearys Cemetery / Rose property

You will pass McCrearys Cemetery and the Rose property which belongs to the daughter Tatia Rose. She is a musician and has a music school in Nashville, Tennessee. She rents out her property to locals. These are not on New Vrindaban property. 

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3. Hay Fields

We harvest approximately 1,175 (600 lbs) of round bales. This figure varies somewhat from year to year due to weather conditions. Weather permitting, we start at the end of May and finish in September/October, depending on the Fall weather conditions.  A full-grown 1,200 lb. cow will eat approximately 26 lb. of hay per day–approximately 2.2% of his or her body weight!  A full-grown 1,200 lb. milking cow can consume 36 lb. of hay per day.  Many of our retired steers and oxen weigh between 1,200 to 1,800 lbs.  The majority of the cows eat only hay 6 months a year, the other 6 months they are on pasture.  

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4. ECO-Vrindaban

New Vrindaban has two main land-holding nonprofits – ECO-Vrindaban and ISKCON New Vrindaban. It also has a third important legal entity with the Village Association. ECO-Vrindaban promotes cow protection and local agriculture. The cowherd team currently care for 70 cows, bulls, calves, oxen, steers, and heifers at four different barns. You can see the office of ECO-Vrindaban in front of you and the big open barns where mainly geriatric cows reside. These cows have ample space on the surrounding hill where they are free to walk and graze. You may see some cows in the barn while driving by.

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5. Lower Barn

The barn you see here is for hay storage. During the winter, when there is a shortage of fresh grass, hay (which is just dried grass) is fed to the cows. ECO-Vrindaban produces about 1,000 bales of hay each year and stores them in this big barn along with machinery used for this purpose. The overstock of hay is sold in the spring to local farmers.

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6. High Tunnels

Next, you come to the high tunnels where ECO-Vrindaban produces vegetables year-round. Masses of vegetables are grown to supply Radha Vrindaban Chandra’s temple. Excess produce during the summer is sold at the weekend village market. In addition to the high tunnels, there is an open garden where vegetables are grown during the summer season. In this area, there are also stations for washing and packing produce. 

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7. Garden of Gratitude/Village Center/Milking Barn

Next on your left is the Garden of Gratitude where flowers for worship are grown during the warm season. After that is the Village Center which is the house where Srila Prabhupada stayed for five days during his 1974 visit to New Vrindaban. 

 

You can also see the milking barn where cows who are giving milk are taken care of along with their calves. There is space for a maximum of eight cows. Milking happens at 7:00am and 6:00pm daily. You are allowed to go and watch the cows being milked, but please do not feed the cows during milking so as not to cause difficulties for the devotees doing the milking. You are welcome to feed them at other times. 

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8. Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold/Lotus Pond

Driving up the hill on the way to Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, you pass the lotus pond on your left. About 1,000 lotuses bloom from mid-June to late September and enchant visitors. The annual Festival of Colors, Holi, takes place in this area in mid-September. At the peak of the hill is Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, a smriti-samadhi (memorial) for ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, Srila Prabhupada, who arrived in the USA in 1965 and established 108 temples and farm communities all over the world before he left this planet in 1977.  Prabhupada’s Palace roof and domes are currently under renovation, bringing it to the end of phase two of a seven-phase renovation plan. The remaining phases include restoration of the terraces and lower level and the addition of a welcome center and museum for Srila Prabhupada. Since 2019, it has been listed in the National Register of Historical Places. You can take a guided tour of Prabhupada’s Palace. Details are posted on the website. www.palaceofgold.com

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9. Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple

Here you can see the Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple, the first of the seven temples from Vrindavan, India which Srila Prabhupada asked the New Vrindaban devotees to make replicas of. It is currently under construction. Near this temple is a shrine of Lord Shiva known as Kundeshwar Mahadeva who is considered the protector of New Vrindaban. The ponds in this area are replicas of Radha Kunda and Shyama Kunda. There is a historical narration on our website of how the original ponds in India were formed. It is said that anyone who sprinkles water from these ponds on their heads will have their dormant love for the Lord awakened very soon. 

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10. Govardhana Hill

Govardhana Hill begins at Kusum Sarovara, continues to Radha Kunda (at Radha Gopinath Temple) and along the ridge all the way to Bahulaban. The ridge you are seeing is where Govardhana has risen to adequate elevation and can first be seen. This is a replica of the original Govardhana Hill in India which Lord Krishna lifted 5,000 years ago to save all the people of Vrindavan from a terrible storm inflicted by the demigod Indra. Krishna lifted the whole mountain on the little finger of His left hand and held it there for seven days and seven nights while all the villagers sheltered there. 

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11. Madhuban

You are now passing through the Madhuban area. On your left, there was an old farmhouse under the big tree which served for many years as the temple of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. A memorial stone reminds visitors of this historical fact. Srila Prabhupada stayed in this farmhouse during his visit in 1972.

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12. Srila Prabhupada’s Home during his Final Visit

On your right is Sankirtan and Ruci Prabhu’s house where Srila Prabhupada stayed during his fourth and final visit to New Vrindaban in 1976. Srila Prabhupada would sit each evening under the tree you see on the right and give an informal class to devotees and guests.

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13. View of the Farmhouse (Old Vrindaban) 

Through the trees you can see the original New Vrindaban Farmhouse. When the devotees acquired the property in 1968, this farmhouse was the only building at New Vrindaban. Srila Prabhupada stayed in this house for 32 days during his first visit in 1969. You will come to this farmhouse a little later on the tour.

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14. Vrindaville development

On our left is the entrance to Vrindaville Lane. Vrindaville is our eco-village project with a view to “simple living and high thinking,” as Srila Prabhupada desired for New Vrindaban. The houses will be constructed using natural materials and according to size restrictions on both height and square footage so that a suitable ambience is maintained in the eco-village. More details will be available soon on the website. Part of Govardhan Hill called Aniyor is slowly manifesting here. 

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15. Aghasura Road

There is an old dirt road here called Aghasura Road because it is curvy like the snake Aghasura. It connects to the current New Vrindaban Farmhouse Road. Srila Prabhupada used this road to reach the farmhouse during his first visit in 1969. 

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16. Abandoned House

At the top of this road is a house which was used as an ashram, but it is now dilapidated and scheduled for demolition. It is a very dangerous structure. Please keep away.

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17. Horse Ring  

On your left is what was once New Vrindaban’s horse rink. In the early days, devotees did not use heavy machinery but instead engaged draft horses in doing work like cutting the grass, plowing the fields, dragging logs from the forest to the farm, and pulling wagons for general transportation. The horses were trained in this horse rink. The horse barn can be seen above the small pond you will pass on your left.

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Old Vrindaban 

(Original New Vrindaban farmhouse)

Here is the original New Vrindaban Farmhouse. The devotees started the New Vrindaban community in this farmhouse in 1968, and Srila Prabhupada stayed in the upstairs room of this house for 32 days during his first visit of New Vrindaban in 1969. During that time, he maintained his daily schedule, translating during the night, being available for personal questions during the day, and giving lectures under the old persimmon tree in front of the left corner of the house in the evening. 

Life was very austere in those early years. Accommodation was short, and devotees started to build cabins around the farmhouse. But there was hardly any money for the maintenance of the devotees. The well did not provide enough water for everyone’s daily needs, so devotees had to walk ten minutes down to the creek to take shower under a waterfall. This was a lot of fun during the summer but not so fun during the wintertime! Many devotees would leave New Vrindaban in the winter and go to the Pittsburgh temple where life was a little easier. 

From this farmhouse, Srila Prabhupada presented his vision for New Vrindaban to the devotees. Struggling just to survive the first year here, the devotees could barely fathom how Srila Prabhupada’s grand vision would ever manifest. But they understood that Srila Prabhupada desired that they expand the community by acquiring more land and attracting more devotees. Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra were first installed at the Vrindaban farmhouse Janmastami 1971. Two years later,  the deities of Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Nath were installed here. This installation happened on a very busy weekend in June 1973 during which the groundbreaking ceremony for Prabhupada’s Palace and the installation of Sri Sri Radha Madhava at Madhuban also took place. 

H.H. Radhanath Swami worshipped Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Nath here for seven years, and H.H. Chandramauli Swami was the deity cook who prepared all the offerings for the deities. Radhanath Swami was known for his austere lifestyle. He would sleep on the floor of the pujari room behind the altar or, later, in the little attic built over the hallway on the left of the altar. Srila Prabhupada visited the farmhouse again in 1976. The photograph in the temple room shows Srila Prabhupada taking darshan of Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Nath with the current altar. For a while, the original farmhouse hosted only ladies. This was before the brahmacharis moved back from Bahulaban. From here, they went every day to Prabhupada’s Palace site to work on the construction. 

ISKCON’s first cow, a black cow who Srila Prabhupada named Kaliya, was acquired by the devotees in 1969. When Srila Prabhupada visited the initial New Vrindaban farmhouse in 1976, Kaliya would run to Srila Prabhupada from far away. The special connection that Srila Prabhupada had with Kaliya demonstrates how a pure devotee connects to all living beings. 

The original New Vrindaban Farmhouse is an important part of New Vrindaban’s history as well as a holy place of pilgrimage due to Srila Prabhupada’s prolonged stay here. There are plans to renovate the farmhouse in the near future and to develop Srila Prabhupada’s room upstairs into a museum memorializing Srila Prabhupada’s residence here.

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Bahulaban

Here is the original New Vrindaban Farmhouse. The devotees started the New Vrindaban community in this farmhouse in 1968, and Srila Prabhupada stayed in the upstairs room of this house for 32 days during his first visit of New Vrindaban in 1969. During that time, he maintained his daily schedule, translating during the night, being available for personal questions during the day, and giving lectures under the old persimmon tree in front of the left corner of the house in the evening. 

Life was very austere in those early years. Accommodation was short, and devotees started to build cabins around the farmhouse. But there was hardly any money for the maintenance of the devotees. The well did not provide enough water for everyone’s daily needs, so devotees had to walk ten minutes down to the creek to take shower under a waterfall. This was a lot of fun during the summer but not so fun during the wintertime! Many devotees would leave New Vrindaban in the winter and go to the Pittsburgh temple where life was a little easier. 

From this farmhouse, Srila Prabhupada presented his vision for New Vrindaban to the devotees. Struggling just to survive the first year here, the devotees could barely fathom how Srila Prabhupada’s grand vision would ever manifest. But they understood that Srila Prabhupada desired that they expand the community by acquiring more land and attracting more devotees. Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra were first installed at the Vrindaban farmhouse Janmastami 1971. Two years later,  the deities of Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Nath were installed here. This installation happened on a very busy weekend in June 1973 during which the groundbreaking ceremony for Prabhupada’s Palace and the installation of Sri Sri Radha Madhava at Madhuban also took place. 

H.H. Radhanath Swami worshipped Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Nath here for seven years, and H.H. Chandramauli Swami was the deity cook who prepared all the offerings for the deities. Radhanath Swami was known for his austere lifestyle. He would sleep on the floor of the pujari room behind the altar or, later, in the little attic built over the hallway on the left of the altar. Srila Prabhupada visited the farmhouse again in 1976. The photograph in the temple room shows Srila Prabhupada taking darshan of Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Nath with the current altar. For a while, the original farmhouse hosted only ladies. This was before the brahmacharis moved back from Bahulaban. From here, they went every day to Prabhupada’s Palace site to work on the construction. 

ISKCON’s first cow, a black cow who Srila Prabhupada named Kaliya, was acquired by the devotees in 1969. When Srila Prabhupada visited the initial New Vrindaban farmhouse in 1976, Kaliya would run to Srila Prabhupada from far away. The special connection that Srila Prabhupada had with Kaliya demonstrates how a pure devotee connects to all living beings. 

The original New Vrindaban Farmhouse is an important part of New Vrindaban’s history as well as a holy place of pilgrimage due to Srila Prabhupada’s prolonged stay here. There are plans to renovate the farmhouse in the near future and to develop Srila Prabhupada’s room upstairs into a museum memorializing Srila Prabhupada’s residence here.

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