By Sri Krishna Chaitanya Swami

Hare Krishna!

On November 22, 2023, a historic moment unfolded with the Bhumi Puja and Ananta Sesa Sthapana for a new temple project in Sri Dhama Pandharpur, dedicated to Sri Sri Radha Pandharinatha, Sri Sri Sita Rama Laksman Hanuman, and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai.

The ISKCON Bhu Vaikuntha Project marks a significant step in establishing a dynamic center in Sri Pandharpur Dham, the spiritual hub of Maharashtra. This endeavor aims to cater to the needs of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims coming to seeing the presiding deity of Pandharpur, Lord Vitthala.  Approximately five hundred years ago, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, graced Pandharpur for eleven days, leaving an indelible spiritual imprint.

Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu embraces the deity of Lord Vitthala during His visit to Pandharpur in 1511 during His tour of South India.

Located in Sri Dhama Pandharpur, a sacred place on the banks of the Bhima River in Maharashtra, India, the project is crucial to serving the pilgrims with prasadam, shelter, and spiritual upliftment. Pandharpur holds immense spiritual significance, with Lord Vitthala as its presiding deity. The project includes a magnificent temple hall, gardens, exhibits, a gaushala, guest houses, a hospital, Govinda’s Restaurant, Prabhupada Museum, Vaikuntha Bazar gift shops, a children’s park, event halls, conference halls, and a library.

Guruprasad Swami Worshiping ISKCON Founder-acharya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada to Begin the Auspicious Festival

Revati Raman Das, ISKCON GBC Chairman:  Offering A Vision of Inspiration

ISKCON leaders attended the program, including ISKCON GBC Chairman Revati Raman Das, GBC Vice-Chairman Guruprasad Swami, and other senior ISKCON Leaders. Devotees from international locations, including North America, South America, South Africa, and Europe, and various cities across India, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Mayapur, gathered for the auspicious occasion.

Ananta Sesa in Pure Silver:  The Resting Place of The Bhuvaikuntha Project

The ceremony witnessed the earth being turned, symbolizing the beginning of a collective journey towards a sacred space. The Ananta Sesa Sthapana ceremony represents the foundational connection between Lord Ananta Sesa and the temple, signifying the sustaining power behind the planetary positions described in the Vedas.  It holds significance in ensuring that the entire temple rests on Ananta Sesa’s divine hoods.

The deity of Ananta Sesa was ceremoniously placed in the earth, along with three Silas of Kurma Deva to support the altars.

Vilasini Dasi, the architect for the Bhu Vaikuntha Project, along with co-architect Mohit Chougole, shared, “As sacred design consultants, our goal is to create a transformative experience for pilgrims through carefully weaving Vaisnav symbolism and sacred architecture principles into the temple design which offers an immersive journey from the physical to the soul level.”

Revati Raman Das emphasized the significance of devotee care in developing facilities for pilgrims. Navadwipa Chandra Das, responsible for the Bhu Vaikuntha Project’s Social Media Department, expressed the event’s impact on spiritual unity.

The temple president, Prahlad Das, and the fund development in charge, Paramatma Das, thanked all attendees, especially the donors whose contributions made this auspicious event possible.  

A beautiful short video,  “A Spiritual Milestone in Bhuvaikuntha Pandharpur,” highlighting the day can be viewed here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-N7RHQF4YY

**Support the Project**

Please support the ISKCON Bhu Vaikuntha Project. Visit the website [here](https://iskconbhuvaikuntha.com) for more information, and follow them on [Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/Iskconbhuvaikuntha), [Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/iskconbhuvaikuntha), and [YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/@BhuvaikunthaTV?sub_confirmation=1). To contribute, click [here](https://iskconbhuvaikuntha.com/donate).

Let’s unite to make Srila Prabhupada happy and fulfill this grand vision!