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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
One of the standout architectural designs in the city of Durban is the Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding situated in Chatsworth suburb. The temple is a combination of styles and makes use of geometric shapes through Vastu Purusha Mandala, an ancient concept employing mathematics to generate designs. Sections of the white building are adorned with mirror mosaics and touches of gold paint. The Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding is home to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness devotees, however, the public are welcome to visit.
The popular Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian restaurant is on the premises and offers vegetarian and vegan dishes, Indian style. There is no menu, diners select their dishes from a range of products on display, and the prices are reasonable. The restaurant generously provides food for the poor.
The venue has an outdoor amphitheatre, a moat complete with koi fish and lush, lotus-shaped garden.
Inside the vast interior is the striking hexagonal dome, covered in murals representing the life of Lord Krishna and surrounding a large skylight to let in natural light. The entrance leads up to a shrine with well-lit statuettes and mats cover the glossy floors for prayer. Benches line the inner walls for onlookers.
Millions of people have passed through the temple’s doors which is open daily from 4h30 and closes at 20h45. Sunday afternoons are important for prayer time and religious discussions and end with a love feast. Entrance to the facility is free.
Upon entering the premises, one immediately senses the spirituality that envelopes the place. The temple is a place to reflect and find one’s inner peace.