The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Malaysia Section inaugurated its first Radha Krishna Temple here on August 29th 2015 in commemoration of ISKCON Golden Jubilee celebrations worldwide. Known as the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Kanhaiya Temple of Devotion & Understanding, this temple complex is located in the religious enclave of Seberang Jaya Township on an acre land purchased from the Penang Development Corporation in 2001.
" It’s not only a temple for worship, but also an avenue where teaching & understanding of the Vedas (knowledge) and Bhakti-seva (devotional service) plays central role in its existence. Thus, this temple is pertinently named as the Temple of Devotion & Understanding (TODU)."
This is the first 3-story octagonal-shaped temple in Malaysia designed after two famous temple in India – the Jagannath temple in Puri and Krishna Balaram temple in Vrindavan. However, the sculpture and ornamental decorations is one of its kind in the world with 12 lions sitting on top of three large domes (Sikhara) – main sikhara + kalasha (spire) rising up to a height of 80’. It is also the first temple in Malaysia with 16 Chatris (ornate dome-shaped pavilions) – located on each sections of the octagon that are aligned with the celestial deities or rulers of the cardinal & intermediate directions representing the various incarnations (avatars) of Lord Krishna.
Temple of Devotion & Understanding is also the first temple in Malaysia to have two octagon domes made from galvanized steel, stainless steel and glass that is structured like a pyramid in the centre (brahmastana) of the temple roof. This octagonal and pyramidal shape is specially designed for natural light penetration and ventilation to the temple hall (mandapa) without using air-conditioning.
This mandapa is also the first acoustically-treated ISKCON temple in the world moving ahead of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium (ISKCON world HQ) in India West Bengal which is scheduled to open in 2020.
Sri Sri Radha Krishna Kanhaiya Temple of Devotion & Understanding is indeed a very unique temple building architecturally-designed based upon the ancient Vaastu Sastra (Vedic Sciences of Geomancy). On the first floor of the temple is a prayer hall with a capacity to host 1,000 worshippers at any one time. An elevator is provided for the senior citizens. On the temple mezzanine floor is the Srila Prabhupada Art Gallery created by the temple youths especially dedicated to the founder on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of ISKCON movement.
Future plans of TODU
The total cost for the temple building is approximately RM7 million and so far RM5 million has been raised. The temple building committee is hoping to raise the balance via various fund raising initiatives such charity dinners, cultural shows, individual well-wishers, allocations from federal and state governments, etc. Future plans to include a mini-auditorium with a 140-seating capacity and an exhibition area on the ground floor. Landscape gardens will also be an integral part of the temple complex.
DO YOU KNOW?
ISKCON Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple Complex is located in a religious enclave for Non-Islam Religious in a new township developed by the Penang Development Corporation known as Bandar Seberang Jaya in 1971. To date, this is the largest religious enclave with 8 religious organization located in an area of 8 acres with an acre reserved as public carpark for the devotees and visitors. Now, this religious enclave has become one of the newest tourist attraction in mainland Penang, with the largest number of temples within a single township.