The Texas Krishnas

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.

A major part of the practice of a “Hare Krishna” is the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra, which is taken up as individual practice and collectively both at the temple and in public spaces, like Klyde Warren Park.