Centre your being at the Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding in Durban's Chatsworth suburb, where golden exterior and interior opulence are juxtaposed with the simplicity of beautiful gardens. Don't leave without sampling a dish of vegetarian delights for which the temple restaurant has become justifiably famous.

Did you know?

The architect used a lotus flower as inspiration for the architectural design of the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple of Understanding.

The Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding – the largest Hare Krishna temple in the southern hemisphere – glows like a beacon in the early morning sun, drawing worshippers and travellers from around the globe.

Before you enter the temple by crossing its castle-like moat, take time to admire its stunning gold-tipped steeples and silver roof. The opulence continues inside, where marble tiles, gold-tinted windows, crystal chandeliers and gold statuettes add to the splendour of the temple. Overhead colourful ceiling frescoes portray the pastimes of Lord Krishna, while Chinese lanterns and gold plating add to its overall beauty.

Take time to centre your consciousness in the octagonal, beautifully appointed meditation room that is dominated by three towering pillars.

Apart from the obvious attraction of its lavish architecture and iconic status, the temple is also renowned for its outstanding vegetarian restaurant and take-away. A visit would not be complete without sampling a variety of the tasty vegetarian delicacies and sweets after a tour of the temple. In summer a kaleidoscope of freshly squeezed fruit juices complements meals.

The temple was built in 1985 and its beautiful surrounding gardens – recently revamped – were added six years after completion of the building.

Also known as the Sri Sri Radhanath Temple of Understanding, this Hare Krishna temple is a popular attraction among devotees and visitors alike.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding
Tel: +27 (0)31 403 3328
Fax: +27 (0)31 403 4429
Email: iskcon.durban@pamno.net

How to get here

Take the N2 south from eThekwini (Durban). The temple is well sign-posted from the exit to Chatsworth. You’ll find it in Unit 5, Bhaktiveedanta Swami Circle, next to the R.K. Khan Hospital.

Best time to visit

Tours of the temple run from 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm daily.

What will it cost

Tours of the temple are free.

Length of stay

Allow an hour for a tour of the temple, and add some time time for meditation, a visit to the gardens and a vegetarian meal.

What to eat

Order a vegetarian meal at the temple restaurant. Make up your own selection from a variety of tasty, freshly prepared Indian dishes.

Best buys

At the temple entrance there’s a gift centre and book counter where Indian saris, jewellery, shawls, CDs, incense, photos and books are on sale.