University’s Wexner Medical Center since the 1980s, purchased the more than 50 acres of land in March 2016, and plans to start building on it soon.
The land is just one sign of the vibrant, growing Krishna community in Columbus.
Another can be observed at 11 a.m. on Sundays at 379 W. 8th Ave. on the North Side. The house doesn’t look like it could fit several dozen people, many of them dancing as they worship statues of Krishna along the back wall.
But almost all of the temple’s 400 members cram into the house to eat, dance and pray together.
As members come in, they can examine a building model sitting on a table in the entryway, covered in glass.
Once the temple members raise about half the estimated $10 million cost of the temple, construction can start, Gupta said. It has raised $1.5 million thus far, and plans to break ground in 2019 and open the temple in 2020.
The members have elaborate plans for their new space, including a large temple room, more living space for monks, a dining hall, art gallery, organic farm, farm-to-table café, three kitchens, a yoga studio, a lounge, classrooms, a garden, an orchard, a cow pasture outside, a cow sanctuary, and, eventually, a school for children, sports fields and cooking classes.
The plan for the building is for it to be LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certified.
“We’re trying to respect the natural landscape of the site,” said Tim Lai, the architect of the building. “It’s very close to Big Darby Creek, which is a very ecologically sensitive watershed. ... We have to work carefully to manage it.”
The environmental aspect is very important to Hare Krishnas. They want to make sure the land is used for only organic farming and is sustainable, with many trees planted on the grounds.
The look of the building will also appreciate nature, with a lot of natural light and skylights, Lai said.
“We have a dream to express ourselves through architecture, for certain people have built beautiful buildings ... as a means of preserving culture and expressing one’s consciousness,” Gupta said. “We want to express Krishna consciousness through the modem of architecture, music, art, history. ... Put it all together to create an experience for anybody who would come and witness us tell a story.”
Though the temple is moving, it isn’t abandoning its roots near Ohio State. The campus house will remain, continuing to provide a “safe haven” for Ohio State students, Gupta said, as it did for him when he was a student.
As for the new temple, Gupta hopes the people of Columbus will help build it, both by donating money and actually working on the construction.
“We are depending on divine providence,” he said. “We are depending on the goodwill of people.”
For more information on ISKCON Columbus, visit https://www. iskconcolumbus.com/.
Dr. Piyush Gupta, center, dances during a worship service at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Columbus earlier this month.