A brief history of the Boise Hare Krishna Temple
Aruddha dd (Rekha) and Anantarupa das (Arun Gupta) with their two sons Radhika Raman and Gopalhari moved into a duplex in Boise from Los Angeles in October of 1986. Newly initiated in Laguna Beach in July of 1985, it was hard to leave the association of devotees in Los Angeles area. Anantarupa had found a position in marketing with Hewlett Packard in Boise after being laid off in Los Angeles and unemployed for almost six months. Aruddha and Anantarupa decided to open a small preaching center in Boise to raise two boys in a Krishna Conscious environment and to further Srila Prabhupada’s movement.
Aruddha had chosen a duplex property near BSU over several nicer and bigger homes elsewhere in Boise because it had a family room that the previous owner had constructed from a two car garage and was perfect for a small preaching center. The move to the new home took place on October 1. Unpacking was not done; still, in front a small altar with Srila Prabhupada and Gaura Nitai Deities on a small coffee table, the first gathering of Indian families took place on Nov 1, on Deepawali (Festival of Lights).
The coffee table (left) where it all started Nov 1986
Slightly bigger altar in 1987 From coffee table to dining table size in 1988
Marble altar in 1995
Our biggest worry was the lack of association of devotees, but somehow Srila Prabhupada kept on sending devotees who were on their way to or from Seattle, Portland or Salt Lake City. The devotees have mysterious ways of knowing where devotees reside and where good prasadam will be available.
Starting with HH Ganapati Swami, followed by Hanumatpresaka Swami and Gopal Krishna Goswami and later on Badrinarayan Swami visited the center regularly.
Sri Sri Radha Bankebihari were installed on Janmastami day on Saturday Sept 3, 1988, now at the center a full altar with Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Radha Bankebihari, Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra devi and Sri Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha. Srila Prabhupada’s (life size) Deity arrived on his 100th Appearance day on September 5, 1996.
Govinda’s Restaurant was started in 1990 by the family and finally closed in 1997 due to the heavy workload.
The team of three – mother Aruddha and two boys Radhika and Gopal did wonders catching attention of the whole town with their homeschooling, writing columns in newspapers and magazines and local preaching and sankirtana in schools and universities. By 1997 the preaching center was bursting at its seams.
Several attempts to buy bigger properties around the area failed. In summer of 1997, mystically the owner of adjoining duplex decide to sell and the Guptas bought it. With the help of architect Bruce Poe, the City of Boise, and the blessings of BSU and the community, ground was broken for a new sanctuary (temple hall) in Feb 1999 and in August of 1999 a brand new temple with a golden dome, stained glass windows and teak wood altar and gates opened, with larger Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Radha Bankebihari and larger Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Maharani. Also, sprung over time was a community of devotees who bought homes around the temple.
The temple kept on growing, and by the immense grace of Sri Sri Radha Bankebihari and support of the entire community, another expansion happened in May of 2016 with the opening of the Krishna Cultural Center that effectively doubled the size of the temple—a new Bhaktivedanta Cultural Hall, Goswami Library, Harinam Park and a Tulasi Kunj (greenhouse).
May 2016 – the new Krishna Cultural Center is inaugurated by Lt. Governor Brad Little of Idaho
Stay tuned for the next expansion!!
2470 W. Boise Ave
Boise, ID 83706