New Goloka Temple (ISKCON of North Carolina)

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 11 October 2009.

Phone: 919-732-6492
[flickr_set id="72157621814714169"]

Activities and Schedule

Daily worship services follow a routine schedule. Beginning at 4:30 a.m., devotees gather to worship Krishna through the devotional chanting of his holy names. The temple holds worship services throughout the morning, again after noon, and on Mondays through Saturdays also at 4:15 and 7:00 p.m. The attendees at the morning services are mostly residential members of the temple, devotees engaged in fulltime service or study, and those living within walking distance of New Goloka temple. The lunch program attracts more congregational members. Attendance is between 20 and 40 people at these daily programs.
On Sundays, the temple holds a “Sunday Program,” which attracts numerous congregational members and visitors. The program begins at 5:00 p.m. with the chanting of the holy names, followed by a lecture, sermon, or presentation on a religious topic, often given by a prominent lay member of the New Goloka community. After the program ends (around 6:30 p.m.), those in attendance assemble for a dinner of prasadam (blessed food) and socializing.
During normal Sunday programs, about 60 to 80 people attend. For major holidays, the number is closer to 250 persons. On Janmastami, a popular festival that runs for a full day and night, up to 2000 people attend throughout.


The attendees at the New Goloka Temple are approximately 12 percent Western devotees (North and South American, European), one to two percent East Asian and African devotees, and the remainder Asian-Indians. At a normal Sunday worship program, about three quarters of the devotees are Indian. At major festivals, this number approaches 90 percent.


New Goloka’s history reflects the changing nature and identity of its parent movement, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). At its founding in 1982 as a communal retreat (ashram), New Goloka represented a frontier outpost of an emerging American new religious movement. Leading a few dedicated celibates (monastics and students) to the town of Hillsborough, on the outskirts of North Carolina’s Triangle region (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill), the American-born monk (sanyasi) Bir Krishna das Goswami and his disciples settled on a rural 17-acre lot that they purchased with the aid of the local Asian-Indian community.
Just as New Goloka’s roots as an ashram represent ISKCON’s earlier identity as a new religious movement deeply ingrained within the American counterculture, today’s New Goloka reflects the new realities of ISKCON and the Triangle. Twenty years later, New Goloka has become a thriving suburban temple, serving thousands of Hindu Asian-Indian devotes of the god Krsna (Krishna) and over 100 Western Hare Krishnas. The Triangle’s population has nearly doubled, and the Indian population grew by a factor of 10. The young Anglo-American converts who had joined the movement in the 60s or 70s matured, married, and had children. New Goloka became a congregation.