If you are someone who is looking for opportunities to spend some time with your inner self, away from everyday mundane activities, or if you are always inquisitive to solve the mystery behind the deepest and darkest secrets of life, then you should definitely visit this serene place called "Hare Krishna Temple" located at 180 Falcon Street, North Sydney.
I found this place through a friend's recommendation; it's a great restaurant for nice vegetarian food (which is termed as 'satvik' food in hindu mythology) at an affordable price. My fetish for vegetarian food forced me to visit. We chose Sunday as the final day. On the entrance I was offered a warm welcome by the Hare Krishna community.
At a first glance, I thought how could this place compete with fine Indian establishments that are out there but don't underestimate this little gem at the heart of North Sydney. Food is created with so much devotion that every bite of this tasty and yum food will touch your soul. We were offered aromatic rice with vegetarian cottage cheese curry, chickpeas, eggless cake (which was truly delicious) and a mint drink. All this for a mere price of $8. And if you are lucky enough, you might not have to pay for food as it's sponsored by devotees at most times, so you might get it for free. You will also be offered warm sweet pudding by the members for free every Sunday.
The atmosphere at the temple was very divine and musical with the sounds of chanting, kirtan and bhajans. After finishing our sumptuous meal, we thought to follow the voice and take a sneak peek into the bigger hall where all the deities are kept. This place resembles a dancing theatre where people from different casts and creeds were dancing in sync and singing together with one mission, which is divine bhakti. We were excited to see women dressed up in cotton saris and men dressed up in cotton traditional wear. The whole look and feel of this place was epitomising. You tend to forget your life and leave your day to day worries behind. Every stranger is your friend here and wants to offer you help no matter what it takes.
This place has a lot to offer. They conduct presentations every Sunday at 5:00pm on stress free living by using references from the oldest religious book known to man "Bhagavad Gita", which is used as a manual by spiritually inclined people all over the world for the science of peaceful living. So just before dinner, you can sit back and listen to theories of life and head to dinner later on. After that you can go to festive room (temple main hall) for a bit of dancing and singing to beat back those calories!
You can also buy nice and insightful books as souvenir on your way back just by making a small donation of $2. These books can be picked up from the books display tier. If you are a heavy reader and interested in spirituality or questions related to life then you can march towards the book stall which is on left hand corner of the entrance. They have wide variety of books on display such as "40 Eggless Cakes Recipes ", " Vegetarian Dishes", "Science of Self-Realisation', "Journey of Self-Discovery" and many kids story books etc. If you are really keen they can lend books to you to read during your visit to temple and you can return them at the book stall before you head home.
The temple also offers Sunday School for kids where they get to be creative by drawing and making crafts etc. They also offer bharatanatyam and Harmonium (Indian version of piano) classes (but enquire beforehand for the session as it is on demand basis).
For details of the program you can visit this website, which will list all the upcoming events and updates on the calendar. So if you are a vegetarian food lover with something new and unusual to explore, then this is a place that will definitely suit you. Best day to visit this place is Sunday. Make sure you greet them with "Hare Krishna"!
The other restaurant owned by the temple is located in Darlinghurst.
If you intend to visit a quiet place for a serene experience with vegetarian food, you can also visit the following two places. They are worth a visit to get an experience of country living and farming. You can feed the cow, pluck fresh vegetables and eat vegetarian food!