After establishing many temples all over the world, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada returned to India in August 1970. He established ISKCON’s first center in India in Kolkata at 3C Albert Road, Kolkata – 700017. He came to Kolkata along with his foreign disciples. Shaven – headed Westerners, with sikhas, Vaisnava tilaka, saffron robes, playing mrdangas and karatalas, chanting Hare Krishna, quoting Sanskrit verses eloquently created sensation in Kolkata. Hundreds of people would gather to have a glimpse of these Western devotees. Sankirtan was performed at places like Dalhousie Square, Chowringee and at other different places.
Srila Prabhupada unfolded the “Life Membership” program in Kolkata. The “Life Membership” fee was Rs 1,111 and the members were entitled for several benefits including copies of Srila Prabhupada books and free accommodation in ISKCON centers around the world.
The first deity in India was installed in Kolkata and worship started from this temple in May 1971. HH Tamala Krishna Goswami, Srila Prabhupada’s one of the most beloved disciples, was the second president of ISKCON Kolkata. The first Rath Yatra of ISKCON in India was celebrated in Kolkata on 12th July 1972. The Rath Yatra procession began from 3C Albert Road and culminated at Mallick’s Thakurbari at 12 M.G. Road. Hundreds of thousands of people participated in this wonderful event.
Whenever in Kolkata, Srila Prabhupada resided at 3C Albert Road. He used to stay in a small room located beside the temple hall. A dictating machine, a small typewriter, Srimad Bhagavatam and a picture of his beloved spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati used to be always there in his room. He met his guests in this room and gave many instructions to his disciples from here. He took many important decisions while being in Kolkata, notable among them is the purchase of Mayapur land for Rs 14, 500. His personal belongings are still preserved in the room where he stayed.