His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, appeared on 1st September 1896 at 4pm at premises number 63 Tollygunge Road, Kolkata-700033. The house where Srila Prabhupada was born was under a Jackfruit tree. In 1920’s the maternal uncles of Srila Prabhupada sold this land to a Zamidar (landlord) and the new landlord sublet it to different people. Later the Indian Government acquired this land from the landlord along with the sub-tenants and Bharatiyas.
Srila Prabhupada has expressed his desire that his birthplace should be acquired by ISKCON and a memorial should be built on it.
It was the evening of 4th May 1977. Srila Prabhupada was unwell. He asked one of his disciples to call Bhakti Charu Maharaj to take a dictation. When Bhakti Charu Swami arrived with a notepad and pen, Srila Prabhupada asked him to bring his letterhead. Srila Prabhupada wanted Bhakti Charu Swami to write directly with his hands on the letterhead in Bengali and Prabhupada said he would sign it. Generally, the letter dictated by Srila Prabhupada was typed on his letterhead and Srila Prabhupada used to sign it later. But this evening Srila Prabhupada immediately wanted to sign the letter, which he was about to dictate. It was addressed to Srila Prabhupada’s nephew and disciple Srila Sankarshan prabhu and was addressed to 63, Tollygunge Road, Kolkata-700033. Just after 6 months of this letter, Srila Prabhupada departed.
Here is the English translation and Bengali Text:
Dated: 04, May 1977
My Dear Shriman Shankarshan,
Accept my blessings! A few days ago, I spoke to you about buying the land covering the jackfruit tree(‘Kaathal-tala’). Explore if the same is up for sale. We want to build a memorial there. Take this matter seriously and get back to me on the way forward writing to my Bombay address.
My health has deteriorated, so I am going to Kashmir in a few days for a climate change.
I hope you are well with your family.
Your Ever Well-Wisher,
Since then, devotees were trying to acquire this land. But since the Government was the owner and 19 families were living on this land, it was a very difficult task. To cut the long story short, ISKCON Kolkata was finally able to acquire 3,600 square feet of land along with the 180 years old Jackfruit tree, under which Srila Prabhupada appeared on 1st September 1896, just 29 days before Srila Prabhupada’s 125th appetences day celebrations.
Since 3,600 square feet land is a small piece of land, devotees have planned to acquire a minimum of 1 acres land at Srila Prabhupada birthplace so that a befitting memorial can be built at Srila Prabhupada birthplace. The land will be acquired in 5 to 6 phases. Now we are conducting the 2nd phase of land acquisition and we are happy that following senior Sannyasis and devotees have contributed for the 2nd phase:
1) His Holiness Jayapataka Swami (pledged) : US $ 24,000 or Rs 20 Lakhs
2) His Holiness Devamrita Swami (Money received): US $ 2400 approx or Rs 2,03,000
3) His Holiness Sivaram Swami (Money received): US $ 2,000 or approx Rs 1,60,000
4) His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj ji has contributed US $ 1,85,000 or Rs 1.5 crores rupees. (Money received)
5) His Grace Ambarish Prabhu ji has contributed US $ 1,45,000 or Rs 1.17 crores rupees (Money received)
6) Purusottam Goyal (Kolkata) has contributed US $ 13,500. or Rs 11 lakhs (Money received)
7) ISKCON SYDNEY YATRA: Australian Dollars: 107,062 or about Rs 60 lakhs rupees
His Grace Deenbandhu prabhu ji (ACBSP), His Grace Arjun Bhattacharya prabhu ji are on tour of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji for next 2 months for collecting donations for Srila Prabhupada birthplace memorial project. There schedule is as follows:
New Govardhan: 5-8 Jan 2023
Gold Coast 9 - 11 Jan
Brisbane 12 - 15 Jan
Melbourne 16 - 22 Jan
Fiji 23 Jan - 1 Feb
Auckland, New Zealand 2 Feb - 6 Feb
We would like to offer our special thanks to His Grace Ghanshyam Govind prabhu ji and devotees and congregation of ISKCON Sydney, who collected almost 60 lakhs in live campaign at ISKCON Sydney temple.
For 2ns Phase land acquisition we need 80 lakhs or US $ 100,000 urgently.
So kindly help us raise the balance amount of Rs 80 Lakhs or about US $ 100,000 only. With this amount, we will be able to get possession of Phase-2 land which is approx 4,500 square feet. After we complete Phase 2 of land acquisition, we will acquire more land through Phase 3, Phase 4 and Phase 5 and then start the memorial cum temple project. Our goal is to acquire a minimum of 1-acre land at Srila Prabhupada’s birthplace.
To see the latest update on Srila Prabhupada’s birthplace, see the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfP5Sv37lmI