Rundle Mall alive with the sounds of Hare Krishna chants once more



Devotees are back in the heart of the city after 20 year ban

AFTER a 20-year absence, the Hare Krishnas are back in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.

The devotees have been seen chanting down the Mall in recent months.

In the 80’s retailers claimed the devotees turned away shoppers and in 1981 Adelaide City Council banned the movement from chanting, preaching, dancing, playing instruments and distributing literature on Adelaide streets.

Hare Krishna temple president Dr Ananda Krishnan said “our intention is not to disturb anybody”.

Years ago several members were arrested for defying the ban, which was eventually upheld by the High Court in 1984.

In 1988, the council granted a group of five Hare Krishnas permission to chant in Victoria Square or the Festival Plaza for a six-month trial period on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Dr Krishnan said he decided to “revive the tradition” after he took over the running of the Hare Krishnas’ Kilburn temple 18 months ago.

He said the group, which had not applied for a permit, was also handing out pamphlets inviting shoppers to visit the temple.

“Normally we like to choose a place where there are a lot of people,” he said.

“We know not everybody is interested in a spiritual life but we want them to know that that is an option that is available to them.”

Rundle Mall Management Authority general manager Martin Haese said he had not received any complaints from traders or shoppers.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood declined to comment.

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