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Krishna Valley – where body and soul can rest

Krishna ValleySomogyvámosBalaton

Are you curious about what experiences a Krishna village might give you? Visit the Indian Culture Centre and Biofarm on the border of Somogyvámos, which is exciting even if you are not a Krishna devotee. You can sign up for a gardening or meditation workshop or take part in a atmospheric Indian festival.

The Krishna Valley is home to the largest and most well-organised eco-community in Hungary and Central Europe, which has been developing since 1993 in a small "separate world”, on an area of nearly 300 hectares. The unique atmosphere is a special blend of Hungarian and Indian traditions. A gurgling stream, meditation buildings, a school for local children, an organic garden, a colourful temple, an Eastern atmosphere. Would you like to see what it’s like? 

Garden of Eden from scratch

Somogyvámos, an abandoned dead-end village, whose proximity to Fonyód and Lake Balaton weren’t even to save it from neglect, finally became the place where a dream came true. From the beginning, the Krishna devotees who moved there have worked to save and restore natural wildlife. They planted thousands of trees, introduced organic farming and improved the soil, so today they live in a botanical garden that has more than 950 species of trees and shrubs and is full of protected bird species. 

A place of peace and spiritual development

With the ideal of self-sustainability in mind, Krishna devotees work together and produce fruit and vegetables using traditional technologies (they are strictly vegetarian). The Krishna Valley is not on the national electricity grid either: the electricity needed in the houses and offices of the people that live there is generated by solar panels and windmills. The community's water is supplied from wells next to the houses and from a shared well that is 330 metres deep. Households use environmentally friendly, "green" detergents such as vinegar and washing soda for washing. In a 150 m2 cellar, they can also store food for the winter months: they use ancient preservation methods as well as dehydration, and don’t use artificial preservatives. Gosala, the Cow Protection Centre, is home to the herd of the Krishna Valley, which includes Hungarian simmental, Tyrolean braunvieh and Indian zebu. The animals provide the residents with fresh cheese and butter, which you can also buy (as well as locally made honey, syrups and jam). You can also see traditional agricultural tools in this constantly developing area.

A three-day celebration

The Vedic temple in the valley is an internationally known pilgrimage site for Krishna devotees, as faith and spirituality are the driving force of the entire community. In addition to pilgrims, 25,000 to 30,000 tourists a year come to see this unique facility and find out about its residents' life philosophy. It is open all year round. If you ask, a tour guide will show you around, and you should definitely try the local vegetarian restaurant. The biggest event of the year is the three-day Búcsú (Farewell Festival), when, in addition to the garden, the farm, the eco-village and the temple, you will also get a whole-day stage show, and you can learn about the local culture and the lifestyle of the inhabitants.