Krishnalaya, or 'the abode of Krishna,' is situated on the banks of the Eel River, nestled in the coastal mountains and giant redwood trees of Northern California. The ashram is located in Piercy, on the border of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties.
'Krishnalaya' was established by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. Gurudev resided and conducted many spiritual retreats in Krishnalaya, and often compared it to the serenity and beauty of India's sacred Himalayas.
The Eel River flows behind the ashram. Gurudev symbolically blessed and named the river as the 'Eel Ganga' when he poured holy water from India's sacred Ganga River.
Swamiji also invoked and poured spiritual life and energy into the beautiful idol of Lord Krishna, the presiding Lord of Krishnalaya. Lord Krishna stands in the original temple shrine, enchanting all with his divine look and sweet smile.
Krishnalaya is the first property owned by Chinmaya Mission West. It was purchased in 1979 for conducting a two-and-a-half-year, in-depth Vedanta course. In 1992, Gurudev conducted a two-month Gita Camp at Krishnalaya, wherein he taught all 18 chapters of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. These talks were professionally videotaped and are considered as one of the greatest legacies left by the spiritual master.
The gurgling flow of the Eel Ganga and the stunning views of the mountain ranges make Krishnalaya an ideal place for a retreat. To date, Chinmaya Mission West centres annually conduct intensive Vedanta retreats and spiritual camps for children, youth, and adults.
Gurudev's presence is very much alive and vibrant in Krishnalaya. His residence is being maintained as he left it. His bedroom is a sacred haven for meditation. His living room/library is used for silent reading, reflection, and classes. Guests are welcome in both quarters.
The ashram presently houses a beautiful 200-person lecture hall with air conditioning, a state-of-the-art sound system, a big screen television, and multimedia equipment. The ashram lodges 80 people comfortably (9 of the rooms have balconies facing the river) and has a commercial kitchen, dining hall, satsang hall, and temple shrine.
From San Francisco it is a 4½ hour drive and from San Jose airport, it takes about 5 hours.