Posts Tagged ‘elm trees in Tompkins Square Park’

The most holy tree in Tompkins Square Park

January 11, 2010

To Hare Krishnas, that is.

In 1966, an Indian spiritual leader came to the East Village and founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at 26 Second Avenue.

He took some followers—including poet Allen Ginsburg, who lived in the neighborhood—to Tompkins Square Park. Sitting under one of the towering elm trees in the park, he began chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. 

Since then, the tree has been gathering place for Hare Krishnas, who view it as the birthplace of the religion in the Western world.

It’s not marked, but the sacred elm sits in the center of the park, and the Parks Department has a sign up about it nearby.