Krishna Radio Hits Airwaves

Friday, November 26, 2004 – 12:00 AM

Todd Hollingshead DAILY HERALD

After a four-year hiatus, Spanish Fork’s KHQN Krishna Radio is back on the air.

The Indian devotee station, which plays dramas, devotional music and lectures among other spiritual content, started broadcasting again from 1480 AM about three weeks ago and can be heard on a clear signal throughout Utah Valley.

For the past few years, the station has been loaned out to a Spanish language community, but now the Krishnas are back and their content is better, said program director Charu Das.

“We’re really excited about the format, and we think that people will really like it,” Das said. “The type of music that we choose will resonate with everyone’s innermost being, regardless if they’re black, white, red, yellow or green.”

Because of FCC guidelines, Krishna Radio has to reduce power after sunset, but during the day the channel can be heard clearly throughout the valley and as far north as West Jordan and parts of the University of Utah campus.

KHQN is the only full-time Indian devotee station in the United States. Das started it in 1982 after he realized he could run a full-time station for the same amount he was paying to broadcast a weekly Indian radio show in Los Angeles.

He and his wife purchased the small Utah County radio station for $130,000 after learning the pious nature of the Provo area. With a small amount of programming, Das began Krishna Radio in an album-oriented rock format for a couple of years with the hopes of converting the format to entirely Hare Krishna religious.

In 1994, the station started a main menu of devotional programming, with a lineup of vegetarianism shows, serialized and dramatized Indian epics, Puranic literature, stories and music.

But the broadcast struggled for funding, with only bake sales and donations subsidizing the station.

In 1999, the Utah Krishnas started construction on the Krishna Temple and a Spanish-language community approached them about using the station.

“They came at the perfect time,” Das said. “We were broke and it provided needed cash.”

The temple, which has cost $1.2 million so far, opened in 2001. Now, with the Spanish station moving on and the Krishnas solid on their feet, they’ve started to broadcast once again with new technology and more than 1,000 songs to play.

The station has a new solid-state transmitter; the programming is all digitally fed from computer; and Das has a trip to India planned for January that will result in an even larger music collection.

“When we went off the air in 1999, there were a couple of people who were bitterly disappointed,” Das said. “We’re not only back, but we’re better and the radio station paid for a chunk of the temple. It was all so timely. Some day we’ll write a book about all the supernatural events that contributed to this project.”

For those who can’t receive the signal, Krisha Radio is also broadcast online at www.utahkrishnas.com.


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