The tall ornately carved temple on a wooded bluff overlooking a valley soars over the treetops reaching up to the sky. As I drive up the hill, it grows larger in the sky. The beautiful temple is a classic example ancient architecture of the Hindu religion. The Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign offers me an opportunity to share images of a classic religious architecture.
I pass under the gate to the entrance of the temple on the hill. While I climb up the stairs to the top, I think about the interesting history of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago. It was built by a love of dance and culture. In 1980, members started performing Ramayana, a dance drama, to raise funds to build a temple of worship. It started off as a grass-roots effort that grew as famous dance artists joined in.
The temple was built in the small Midwestern town of Lemont, Ill. It might seem foreign at first to have a Hindu temple in a small Midwestern town, but actually it fits in perfectly. Lemont, a small hillside town split in half by the Illinois & Michigan Canal, is nicknamed the “Village of Faith” and filled with church spires and religious buildings reflecting the many ethnic groups that worship and live there and in surrounding towns. So, if you’re looking for a religious holiday or festival, visit Lemont because there is always some celebration going with about 113 places of worship.
On Saturday, October 27th, the temple is hosting Vijaya Dashami celebrations with fireworks that is one of the many events going on in town that also include a Halloween Hoedown with costume parade, ghost stories at the Lemont Area Historical Society and a Fall Arts & Crafts Fair at the Franciscan Village. If you’re in the area on Saturday, you can trick or treat at the Halloween Hoedown and end the day with the celebration and fireworks display at the temple.