- A highly-opinionated delineation of situations encountered in India, USA, China, UK and wherever my life takes me...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hang Outs

There are the following three famous Hindu temples or places of worship.

1) Aurora Balaji Temple
2) LeMond Balaji Temple
3) Swami Narayana Temple

The people who throng this place generally are
-Indians [actually they come for the canteen]
-Hindus [trying to remain in touch with their spiritual side]
-Others [interested in knowing world religions and cultures]

Aurora Balaji Temple
A simple South India architecture that houses vaishnavaite Gods and Goddesses and located in Aurora, a South Western suburb of Chicago. The environment is serene and sent me into belief that I am still in India. There is an attached canteen that seems to dole out large quantities of Prasadam and for-sale food. I saw a bigger crowd near the canteen than the santum.

LeMond Balaji Temple
A temple constructed on top of a hillock for both Vaishanavaite and Saivaite deities. Though the architecture is predominantly South Indian on the outside, internally the way the idols are kept, clearly indicate North Indian roots. The Saivaite and Vaishnavaite sections are separate. The attached canteen serves delicious food, authentic in taste. The detailing is very fine as there is even a designated place for crushing lemons and breaking coconuts for your new cars.

Swami Narayana Temple
A recent addition to the list, Swami Narayana temple is an architectural marvel. The decorations and structures have been made to impress people visiting the place. The white marble carvings and the fiber optic lighting kept my attention diverted away from prayer. The wood work was intricate and skillful. There are lots of paintings and writings displayed that speak volumes about the Hindu culture and religious practices.

A visit to any of these places is an absolute must, if you are even remotely interested in India or Hinduism, for these places are a miniaturization of India, though half-an-earth away.

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