Hindu Temple constructed in Glenview community

Grace Shin and Alex Ladan

The Hanuman Spiritual and Community Center, a Hindu non-profit organization, is currently constructing Glenview’s first Hindu temple on West Lake Ave.

According to Sejal Schullo, Desi Club sponsor, the temple is sponsored by a group who is fairly well-off socioeconomically. The organization has invested its time and money into the construction and are looking for it to be a beacon for local Hindus.

“I think having the temple close and [within] walking distance, or at least within the neighborhood, is important to Hindus, because in India that’s definitely how the experience goes,” Schullo said. “There are temples literally everywhere, so, on the way to work, you can just stop by, and a lot of people [in India]  do on a daily basis.”

Schullo states that she is looking forward to the completion of the first Hindu temple, since it is being built near GBS.

“I can see [the construction of the Hanuman temple] right outside my window, which [is] really cool for me to see something that represents my culture and my religion,” Schullo said.

Schullo says that, today, in the greater Chicagoland area, there are more Hindu temples than there used to be. When she was growing up in Glendale Heights, the closest temple was the Hare Krishna Temple in Rogers Park, which she attended.

“The Hare Krishnas are definitely not mainstream Hinduism,” Schullo explained. “They’re a little bit more unorthodox, if you will. But it was the only temple to find a Hindu deity in, and that is where we went when I was growing up.”

Though there are other Hindu temples in the Chicagoland area, this will be the first Hindu temple in Glenview. Senior Nimil Patel, a practicing Hindu, states that he and his family do not attend temple every week, but they do from time to time. However, with a temple closer to home, it will be more practical for Patel’s family to visit on a regular basis.

“Just last weekend, my brother [came] home from college,” Patel said. “Usually we go to the temple when he comes home, but since we didn’t have time to go to the one far away, my dad said [we should] just go check out the progress on the new one and say our prayers there because the building is already set up.”

According to Schullo and Gerald Fogarty, Eastern Religions teacher, the Hindu population at South is relatively low. Despite that, they plan on using the new Hindu temple as a first-hand resource for Eastern Religions classes.

“You get to see all the rituals and the way that Hindus pray [at the temple],” Fogarty said. “[The temple] puts everything that you studied in the classroom in a real framework.”

Junior Anushka Kalra said she is also looking forward to the completion of the temple and the impact she believes it will have on the Glenview community.

“I think [the temple will] bring a lot more awareness about the diversity of Glenview,” Kalra said. “We have a lot of churches in Glenview, but I think this is the first Hindu temple that’s going to be built. I think it’s going to be a nice, physical reminder that there are a lot of cultures in Glenview, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.”