Area’s first Hindu temple opens in Carbondale

Will serve 250 families, 100 SIU students
2013-06-24T00:00:00Z 2013-09-12T13:30:53Z Area’s first Hindu temple opens in CarbondaleBY NICK MARIANO, The Southern The Southern
June 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CARBONDALE – The first Hindu temple in Southern Illinois represents more than a house of prayer for hun-dreds of people.

It also establishes a center for a community to better define itself and perhaps grow, said several people cele-brating the temple’s inauguration Sunday.

“I think the temple is probably going to amplify that,” said Prasanna Kumar of Carterville. “I think having the temple here is a very good way to spread awareness to the general public as far as the Indian community and also to bring people together and get familiar with the culture.”

The 4,000 square-foot temple, 1209 E. Walnut St., not only gives hundreds of practicing Hindus a place to pray but also a place to come together, said Pradeep Reddy, president of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Society of Southern Illinois.

Without the temple, families or individuals would drive to St. Louis or Nashville to worship, if willing to make the trip, he said. Or, they would meet in smaller groups in people’s homes.

It is expected families from a 120-mile radius will visit the temple regularly, including about 250 local families and 100 Southern Illinois University Carbondale students.

“We used to have a monthly meeting at somebody’s house, but beyond that there was no cohesive unit. This basically brings everybody together,” Reddy said

Work on the facility began with the creation of the temple board in 2009 and Reddy’s and his wife’s donation of three-acres of land for it. Around that time, fundraising for the $400,000 to $600,000 project started and construction began September last year.

The interior of the temple is complete, but some work on the exterior including landscaping and the parking lot remains.

The Society also plans to begin construction on a cultural center as more funds become available to host activities such as music, dance and discourse.

Both the temple and cultural center will be open to the public. Hours are 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends.

“It is a great addition to the city of Carbondale,” Mayor Joel Fritzler said. “We are a very diverse community and the temple continues on with that theme and Carbondale’s culture.”



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(5) Comments

  1. Black Jesus
    Report Abuse
    Black Jesus - June 24, 2013 11:56 am
    you forgot those that believe in Right Triangles.

    perfect 90 degrees how absurd.
  2. dorisanncobb40
    Report Abuse
    dorisanncobb40 - June 24, 2013 11:42 am
    Only Jesus can do all thing.
  3. KaijaJean
    Report Abuse
    KaijaJean - June 24, 2013 10:11 am
  4. Shawnee Hollar
    Report Abuse
    Shawnee Hollar - June 24, 2013 9:32 am
    Welcome to the community. May you be blessed!
  5. shoestring
    Report Abuse
    shoestring - June 24, 2013 8:23 am
    oooh to be a fly on the wall in a "christian" home while the ridiculousness of the hindu gods is discussed and then buzzz out the window and find a "hindu" home to visit while they discuss the absurdity of christianity! Perhaps they could both agree on their disdain for mormonism or scientology?

    "Magnifying and applying come I,
    Outbidding at the start the old cautious hucksters,
    Taking myself the exact dimensions of Jehovah,
    Lithographing Kronos, Zeus his son, and Hercules his grandson,
    Buying drafts of Osiris, Isis, Belus, Brahma, Buddha,
    In my portfolio placing Manito loose, Allah on a leaf, the
    Crucifix engraved,
    With Odin and the hideous-faced Mexitli and every idol and
    Taking them all for what they are worth and not a cent more" - Walt Whitman
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