Chicago Hindus Construct Pilgrimage Sites Along Wheaton Forest Trail

July 22, 2005

Source: Chicago Tribune,1,7505537.story?coll=chi-newslocalchicago-hed

On July 22, 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported, "Hundreds of Hindus from across the metropolitan area [are expected] to [pay] homage to the faith's long-standing pilgrimage tradition [by hiking] to 10 different 'shrines' along a Wheaton forest preserve trail. Set up in colorfully decorated tents and provided by local ethnic organizations, each shrine will represent an Indian temple that has long served as a pilgrimage destination, said Sudha Rao, finance committee chair for the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont, which coordinated the walk. Proceeds from the event--each walker must pay a $25 registration fee, which is waived for those who raise more than $50 in sponsorships--will help relieve debt for the temple's $4.5 million community center, built in 2001. But the chief aim of the first-time walk is to expose participants to the Hindu culture and to their own roots... To attract a variety of visitors, the temple recruited nine area organizations representing various Indian states, languages and devotional practices, said Subramanian Veerabahu, chair of the temple's publicity committee. Each shrine will display photographs and sacred objects from the region it represents, as well as explanations of local legends."