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Temple to celebrate 10th anniversary
By Hafsa Naz Mahmood | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/25/2008 12:11 AM

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Indian culture splash throughout Midwest Swaminarayan Temple starting Saturday.

The temple, located in unincorporated DuPage County near Itasca at 21W710 Irving Park Road, will kickoff its 10th anniversary celebrations Saturday with a festival. The event will include carnival games and raffles, Indian craft exhibits, henna temporary tattoos, historical exhibits, guided tours of the temple, live dance performances and native foods.

Festivities will continue through Aug. 3 with special lectures and services at 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.

There will be special holy fires on the morning of Aug. 2 at the temple. And from 3 to 5 p.m. that day, a parade of community members, leaders and floats will travel from the intersection of Rowhling and Irving Park roads to the temple.

Raysang Chaudhari, vice president of Midwest Swaminarayan Temple, said devotees from all over the country, India and England will be traveling to attend the celebration.

"The temple is preparing so that we can accommodate all these people and make this celebration something special," he said.

Swaminarayan is a branch of Hinduism. The local chapter with about 10 participating families who rented local park district halls to house their religious services. When the temple was built in 1998, was the first temple constructed with domes in the United States.

Now, about 400 people attend the weekly services. And officials are expecting at least 5,000 people throughout the weekend.

"This is a joyous occasion for everyone," Chaudhari said. "The temple is doing so good. It's helping the community, and we're so happy about that."

If you go

What: Swaminarayan Fest

Where: Midwest Swaminarayan Temple, located at 21W710 Irving Park Road near Itasca

When: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Cost: Free

Details: Call (866) 838-4778 or visit www.issochicago.org.