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updated: 1/6/2018 4:58 PM

Lake in the Hills OKs Hindu temple at former church site

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  • A Hindu temple has been given permission to offer services in this vacant building on roughly 2.4 acres at 1300 Cunat Court in Lake in the Hills. The property formerly housed a church and a social service agency.

    A Hindu temple has been given permission to offer services in this vacant building on roughly 2.4 acres at 1300 Cunat Court in Lake in the Hills. The property formerly housed a church and a social service agency.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett off Route 59 was constructed with 7,000 tons of Italian Carrara marble and Turkish limestone, hand-carved in India and assembled in Bartlett. The temple has been given permission to open a satellite location for religious gatherings and services in Lake in the Hills.

    The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett off Route 59 was constructed with 7,000 tons of Italian Carrara marble and Turkish limestone, hand-carved in India and assembled in Bartlett. The temple has been given permission to open a satellite location for religious gatherings and services in Lake in the Hills.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Lake in the Hills village officials have approved a proposal to operate a Hindu temple on roughly 2.4 acres formerly housing a church.

Village officials last month authorized a conditional religious use for the building at 1300 Cunat Court, which is zoned as a multifamily dwelling district.

It will be a satellite location for religious gatherings and services for worshippers belonging to the Hindu denomination of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha Midwest Inc.

The group's Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple off Route 59 in Bartlett is an elaborate, ornate structure iconic of traditional Indian architecture. It cost roughly $30 million to build and was constructed with 7,000 tons of Italian Carrara marble and Turkish limestone, hand-carved in India and assembled in Bartlett. That complex spans 170,000 square feet comprising three structures -- two immense halls flanking a central white temple crowned with 15 domes.

BAPS, headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey, is a volunteer-driven nonprofit dedicated to upholding spiritual values and humanitarian services.

The group plans to take over the existing structure in Lake in the Hills -- originally a fitness center later used by Crossway Church and the Northern Illinois Center for Autism -- and use it for religious assemblies, said Manoj Patel of Crystal Lake, owner of Cunat Ct LLC of Prairie Grove.

Roughly 40 devotees now attend biweekly assemblies in Crystal Lake and rent space for religious services at Lake in the Hills village hall.

Those locations will be replaced by the Lake in the Hills site, which will become a permanent second home for worshippers in the Northwest suburban region after the Bartlett temple, said Patel, though he doesn't know exactly how many families it would serve within Kane and McHenry counties.

There are no plans proposed to make physical changes to the property, village officials have said.

The facility would be used from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturdays by 70 to 90 members, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Sundays by 20 to 30 members. It would house religious classes, prayer services, assemblies, ceremonies, scripture readings, dining and community service activities.