Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 18 June 2019.

Phone: 309-663-6304
Email: message@ourhindutemple.org
Website: http://www.ourhindutemple.org


Prior to the existence of a physical place of worship, Hindus in Bloomington-Normal had been meeting in small groups every Sunday for the last thirty years. They hosted bhajan (devotional song) sessions consisting of 30-40 people in the homes of community members, which ultimately could not accommodate the emerging population. The idea for building a temple had always been there, but it was not until six years ago that it gained enough momentum to be actualized. The leadership was careful to make the center non-sectarian from the start in order to meet the needs of the entire community. As the process began, it was suggested that the temple be a multi-use facility. Meeting rooms were added to the plan to serve as classrooms for Sunday school and yoga. A stage was suggested for performances of classical devotional dance and song. At present, the temple has a volunteer ordained priest and is looking to hire a full-time priest from India within the year. The temple is also seeking out highly skilled teachers for Sunday classes and yoga sessions. Currently there are portraits of the deities, which will be replaced by large marble murtis in the coming months. There are plans in the future to expand the sanctum and create more space for visitors. Description The Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal occupies the last space on the dead-end Tullamore Avenue. Nearby are townhome complexes, predominantly populated by South Asian families. The temple sits at the start of a large, empty plot that makes for a meditative and peaceful atmosphere. As a non-sectarian space and multi-functional facility, it does not take on the architectural characteristics of classical Hindu temples. The exterior is simple and modern, with a pale yellow and brown color scheme. A vibrant rice flour rangoli in welcomes visitors at the entryway, where they must first remove their shoes in a separate room. As they continue through the main lobby, floral garlands hang overhead leading to the hall and sanctum. Inside the main hall, chairs are neatly arranged facing towards the sanctum. In front of the chairs, there is a large, open area for those who prefer to sit on the floor. Due to its multi-cultural mission, the sanctum displays several Hindu deities found throughout India. Additionally, a portrait of a Jain tirthankara sits to the far left of the sanctum. The Jain community of Bloomington-Normal requested space within the temple and the executive committee—committed to their intercultural purpose—obliged. To the right of the sanctum is a large stage, where devotional song and dance performances will be held. The temple is also equipped an indoor exhaust fan and ventilation system so that any ceremonies requiring fire may be readily performed. Through another hallway is the kitchen, fully equipped with an industrial sink and large prep areas. Several classrooms and a large conference room will host Hindu classes and meditation sessions in the future. The executive committee intends for the temple to be a space for the next generation for Indian-Americans and Hindus. They have designed the space—both in its architecture and its vision—to be a facility of learning and growth for the torchbearers of Hinduism.


The temple operates with a governing executive committee with subgroups such as the Bylaws Committee, Construction Committee, and Pooja Activities Committee among others. The executive board makes architectural, educational, and cultural decisions together so that all ideas may be reviewed with equal respect. Each subgroup is represented by a committee chair that sits on the executive board. As is the case with most temples, the HTBN relies heavily on the help of volunteers.

Activities and Schedule

At present, daily activities are limited to small services performed by the volunteer priest. Larger festivities such as Krishna Janmashtami or Diwali will make full use of the kitchen, dining area, and main hall which can accommodate 400 visitors. Once a permanent priest and volunteer staff members are hired, the temple will have an official schedule of events and classes available to the public. As with most Hindu temples, a prominent hundi (donation box) rests near the sanctum and visitors are encouraged to donate what they can. The Temple's monthly schedule is available online.


The Hindu community of Bloomington-Normal comes from throughout the Indian subcontinent, with particularly large groups from South and West India. Bloomington is home to the State Farm Insurance headquarters, which employs many South Asian families in the area. The temple stresses its non-denominational vision and welcomes individuals from all backgrounds.