This week, Tina is looking for Interesting Architecture as the theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I have featured the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois in previous posts but when I think of interesting architecture my mind automatically goes to this place and I can’t help but refer back to it. The Mandir is so unlike anything else that we see here in the Chicago area.
Apart from the beautiful design and incredible craftsmanship of the structure, it’s interesting to see how its appearance changes with the light, depending on the time of day or even year. There are moments when it looks mellow and mystical and at others, when the midday sun beats down on it and the air is sharp and clear, the white exterior is almost blinding.
Hand carved in India from Italian marble and Turkish limestone, the sculpted pieces, 40,000 in total, were then shipped to Bartlett where they were assembled on a 27-acre lot over a period of 16 months. The Mandir was officially inaugurated in 2004.
In 2004, the complex was awarded the Chicago Building Congress Merit Award and has been recognized by The American Institute of Architects as one of the 150 Great Places in Illinois. The Mandir, previously closed because of the COVID pandemic, has now reopened its doors to visitors.
This week, Tina has chosen Serenity as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Whenever I hear the word serenity I always think of the peace and tranquility of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett. Both inside and out, the atmosphere here is quite serene. I especially like to hear the gentle chanting inside the Mandir during prayer ceremonies and the tinkling of the little bells at the top of the towers. These pictures were taken on a cold, sunny day in March of last year.
Especially for Norm’s Thursday Doors, here are just a few of the entrances that I have come across during my travels so far this year. We can never be certain where our path through life will lead us. For some it’s all a matter of faith. I prefer to think of it as fate.
Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.
St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Madison Street in Chicago
Cathedral of Saint Paul in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois.
For more on Norm’s Thursday Doors go to August 30, 2018
My next entry for Becky’s June Squares is the ornate roof at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois. And yes, the sky really was that blue!
For more on June Squares go to Sunday Memories
This week Cee has us climbing up on the roof for her Fun Foto Challenge. This puts me in mind of the time we lived in a house with a flat roof and would sit listening to it creak as the snow piled up on it during the winter months. No flat roofs in this collection except for the first one at Arlington Park racetrack in Arlington Heights. I would hate to have to get up there and shovel snow off of this one.
Some of the angles and lines of the roof at the Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The more classical lines of the roof at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois.
Looking up at the roof of the Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
The bold lines of the roof at Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview, Illinois.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/11/15/cees-fun-foto-challenge-roofs/
I love orange! It’s such a vibrant color! Wherever I go I’m always on the lookout for bright colors and I had no problem finding images that I hope will adequately represent Orange, in response to Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge on Where’s My Backpack? at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/08/22/travel-theme-orange/.
Somehow, purely by chance, I nearly always seem to show up at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois during a special event. At the end of July when we visited, there appeared to be some kind of Youth Conference in progress. People at the Mandir are always very friendly and willing to explain what is happening and we were told that the participants were from all across the country. From what I understood, these young people were there to learn about the Hindu faith and its place in the world today. We arrived just as they were taking group photos outside the temple and out of respect we stayed well back, so we had rather limited access but I managed to capture a few images once everyone had dispersed. The figures in the above image were ceremoniously placed on the steps of the Mandir and the colors really stood out against the white stonework of the temple.
Orange canna lilies are just tall enough to catch the setting sun on the Esplanade at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
An orange place setting caught everyone’s eye at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier in Chicago earlier this year.
One of the stained glass windows on display at the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier in Chicago.
A flash of orange as ornamental koi splash around in the pool at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.
Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge this week on Where’s My Backpack? at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/01/24/travel-theme-wood/ is Wood.
Once again I go back to the wonderfully intricate architecture of the Hindu temple in Bartlett. The wood carving on this entryway is stunning.
In contrast, this simple wood fence at the Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg seems to blend nicely with the flowers in the background.
A large wooden barn at Old World Wisconsin.
Also at Old World Wisconsin, this white, wooden church stands out against a blue sky on a summer’s day.
A beautifully polished wooden locker and bench on board the Sorlandet at the Tall Ships Festival in Chicago.
Sue has given us some excellent examples for her Word A Week Challenge – Underneath, on A Word In Your Ear at http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/a-word-a-week-challenge-underneath/.
My first shot for this one was taken underneath a bridge that crosses the Wabash River in Lafayette, Indiana.
Underneath an ornate ceiling at the State Capitol Building in Springfield, Illinois.
Taking a picture underneath ‘The Bean’ in Millennium Park, Chicago produces this unusual effect.
And finally, underneath the beautiful archway at the Hindu Temple in Bartlett, Illinois.
This is my first attempt at the Word A Week Challenge as featured on the excellent blog A Word In Your Ear at http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/a-word-a-week-challenge-arch/ This week’s challenge is Arch.
This first shot was taken in the Missouri Botanical Garden, the archway decorated with the distinctive glasswork created by Dale Chihuly.
The next picture was taken at the Hindu temple in Bartlett, Illinois, some of the most stunning architecture I’ve ever seen.
This line of archways can be seen in Forest Park in St Louis, Missouri.
And finally, the great Gateway Arch in St Louis.