WEST RIDGE — The autumn festival of Navrati begins Thursday in West Ridge, bringing nine days of dance, prayer and celebration to Devon Avenue.
A sacred holiday for Hindus, many of whom live on the Far North Side, Navrati is a fall harvest festival that pays homage to the Goddess Durga and her victories over evil.
The event is also known as the Hindu Festival of Dance, with each of the nine days culminating in a traditional circle dance.
Shree Ganesh Temple of Chicago, 2545 W. Devon Ave., is inviting the community, including members of different faiths, to take part in the celebration, which also includes daily prayer sessions.
The temple is currently in the process of obtaining a special use permit from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals in order to become a religious institution.
Plans for the temple include a palace-style facade decorated with colorful and ornate details, in particular a nearly 40-foot stone pyramid-like structure that would stand atop the one-story building.
Mita Shewakramani, whose father runs the organization, said the application is still pending but expects to start construction on the project by the end of the year, if all goes well.
If approved, the structure would be like none other in the city.
A rendering on top of a photo of the actual current venue at 2545 W. Devon Ave. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]