Editor's note: Sacred Spaces is an occasional series on the Belief Blog. In this installment, CNN Senior Photojournalist Anthony Umrani takes us inside Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, a Hindu worship space near Washington, DC.
By Anthony Umrani, CNN
Lanham, Maryland (CNN) – On a cool spring evening just outside Washington, a steady stream of worshipers arrive at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple for prayers. People are dressed in a mixture of colorful Indian attire and customary Western clothing.
In this residential Maryland neighborhood about 12 miles from downtown, the temple stands out with a striking white exterior adorned with statues depicting Hindu gods.
In India, a temple is typically dedicated to one particular god, but the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple has many gods to accommodate the diversity of Indian people in the area.
"We have a wide variety of congregation and each one of them says, 'I want this god' or 'I want that god,' " said S. Krishnamurthy, one of the founder/trustees of the temple.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.