From the Archives: the Vedanta Hollywood Temple

December 1955: The Vedanta Society of Southern California's Hollywood Temple at 1926 Vedanta Place.
December 1955: The Vedanta Society of Southern California’s Hollywood Temple at 1926 Vedanta Place.
(Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

The headquarters of the Vedanta Society of Southern California is located in this Hollywood Temple. The society was founded in 1930 by Swami Prabhavananda.

In 1955, this image appeared in the Dec. 10, 1955, Los Angeles Times as part of the Know Your City photography series. The original caption reported:

KNOW YOUR CITY, NO. 23-- Here is peace. And it was obscure-- until the freeway passed its door. No movie set, it has the permanency of the ages--while the motorized world rushes past. Just for fun, what and where is it? The answer's on Page 24 of Part 2

ANSWER: This is the delightfully unique Church of the Vedanta, the world's oldest philosophical and religious order. Located in its own little square at 1926 Vedanta Place and surrounded by dormitories for students of the Vedas, it is on a hill that overlooked Hollywood-- until the freeway zoomed practically past its front steps. Built in 1938, it was unseen by many until the freeway passed. And many of those who speed by did not know about this unique temple-- until now.

In an Oct. 3, 2003, Los Angeles Times article, staff writer Bob Pool reported:

Cars and trucks roar along a freeway a few steps away. The whump-whump-whump of a helicopter rumbles somewhere overhead.

But inside Hollywood's miniature Taj Mahal, there's a surprising serenity.

Its swamis say that's because of the vibrations. Those that are spiritual, not secular. The good vibrations.

The onion-domed Hollywood Temple is filled with them, according to those who come to meditate with the Vedanta Society at its Southern California headquarters.

"There have been great vibrations here for 75 years. This place appeals to many intellectual people," said Swami Sarvadevananda, a 60-year-old India-born assistant minister at the temple....”

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here