Hidden among the rolling green hills and lush forests of the Wailua River valley on Kauai’s Coconut Coast, Kaua‘i’s Hindu Monastery (Kaua‘i Aadheenam) is 363 acres of tropical gardens, peaceful reflecting pools, elegant ponds, stylized murtis (carved statuary of Indian persons or deities), and iconic temples. This oasis of tranquility and spiritual sanctuary is also a functioning monastery, home to swamis, yogis, and sadhakas from across the globe. Despite – or perhaps because of – its isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, pilgrims and tourists travel here throughout the year to visit two traditional Savite Hindu temples. Visitors are welcome daily from 9am until noon in the temples and 6am to 6pm in the gardens.
Sacred Gardens of Kaua‘i’s Hindu Monastery
Guests to Kaua‘i’s Hindu Monastery and its redolent grounds are welcome to observe the monastic lifestyle of the resident monks, and those interested in learning about the history and culture of Hinduism will find plenty to keep their interest here. One of the main attractions is the traditional Hindu sacred garden, home to exotic flowers, medicinal ayurvedic plants, and tropical fruits. Centered on a natural rock pond in a small river bisecting the grounds, the garden is home to towering stands of bamboo over 100’ high, orchids of every color, and brilliant plumeria in vibrant shades of red, orange, purple, and yellow. Walking one of the named paths like the Straight Path to God, Rishi Valley, or Bali Hai Falls, you can explore unique micro-environments bursting with fields of hibiscus, tropical fruit trees, gargantuan banyan trees, and sacred plants like bilva, neem, betel nut, and curry.
A Temple for Hawai‘i
Founded in 1970, the monastery is the spiritual and social center for Hindus in Hawai‘i, and It is home to the Himalayan Academy and Hinduism Today magazine. The renowned Kadavul Temple is the centerpiece of the monastery, but the San Marga Iraivan Temple, a rare Chola-style temple carved entirely of granite, is a close second. This beautiful stone edifice is currently being carved in Bangalore, India, and the individual pieces assembled on site in breathtaking fashion here in Kaua‘i. The monastery’s peaceful confines are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape, including the only Rudraksha forest in the Western Hemisphere. This unique tree, with its exotic white wood and other-worldly cobalt-blue fruits (they are one of only two living organisms that exhibit their color by refracting light, rather than reflecting it), was planted in secluded groves in 1984 and is a perfect spot for visitors to commune with nature.
Located just a few miles from Līhu‘e and Kapaa, is off of Highway 580 and Kahoalele Road on Kaua‘i’s east side. Kaua‘i’s Hindu Monastery offers guided tours which are available, and visitors are welcome at the daily 9am puja worship ceremony in the main temple.
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