One of the hidden treasures that shouldn’t be missed while visiting Kauai is the Hindu Temple and Sanctuary in the hills behind Kapaa. It is an architectual wonder and America’s only all-granite Hindu Sanctuary. It started in 1975 as Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s (1927-2001) vision of a pure and powerful white granite temple sculpted in India and erected ten thousand miles away on Kauai. In 1990 he chipped the first stone with his own hands in India and later laid the first stones at his monastery on Kauai. I took this photo in 2007. Much progress has been made since. It’s hard to know when it will be completed. Funds are raised every year to continue the work (almost $800,000 last year).
Between 1990 and 1992 a full village was built in Bangalore, India for 75 families. Masons in this town hand carve the granite and then ship the finished sections to Kauai in containers. Other masons travel to Kauai to continue carving and place the stonework in the Temple. Watching them chisel away with hand tools is fascinating.
The Iraivan Temple sits within a botanical garden with waterways and ponds. On the property is an existing temple which is in use for worship and houses the Iraivan Temple’s future 700 pound, 39 inches tall quartz crystal. Visitors are welcome.
Guided Tours of the property and temples are available approximately once a week. Parking space is limited so reservations are necessary unless you take a taxi and the taxi leaves while you are touring. The tours are about two hours long. In order to find out about up-coming tour dates and make reservations, call 1-888-735-1619. The tours fill up fast so reservations should be made well in advance of your trip. They are free, although donations are certainly welcome.
The Hindu Santuary (107 Kaholalele Road) is about a 45 minute drive from Honu Point. For much more information, including the dress code, visit their website at https://www.himalayanacademy.com/visit/come-on-a-tour
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