Nestled among the rolling hills and lush forests of the Wailua River valley, 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 spiritual sanctuary is also a functioning monastery, home to swamis, yogis, and sadhakas from across the globe, and is the site of 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 in the Kauai’s Hindu Monastery
Guests to the Kauai’s Hindu Monastery and its lush grounds are welcome to observe the monastic lifestyle of the resident monks and visiting pilgrims, 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 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, you can explore unique micro-environments like the Straight Path to God, Rishi Valley, and Bali Hai Falls, each bursting with fields of hibiscus, tropical fruit trees, gargantuan banyan trees, and sacred plants like bilva, neem, betel nut, and curry.
A Temple for Hawaii
Founded in 1970, the Kauai’s Hindu Monastery is the center for Hindus in Hawai‘i and is home to the Himalayan Academy and Hinduism Today magazine. The renowned Kadavul Temple is the centerpiece, 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 pieces assembled on site in breathtaking fashion here in Kaua‘i. Here the peaceful confines are interwoven perfectly with the lush 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, the monastery is off of Highway 580 and Kahoalele Road on Kaua‘i’s east side. There is a guided Kauai’s Hindu Monastery tour available, and visitors are welcome at the daily 9am puja worship ceremony in the main temple.