INDEX - SPIRITUALITYwww.islandbreath.org ID#0411-04
SUBJECT: SPIRITUAL PLACES
SOURCE: LINDA PASCATORE firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 7 September 2004 - 7:30pm HST
Kauai Hindu Monastary Temple Tour
Scale model of Kauai's Hindu monastery temple
by Linda Pascatore on 7 September 2004
Inspired by Joan Conrow's article on Kauai's Hindu Monastery, we recently toured the 51 acre site overlooking the Wailua River. After three years on Kauai, it was time to see the giant crystal and temple building project we had heard about.
A young monk led us through beautifully landscaped grounds. They have collected the most unique and beautiful plants, flowers, and trees from all over the world. I overheard some tourists claim that the grounds were much more interesting that the botanical garden tour they had taken. The monks have used the existing wetlands to form a series of connected ponds which meander through the grounds. We also had spectacular views of the Wailua River.
The grounds are full of well placed statues, pavilions and shrines. The existing temple houses a giant natural quartz crystal, and rows of dancing Shiva sculptures.
The culmination of the tour is the Iraivan Temple currently under construction. A monumental statue of Shiva faces south overlooking the temple.
The scope of this project is amazing. The temple is designed to last a thousand years. It is constructed of white granite, which is quarried and hand carved in a village in India.
Each column has three layers of unique carvings on all four sides. There are entrances, railings, towers, and a spire, all beautifully carved. The capstone is covered with gold leaf.
The stones are brought by container, then finished and placed by master indian stone cutters. Intricate hand carved details are everywhere.
Our guide pointed out that many people can tour a temple when it is finished, but this is a once in a lifetime chance to see such a wonder in the process of being built.
We were given plenty of time at the temple to explore, watch the stonecutters at work, and even have a turn at chiseling. The only tools used are a hammer and chisels.
We walked away from the Kauai Hindu Monastery with a feeling of wonder, beauty, and peace. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this island treasure. Tour dates, details and directions can be found at:
http://www.himalayanacademy.com/ssc/hawaii/visiting.shtml or call (808) 822-3012
For more information about activities at the monastary check www.gurudeva.org
Images by Juan Wilson (808) 335-0733