The Kauai Hindu Monastery is a traditional Saivite Hindu temple/monastery located in Kapaa, Kauai. The monastery is situated on a particularly beautiful spot on the Wailua River eight miles from Mount Waialeale. The grounds include 382 acres of ponds, paths, fruit orchards, hardwood forests, a river and two temples. The monastery is popular with both tourists and Hindus who travel from around the world to visit this unique sanctuary in paradise. Beautiful and mystical, the monastery is a transcendent destination where spirituality and nature are one.
The monastery is located in Kauai’s Wailua Homesteads neighborhood above Kapaa, past Opaekaa Falls, and on the way to the Keahua Arboretum. Visitors are encouraged to drive slow through the neighborhood on approach to the monastery. A small shaded parking lot greets visitors and a welcome pavilion introduces visitors to the grounds. Admittance is free.
Kauai’s Hindu Monastery
107 Kaholalele Rd
Kapaa, HI 96746
Phone: (808) 822-3012
Open daily 9AM to 12PM.
A formal guided tour of the grounds and temples is conducted every six or seven days. Call 1-888-735-1619 for tour dates and to make a reservation.
The welcome pavilion introduces visitors to the monastery.
Visitors are reminded the monastery is a sacred religious site and not a tourist attraction. Visitors wearing shorts, short dresses or tank tops are required to wear a sarong. Sarongs are provided free of charge at the welcome pavilion. Hindu dress is welcome. Umbrellas are recommended due to frequent rains in the area.
ABOVE: The entrance to the monastery grounds.
Meditation Banyan Tree
Near the entrance is an expansive Banyan tree that surrounds a statue with six heads and twelve arms. This statue is a representation of Lord Shanmuga, the diety of yoga, spiritual effort and healing. Found within the unique branches of the tree that grow into the ground are several spots for meditation. Follow the path through the branches to reach the statue. Though the tree appears to be ancient, it was actually planted in 1959.
Kadavul Hindu Temple
After the Banyan tree you will find the Kadavul Hindu Temple, one of two temples on the grounds. This temple, established in 1973, is where monks worship and meditate each morning. The temple is open daily to members of the Hindu faith for puja from 9AM to 12PM. (Photos are not allowed inside the temple.)
Below: A sixteen ton Nandi bull sits at the entrance to the temple.
The monastery is situated on the north fork of the Wailua River at a place the Hawaiians call Nani Kaua (which means the beautiful rain). With a stunning waterfall and natural rock pond, it’s no wonder why this location was selected for a Hindu monastery. The Iraivan Temple can be seen in the distance in the above photo.
Above: Nani Kaua
Kaduval Temple Tank
The serene Kaduval Temple Tank features a Tamil “Aum” symbol on the bottom of the tank. Aum is the most holy sound which is the source and essence of everything, explains a sign near the tank. This sacred tank is used for ceremonies and for devotees to wash their feet.
The crown jewel of the monastery, the magnificent San Marga Iraivan Temple is America’s only all-granite Hindu sanctuary. Nearing completion at the time of this writing, the temple has been meticulously crafted over many years using only simple hammers and chisels. The temple features gold-leafed domes, rose and red granite, 35 bronze panels, lion pillars, exquisite landscaping and an impressive Hawaiian lava rock wall around the foundation.