Hawai’i is more than just tropical beaches and crystal-clear water. It also provides plenty of examples of globalization whether in the case of plant life (see my previous post) or religion. During my last visit to Kaua’i, I had the opportunity to visit what has been called one of the most important Hindu holy sites in the world (see article). I have no experience to judge whether this statement is true, but plenty of visitors were nearly packed into the grounds of the Aadheenam Hindu Monastery near Kapa’a and that in the middle of the week at a time when the typical holiday visitors from the mainland usually have already left the island.
It was so busy that we could not join the free tour of the grounds, but the gardens are beautiful and the view over the Wailua River is spectacular.
We were visiting in the morning when resident monks and devotees of Hinduism were in the middle of their morning worship, so I did not take any photos of the temple since I thought it would be inappropriate to take pictures of worshipers. But we watched as the group poured out of the Kadavul Temple and looked for shoes left outside the temple. The monastery was founded in 1970. In addition to the stone and wood Kadavul Temple with its many gold-leaf statues of Siva in his many dance poses, a second, hand-carved stone temple is in the process of being built.
The most memorable part of the ground was the large banyan tree close to the entrance of the monastery.
To learn more about the monastery, see this website. Visitors for the worship at the 9:00 AM temple ceremony may enter the inner gate leading to the temple before 10:45 AM. Visitors who do not wish to participate in the worship may enter this area from 10:45 AM – noon. The monastery is at 107 Kaholalele Road on Kaua’i.