The All Stone Iraivan Hindu Temple in Kauai, Hawaii



Slowly and steadily an all-stone Iraivan Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is rising at Kauai in Hawaii. If you are wondering what is this all-stone temple? Then refresh your memory and remember the great Chola temples of South India. Yes, completely built on stone. India has stopped building all-stone Hindu temples way back due the cost and dearth of skilled laborers.

Construction of the Iraivan Hindu Temple began in 1990 and it could take another 10 years to finish. Parts of the temple are hand-carved in granite and shipped in pieces to the island from India and the temple has already incorporated 80 shipping containers worth of stone. On completion the 700-pound crystal Shiva lingam housed in Kauai Monastery will be installed in the temple.


The Washington Post reports

The $8 million temple to the god Shiva is the first all-stone Hindu temple outside of India, according to the Kauai monks. The project is a rarity even in India. ‘Actually it's the first all-stone temple made anywhere in quite a while. I think our architect in India said he's made two in 50 years,’ said Sannyasin Arumugaswami

The temple is the vision of a former ballet dancer and Californian who founded the monastery back in 1970, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Subramuniyaswami, who died at 74 in 2001, embraced Hindu monasticism in the late 1940s. Today his Kauai monastery is home to 22 monks who spend their days in prayer at the monastery's current Kadavul Temple, tending the monastery's fruit orchards and livestock, or putting out the order's quarterly publication ‘Hinduism Today.’