Go Off the Beaten Path at Kauai’s Hidden Hindu Monastery

When staying at your Marriott Vacation Club® resort in Kauai, take a detour to visit this special sanctuary and experience a different side of the Garden Isle.

At the end of a scenic mountain road in Kappa, you’ll find Kauai Aadheenam, a Hindu monastery that’s one of the island’s most surprising, best-kept secrets. Founded in 1970, the monastery was created as a sacred place for meditation, reflection and worship. Nestled amid breathtaking natural beauty, the campus encompasses 363 acres of landscaped grounds and serves as a religious resource for the Hindu world. While a small group of monks live and worship at Kauai Aadheenam, it is open daily and welcoming to visitors.

This destination is the definition of peace and serenity on this beautiful island, a unique way to get in touch with the spirit of Kauai, and an experience well worth the visit.

Kauai MonasteryGardens and Greenery

The tropical trees sway in the breeze as you pass under an intricately sculpted archway on the path to the monastery grounds. Discover a large multi-armed, multi-faced statue of the god Shanmuga Kartikeya, surrounded by a giant banyan tree canopy. As you explore the area, you’ll also find beautiful temples and a relaxing meditation pool surrounded by lush gardens and sweeping views of the island’s waterfalls and greenery. You’ll feel like you’re in a different world.

Visitors can explore the front area of the monastery between 9 a.m. and noon daily. Self-guided tours are always an option, as well as a weekly tour guided by a resident monk or spiritual leader. During the tour, you’ll learn about the monastery and the Hindu religion, visit the in-progress, hand-sculpted granite Iraivan Temple, see the 20,000-pound black granite statue of God Siva as Dakshinamurthi, marvel at the Kadavul Hindu Temple, and more.

Quick Tip:

In order to ensure your spot, call in advance to reserve your guided tour and parking spot.

Kauai monasteryWitness and Worship

Visitors have been making the pilgrimage to this sacred site for over 40 years in a quest for peace and unity. Regardless of your religious preferences, all are welcome to learn about the history of the monastery and Hinduism at the visitor’s center — and even join in the rituals at the Kadavul Hindu Temple.

Only those wishing to worship at the traditional 9 a.m. ceremony are welcome to enter the inner gate leading to the temple before 10:45 AM. Inside the temple, you’ll see 108 bronze statues of God Siva, a shrine honoring the monastery’s founder and monks performing the Sanskrit puja ritual. As you observe, you’re encouraged to sit cross-legged (but never with your legs stretched out towards the Deity). Visitors should keep in mind that this is a religious landmark and as such should act respectfully, dress modestly, and refrain from using phones or taking photos while inside the temple. After the ceremony, you can pick up a souvenir at the monastery gift shop, which features Hindu Murtis, Indian handicrafts and gift items.

Quick Tip:

The monastery’s dress code prohibits shorts, short dresses, T-shirts or tank tops. A limited number of sarongs are available for visitors to use as cover-ups.