Hawaii is one of those places that I had seen in movies and TV shows (I was a Lost fan). On the screen, it was always depicted as lush and green. Tropical jungles alive with the sound of bird life. Wonderful waterfalls cascading down sheer rock faces. A dream of mine came true when I visited this magical place – the island of Kauai to be exact. It was exactly how it was on the screen and of course, even better because I was able to experience the natural beauty of this place in person.
I visited the Kauai Hindu Monastery one Sunday afternoon. For me, any place that has had spiritual worship over time has a sacred quality about it. As I walked through the entrance gates and under the stone arch, I felt the serenity of the place. First stop was a meditation banyan tree. Banyan trees in Asia and India are often near or used as places of spiritual worship. Banyan trees belong to the Ficus genus…which are fig trees. Although this magnificent tree was planted in 1959 it had an ancient feel about it – like it could be hundreds of years old – maybe because of its sprawling nature and hanging aerial roots.
The view while walking to the Iraivan temple was stunning. The group I was walking with all had the same moment of wow – when we turned a corner and was treated to a beautiful panorama of all shades of green foliage, dotted with tall palm trees and a river flowing below.
The Iraivan temple is one of two temples at the monastery. This temple is still being constructed. The granite and stone is hand carved by stone craftsmen. Landscaping around the temple is newish – you can visualise what it will look like once established. The many trees and tropical plants will create a extensive paradise as they grow and blossom.
What can make a garden special is in the details. Water features, pots with gorgeous plants, statues and ponds with koi fish were throughout the gardens. Being a Hindu monastery, there were statues of Hindu deities amongst the foliage and along the paths.
There was also a temple tank. This was a sacred tank for ceremonies and a place for you to wash your feet before entering the temple.
A Koi fish pond encouraged you to pause and watch the Koi fish antics. There is something captivating about watching Koi swimming around.
I do like a quirky water feature. Even the drinking fountain was made into a feature. Moss looks pretty on rocks and softens the feature. This makes it blend into the surrounds.
What a unique feature – love this colour contrast between the bright blue of the crystal, deep red and vibrant green of the leaves.
Bromeliads and elephant ear plants are usually found in a tropical garden. There was an abundance of these all around. The leaf size of an elephant ear plant also makes me smile, I couldn’t resist getting a photo of one next to my head for comparison.
Visiting the Hindu Monastery was a highlight of my Kauai trip. There was no way I could experience all the gardens – they are quite extensive and I was only there for a short time but what I did see what beautiful. As I farewelled the gardens and walked back under the stone arch, I was appreciative that I was able to visit this tropical garden paradise.
For a further digital wander around these gardens check out the Monastery’s own slideshow
If you would like to visit these amazing gardens or for further information about the monastery, click here
Now over to you, what are some amazing gardens you have visited in your travels? Feel free to let us know in the comments below 🙂