Iraivan The south facing siva

Light is color and color is light. In this series of Temple photos, I am attempting to show the intricacies of the ancient art of Vāstu Śāstra (Hindu architecture of at least 4000 to 5000 years) in the Sepia tone to bring forth Iraivan Temple’s stupendous hand-carved artistry using Hammer and 70 different type of Chisels.

Iraivan Temple is a living edifice that brings ancient tradition into the 21st century.

Iraivan lives in a magical world of tropical beauty, in the Garden Island of Kauai, Hawaii, in the middle of the Pacific.

The Dwara Gopuram (temple main entrance tower) was carved in 8 separate courses

On December 21, 1990, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami chipped the first stone in an elaborate ceremony at Kailash Ashram in Bangalore.

“The vibration of the temple wipes away the dross of the subconscious vasanas and simultaneously heals the wounds of psychic surgery.” - Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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Each ornamental link of stone chain is carved from a single stone

Iraivan: Envisioned by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and designed by India’s greatest temple architect, V. Ganapati Sthapati.

Gurudeva’s message to the Silpis:

“We know that Iraivan temple will be India's gift to the Western world and those who come on pilgrimage each year worshiping at this wonderful temple some of the blessings with go to each and everyone of your families generation after generation. Aum”

The main murti, or worshipful icon in the main sanctum is a rare Spathika Sivalinga, a pointed, six-faced 700-pound clear quartz crystal.

Steps leading up to the inner sanctum carry the holy sacred letters of Na Ma Si Va Ya.

“The Gods live in the temples, so they know how to build temple. Live in the eternity of the moment. Appreciation and love, make a difference to bring in the new age. One God, one World.” - Gurudeva

The Granite stones for the Temple project are mostly quarried in the state of Karnataka, and Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu both in South India.

The intricately carved lion pillar has a free standing and rotatable stone ball inside the lion’s mouth.

“Stone, when touched, is felt to be cold. This is due to its moisture content. When two pieces of stone are brought into collision, fire is produced. Hence stone contains fire. Stone is earth in consolidation of particles of earth. Stone contains pockets filled with air. Stone, added to this, has the quality of space in that it echoes sound. Thus, stone is a composite of the five elemental substances--water, fire, earth, air and space. Stone is the final product of the ultimate Energy.” - V. Ganapati Sthapati

Iraivan, “He who is worshiped,” is one of the oldest words for God in the ancient Tamil language.

Iraivan - A Temple to Inspire Mankind for a 1000 years.

The $16 million cost of Iraivan in India including the funds for the temple's maintenance endowment will have cost at least $160 million if the Temple is carved in the United States.

The intricately carved granite blocks, pillars and flooring of Iraivan Temple used nothing but hammer and chisel. They were then shipped 8000 miles to Kauai to be assembled and worked on further for its finishing touches.

The 197-foot long fly-ash concrete temple foundation costs almost $500,000.

An estimated 3.2 million pounds of granite in total to complete Iraivan Temple. The Gopuram alone is estimated 11-tons and took six years of intricate work for its completion.

All Hindu temple were once just an idea and a mountain of uncleft rock. The extraordinary process of manifesting the vision is nine parts hard work, one part magic.

"The Iraivan Temple is going to be to America what the temples of Chidambaram, Madurai, Rameshwaram, and other great Siva temples are to India.” - Sri Trichy Mahaswamigal

Iraivan Temple is all Granite. Granite's remarkable qualities make it unsurpassed media for building structures, creating artistic forms and communicating with fellow human beings across the millennia.

Pillars through the temple are spaced and structured to serve as energy points for the building. Iraivan Temple will be completely free of electricity for mystical reasons, as decreed by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

“It is our past that colors and conditions, actually creates, the future. We purge the past in the present, and we fashion the future in the present.” - Gurudeva


Watch the Iraivan story. Be a temple builder.


Created By
Raj Manickam


Photos: ©️Raj Manickam | Allingoodlight.com | Content source: Hinduism Today • Iraivan Temple Wikipedia • Kauai Hindu Monastery