Though prominently present, the Yalis may often get overlooked as just another structure or a stand-alone symbolism at the Temple. Whether shaped in cement, carved on soft stone or painstakingly sculpted onto the dense granite, Yalis are here to stay throughout the twenty-first century and beyond.
The creation of the all-granite, Iraivan Temple in Kauai incorporates the 16th century Hindu Temple architecture, by including the Yali's presence in the most exquisite way. Iraivan means “He who is worshiped,” is one of the oldest words for God in the ancient Tamil language.
Two Yali pillars already exist and stand tall at the entrance of Iraivan Temple. The second set of smaller Maha Yalis, already installed, flank the entry stairway step into the main sanctum.
Yali Pillars are special elaborate columns, created when the span of a temple is extensive.
"Images or icons have been found on the entrance walls of the temple, and the graceful mythical lion is believe to protect and guard the temples and ways leading to the temple." - Ar. Meenal Kumar (Research Article) - Pillars [Stambha] - The supportive Elements of Hindu Temples.