San Marga Sanctuary
The straight path to God
San Marga Sanctuary was founded in 1975 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001). Its twenty acres are being developed as a center of traditional religious pilgrimage, a unique Saiva Hindu religious center that will benefit people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and walks of life. The Sanctuary is being created to uplift the lives of all visitors and to address the spiritual concerns and questions of today's youth. As such, the Sanctuary directly helps people--whether visitors, guests or devout pilgrims--discover deeper meaning in life, make positive changes, resolve problems, find inner peace, restore themselves and become centered. Since the property is remote--nestled near the emerald green walls of an extinct volcano and on the edge of the mountain-fed Wailua River--it offers visitors a remarkable opportunity for mental and physical quietude, reflection on life and their place in it, even a life-changing experience in the Sanctuary's stunning white granite Iraivan Temple or river-bank pavilions.
Above is an artist's rendition of the overhead view of the entire 20-acre San Marga Sanctuary. On the north side is the Sanctuary's entrance and parking lot. Walkways lead over a bridged pond to the reception center with its satellite changing rooms and rudraksha forest meditation platforms (1)--all nestled in fantastic gardens. Down the western edge of the Sanctuary runs the path through spectacular landscaping. The visitor encounters Ganesha Bridge (2) first, where Ganapati, the Remover of Obstacles, is enshrined. Next one comes to Muruga Hill (3), where Lord Skanda's spectacular 12-foot-tall black granite vel of spiritual discrimination stands. Continuing along the garden path, the devotee then arrives at the Svayambhu Lingam Mandapam (4), the site of Gurudeva's 1975 vision of God Siva which inspired the whole project. The path continues to the Wailua River at the south side of the Sanctuary. Here the path turns east (5) and leads to the approach steps (6) to the all-granite Iraivan Temple (7) and Hanuman Mandapam (9), a gathering and teaching hall. A wide path encircles the temple, crossing over ponds and a rushing stream. A rest area on top of an elevated berm and shaded by tropical trees is off to the west side of the temple. In the center section of the Sanctuary is the Path of the Tamil Saiva Saints (8), a walking path winding around seven ponds with an enclosed meditation pavilion and shrines to South India's greatest saints.
Click on an area of the map above to see it and read about it in greater detail, including what pilgrims may experience there today and what pilgrims of the future will experience when the project is complete.