Saturday, April 30, 2022

Hawaii’s Famous Waikiki Beach


Hawaii’s Famous

Waikiki Beach

S G Dastidar


break from the Corona virus lockdown, we headed to the Island State of Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the City of Honolulu, we headed to the world famous Waikiki beach, which was busy from sunrise to sunset and beyond. The beach is in the Waikiki area of Honolulu.

                                          Waikiki is Located at the Lower end of Oahu Map

The Waikiki area is a tourist Mecca that never sleeps. It is busy 24x7 with shops, restaurants, stores with supplies for swimming and water sports, pools, gyms, indoor sports, clothing and boutique stores, and lot more. The area has a relaxed atmosphere where often men and women walk barefoot in bathing suits either heading to the ocean or returning from the beach. The area gives a relaxed and non-violent atmosphere as most of the hotel entrances are open 24x7, without any protective barrier unlike most mainland hotels. Waikiki has many attractions including a zoo, an aquarium, many parks, displays, museums including an army museum, and lot more. It was nice to see hundreds and thousands of people walking along the beach and across the road along the sidewalk. Along the sidewalk there are restaurants, cafes, fast food, ABC and other department stores, and other places. Waikiki is accessible by public transportation connecting it to rest of the island. 


         Waikiki’s biggest attraction is her ocean and beaches. There are places for bathing for kids and novices, and in the ocean area it is busy with all kinds of water sports, from surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, diving, scuba diving, canoeing, wind surfing, sailing, to swimming, and more.


    Here are sample pictures from the Islands of Oahu famous for the City of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. Hawaii State itself has a population of less than 1.5 million, of which about a million people live in the Island of Oahu, home of Honolulu. I am sure there were more visitors than residents in all islands of Hawaii. 

         Here are sample pictures of Waikiki from the land and from water:

 Fish on Waikiki Beach


Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Glass Bottom Viewing at Waikiki Beach


Feeding Wild Birds at Waikiki Beach


 Exploring the Waikiki Beach


 Some Comments from Social Media:

Laura Healey
I truly loved all of the pictures and your commentary - especially, about the buses!
Lynn and I visited Hawaii in different years (I think 1976 & 77) and loved it.
Your family looks wonderful and rested.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Kauai (Hawaii) Hindu Monastery


Kauai (Hawaii) Hindu Monastery

S. Ghosh Dastidar


At Kudavul Temple Entrance

To break from the Corona virus lockdown, and to fulfill the wishes of granddaughter Shriya Lakshmi, we headed to the Island State of Hawaii in the middle of Pacific Ocean during her 2022 Spring Break. Getting from the East Coast of the U.S. to Hawaii was almost as much time consuming as going to distant India, Subcontinent, or Southern Africa. And getting to Kauai took even longer. Kauai was a nice experience.

 Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Founder of the Monastery

Kauai is a small island with great beauty and lots of visitors. It has about 65,000 inhabitants, with many times more visitors. One of its residents, who would later be known by his ordained name of a monk as Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. And his dream of creating a space for meditation and spiritualism has come to fruition. Before Corona calamity the ashram offered visitors free viewing of morning puja (worship) from 9 am to 11 am, and then a tour of the 70-acre ashram from 11 am till 12 noon. Puja visitation is continuing, but group tour is now self-guided due to Corona.

Accidentally, we met a New York native who lived not far from my home in East Coast, and who was a regular visitor to the Ganesh Temple in Flushing, Queens, New York City, now a permanent resident of Kauai, and was able to buy the founding Guru’s home in Kauai when guru decided to build the monastery. New York native left for Hawaii permanently and now works for the monastery.

Kauai Island: The Monastery is Located in the Middle of Right Side of the Map.


What was really surprising and pleasurable was how the monastery has grown with trees, plants and flowers making it a place for retreat and meditation. In a few decades a banyan forest has developed with banyan trees which create new trees as its roots come down from upper branches turning into its trunk. Similarly, a huge forest of Rudraksha (a type of nut) tree has been developed just outside the ashram area. 


 At One Entrance of Rudraksha Forest

Sri Hanuman’s Statue at Rudraksha Forest


 Banyan Tree Jungle

Kauai became well known worldwide not only for her beauty or for the monastery, but also as the headquarters for publication of Hinduism Today journal. The journal, as I believe, as “Hindus” in the Indian Subcontinent have identity problem they are not able to identify as Hindus and promote/discuss/learn of their rich heritage as the journal from a distant corner of the world has been able to do so. The journal has a non-political, non-partisan focus. We were very fortunate to be invited to meet with the Chief Editor Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami. The editor presented a copy to Shriya Lakshmi of a book, Lion Sage: Merging with Siva for Kids, focused on child development authored by him. Incidentally, the editorial office has one of the most beautiful views from any office I have ever seen. It is the view of Mother Nature that makes it so attractive and peace loving.

 The Author-Editor Presenting a Copy of His Book to Shriya Lakshmi

 Book Cover: Lion Sage

Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami’s Signed His Gift to Shriya Lakshmi

 Editor with the Family
            This small island is known for her beaches, harbors, trails, bike paths, hilly areas, mountains, and places to relax. 

At every corner of the island there are hundreds of wild chickens who are not being hunted by locals. Locals are extremely tolerant and peace loving. An airport worker told us that after a storm several decades ago a chicken farm got destroyed letting loose the chickens. Since then wild chickens have grown everywhere. There are wild peacocks too.

Here are sample pictures from the Hindu Monastery of Kauai: 



River Flowing Through the Monastery: A Wonderful View From the Editorial Office



 Some comments from Social Media:

Shefali Dastidar

North of the monastery is the forests of blue marble (rudraksha) forests, and lord Ganesha.


  Animesh Ghosh Dastidar
  Very Nice 
Sujata Dastidar
Absolutely amazing
Rev. Arlene Wilhelm
Looks like you had a good time. It is a beautiful state. Went there a number of years ago. 
Looks like you did some business too
Take good care.
Love to all