Travel Thursday | Skanda Shashti

Skanda from Himalayan Academy

Skanda Shasti is the Hindu festival for Skanda, also known as Karttikeya and Murugan. It is in October  or November each year.

Muruga was born of Siva’s mind and is brother to Ganesha. He has a dynamic power that awakens spiritual cognition. He is the God of yoga (in its true sense — not just asanas), of monks, other renunciates and government leaders, and of healing.

This year I am in Kauai for Skanda Shasti. Kauai is a beautiful small island in the north of the Hawaiian Islands. It is tropical, slow, beach bordered and interior decorated by mountains. I sit each morning on the lani (verandah or deck) in a little guha (small cottage, minimal and rustic, but meeting all needs), high in the mountains but overlooking the ocean. I am ten minutes from the sea and the township but could be on another planet in terms of its isolation and quietness. Except for the roosters who are the ever present alarm clock.

During Skanda Shashti, the Muruga energy is built and intensified over several days of pujas. The last day of the festival is wonderful and amazing, with super high energy and wonderful ceremony. During the puja, Muruga is bathed in an array of sacred substances including milk, yoghurt, honey, sandlepaste and vibhuti. There is no describing this – it must be experienced to be truly understood.

The photos today are not mine – for some reason I take few photos while I am in Kauai, and of course photography is not allowed in the temple. The photos are from the Hindu Monastery, taken by the monks who publish daily photos on TAKA (Today at Kauai Aadheenam). Click here for the daily photos, here and here for more photos of Skanda Shasti.

Skanda from Himalayan Academy

Firstly a milk abhishekam. Then honey. Then Sandlepaste.

Skanda from Himalayan Academy

Skanda from Himalayan Academy

Finally, adorned with the fruits and flowers special to Muruga and wonderfully abundant on this island.

Skanda from Himalayan Academy

About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in Hindu, Travel, TT and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Travel Thursday | Skanda Shashti

  1. Lucy says:

    It sounds idyllic!

    I did wonder where you’d got to…what a fabulous festival in a fabulous location.

    Enjoy! XX


  2. FoodJunkie says:

    Wow! That looks really interesting. I am intrrigued on how common milk and honey offereings are to the gods among civilizations. For example, they were offere to the gods of the underworld in Ancient Greece. Thank you for sharing.


  3. meera anand says:

    Murugan’s Photos are simply fab. I would just love to make it as the screen saver on my system. I am a devotee of SUBRAMANYA.I had been recently to kuke subramanya.Its surrounded by forests and water falls. According to our sastras forests are taken care by subramanya. NO wonder the place where u stay is also divine and heavenly.


  4. Cynthia says:

    This post is why I love reading and learning.


  5. Kevin Banks says:

    Interesting concept


  6. This is very interesting. There are so many Hindu gods and goddesses to learn. I only know of a few. I am happy to know this is the god of yoga, I can relate to it easily. I have been practicing the art of yoga since I took a class in college with someone who studied with a guru in India. Thanks for the interesting post.


  7. Hi Ganga:
    Thank you for your comment on my blog; Yes, this has been a crazy week and what a different world here!
    Your post with the beautiful pics of the Abhishekam reminds me of more transcendent things to participate in in India; rather than what I have been doing over the last week.

    Wishing you the best.


  8. maritasays says:

    Nice entry and glad you found pictures to accompany it. Hope you’re going to write some more about Kauai. I know very little about Hawaii and am kind of curious.


  9. Arundathi says:

    Hi there – hadn’t seen a post from you in a while – hope everything’s well! Have a great December!


  10. Aparna says:

    Just thought I’d ask where you have been. Haven’t seen you post here in a while. Hope everythings fine.

    Best wishes for the festive season and a Happy New Year.


  11. Maninas says:

    hope all’s well.
    missing your posts!



  12. Pravs says:

    wishing you a very happy new year !


  13. Srivalli says:

    Thats so fabulous!….great post!..

    Happy New Year Jen!


  14. jaya says:

    Very Interesting post ..
    I guess Skand or Lord Murugan is born to Skand mata (an avatar of Goddess Durga) and Shiva ..
    He leads the God’s army also…
    and yes these things shud be felt when seeing and observing as it happens there live..
    fabulous pictures…
    hugs and smiles


  15. It sounds like it was wondeful…10 minutes from the sea! Are you back home yet..or still on this idyllic trip?


  16. Kayla says:


    Lovely blog! I have my own blog I would love to add you to my blog roll and hope you will do the same – let me know your thoughts. I’m also part of You should check it out and add your profile, it’s a great way to promote your business and blog.

    I look forward to connecting with you and continuing to read your blog.



  17. gowthamanappu says:






  18. Subramanian Krishnamurthy says:

    Great to know about all this and learn much more…


  19. Ruby says:



  20. Janani says:

    I thought god Shiva was the inventor of yoga and bharathanatyam dance is an example of it.
    Bharathanathyam is a specific type of yoga to attain peace of mind and body.
    The yoga knowledge, I think was passed from Shiva to patanjali who is known as Father of Yoga. Am I wrong ?


  21. Nose Jobs says:

    Murugan’s Photos are simply fab. I would just love to make it as the screen saver on my system. I am a devotee of SUBRAMANYA.I had been recently to kuke subramanya


  22. Pingback: The Time of Skanda Shashti: A South Indian Festival | A Life (Time) of Cooking

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