Valli the Temple Elephant grazing in a field at Skanda Vale multi faith ashram in Wales.

Frequently asked questions

Who are we?
  • Skanda Vale is a place where people from different religions can live, work and worship together in harmony.
  • Each year, over 90,000 pilgrims come from all over the world to worship in our three multi-faith temples, and at the samadhi of our Guru.
  • Skanda Vale is set in over 300 acres of beautiful woodland and pasture, in a secluded valley in South West Wales, UK.
  • Our natural location helps people find peace of mind and recharge themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  • Skanda Vale is a multi-faith monastic community, known as the ‘Community of the Many Names of God’.
  • There are about 25 monks, nuns and three lay community members who live here full time.
  • The monks and nuns are unmarried renunciants (sannyasin), dedicating their lives to loving and serving the Divine through karma yoga and bhakti yoga.
  • We take the Franciscan monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
  • Skanda Vale was established in Wales by Guru Sri Subramanium, in 1973.
  • The Community of the Many Names of God began much earlier, as an informal group of devotees, meeting at Guru’s flat in Earl’s Court, London throughout the 1960’s.
  • Guruji taught us that there are many religions, but only one God. All life emanates from, and merges into, an underlying principle of non-dual timeless consciousness, expressing itself throughout creation in a myriad of different names and forms.
What do we do?
  • We have established a successful hospice service, providing free care for families affected by cancer and other serious illnesses.
  • We are currently developing new inpatient facilities to provide end of life and respite care.
  • Our pilgrims make offerings of uncooked food in our temples.
  • These offerings add up to more than we can use in the ashram.
  • So each year we donate approximately 60 tonnes of blessed food to a wide range of charities, to be redistributed to those in need.
  • We provide a sanctuary for animals, including a herd of 60 cows, numerous ponies, donkies, birds, and not least, our temple elephant Valli.
  • We offer placements to University students, and day visits to a wide range of different school and community groups. Apply to bring a group.
  • We run a programme of spiritual seminars, held in London and Switzerland, to which everyone is welcome.
About our organisation
  • Nobody at Skanda Vale is paid – we are run by full time volunteers.
  • We are funded solely through voluntary, anonymous donations.
  • We do not charge anyone for food, accommodation or services; everything is offered completely free of charge.
  • We own all our resources outright, and have never been in debt.
  • Our community is very self-sufficient, and we are completely independent from any religious, charitable or commercial organisations.
  • Our infrastructure has been carefully and sustainably developed, in response to public demand.
  • Skanda Vale has no staff.
  • The monks and nuns who lead the temple worship are unmarried, unpaid renunciants (sannyasin) who perform all the daily ashram chores, such as cleaning and maintenance, as ‘seva’ or selfless service.
  • Pilgrims are warmly welcomed to join us in this seva – please just ask us.
  • Skanda Vale is a registered place of worship and a registered charity.
  • A council of senior swamis (monks) are in charge of running Skanda Vale on a day to day basis.
  • The charity is administered by a board of trustees, made up from some of the resident monastic community, and lay community.
  • Read more about our administrative set up.
  • Our accounts are independently audited and submitted to the Charity Commission on an annual basis. We have a 100% record for on-time submissions.
  • We operate a strict internal financial control policy, which also forms part of our annual audit. We have developed the hospice service as a restricted fund within the charity. All income and expenditure for the hospice is contained within that fund, and all purchases are held as restricted assets.
  • All online transfers to third parties have dual control. All transactions are set up by the director of finance and independently authorised by an agreed signatory. Likewise, all our cheques must be signed by two authorised signatories.

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