the Self-Realization Lake Shrine: Stars' Graves



Seeing Stars: Final Resting Places of the Stars

17190 Sunset Boulevard,
Pacific Palisades, CA / (310) 454-4114

There are many noted celebrities buried in Los Angeles cemeteries, but the odds are that you never expected to encounter the tomb of the "Father of Modern India" himself, Mahatma Gandhi - the man Indians called the "Great Soul"

Yet here it is, just a few blocks away from the Malibu coastline.

In 1982, director Richard Attenborough produced a film called "Gandhi." (starring Ben Kingsley in the lead role), which told the life story this historic figure, and also won the Academy Award for Best Picture of that year. Through fasting and non-violence, Gandhi led India to its independence from the British in 1947, preaching a doctrine of peace. He was assassinated shortly thereafter, and in accordance with Hindu tradition, he was cremated.

But during his lifetime, Gandhi had become friends with Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, a resident of California, and after Gandhi's death, a portion of his ashes were sent to Paramahansa to be preserved at a spectacular shrine which the yogi created near Malibu in 1950.

Understand that the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake & Shrine is not a cemetery. Its beautiful park-like grounds surround a church, and it is open to the public. It's a delightful spot to stroll or mediate, featuring a natural lake with white swans, beautiful gardens, a Dutch windmill, and the giant lotus gate shrine itself. Gandhi's ashes are located inside a marble sarcophagus, on a green lawn behind the lotus gate.

(See the separate webpage about the Lake Shrine.) 

Hours: Tues-Sat: 9 AM - 4:45 PM; Sun: 12:30 AM - 4:45 PM. Closed Mondays.

Getting there: The Lake Shrine is located on Sunset Boulevard, about a half mile inland from Pacific Coast Highway, and only three miles north of Santa Monica. / From Santa Monica, head northwest on Pacific Coast Highway, then turn right (north) onto Sunset Blvd. Go about one half mile north on Sunset to the Shrine entrance, and make a right turn into the parking lot.   

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