During ancient times, the shrine served as a fortress in the violent era in Vulcan history and dug directly into a cliff face where it expanded over centuries by means of honeycombed corridors as well as inner chambers. Some of the ancient carvings held friezes of sieges and battles with faces contorted in agony along with piles of corpses. These had been left in place as a reminder to never return to those violent times. The walls were meters to kilometers thick on the mountain side thus making them soundproof, heavy and warm due to ancient lava flow deep underground though it was cooler in other parts.
In its age, Amorak had served as a shelter for brigands and reprobates of all types where the savants of the temple helped transform them into sages. Some of these beings stayed only for a brief time whilst others stayed permanently and some were proved to be incorrigible to be converted to the ways of peace by the first savants. The privacy of the pigrims at the Temple of Amorak was considered, for the most part, sacrosanct as it was a site where pilgrims were allowed to live in peace though there were occasions where it was necessary to notify the next of kin. These rules meant that technology was not allowed except for a single comms unit in the prefect's cell. These situations allowed the savants to notify family members of their kin suffering any "incidents" at the shrine. Furthermore, not everyone at the residence of the shrine was a member of the community which allowed a certain level of "gossip" to emerge from its halls.
In the 23rd century, Spock once consulted with the savants at the temple in order to allow the Vulcan/Romulan hybrid Saavik to stay with them during the course of her studies. After the death of Tolek, a distraught Saavik asked Amanda Grayson whether the savants at Amonak would accept her to which she replied that the temple had redeemed criminals and would easily accept a Vulcan who's only crime was caring. She later departed after seemingly injuring several residents and leaving elder Simar near-death along thus bringing about a violation of the peace at Amorak which led to the savants obligating her to leave. The deserts surrounding the temple were considered penalty enough for anyone that broke the precepts of the shrine. This caused them to later notify Sarek of the incident. (TOS novel: Unspoken Truth)