Hale O Lono Heiau and Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau

Today we set out to do a little exploring.  The plan was to find a place to do some off-roading, but every place we tried was locked up tight.  So since we were already on the North Shore we checked out 2 Heiau today. 

A heiau is a Hawaiian temple. Many types of heiau existed, including heiau to treat the sick (heiau hōʻola), offer first fruits, offer first catch, start rain, stop rain, increase the population, ensure health of the nation, achieve success in distant voyaging, reach peace, and achieve success in war (luakini). Only the luakini was dedicated through human sacrifice.[1]

Heiau were made in different architectural styles depending upon their purpose and location. At the official end of Hawaiian religion in 1819, many were deliberately destroyed, while others were allowed to fall into disrepair. Some structures have been fully restored today.”      -Wikipedia

A Heiau is a sacred place and should be treated as such.  So if you decide to visit these places please be respectful.  Don’t enter the actual Heiau, only observe it from outside the perimeter.  It’s not a playground and no one should crawl on the stones or any part of the Heiau.  It’s local legend that if you take rocks away from the ancient sites you will have very bad luck. 

The first one we visited was the Hale O Lono and it’s located inside Waimea valley park.  It has been restored and stands today for people to see.  Hale O Lono was built in 1400 and was a tribute to the god Lono who was the god of agriculture and harvests, weather, sports, and medicine. 

Just up the road from the first we visited Pu’u O Mahuka State Monument.  To find this simply turn right up Pupukea Road off of Kam Hwy right near Foodland.  You’ll run right into it after a couple of switchbacks on the road.  The road to the Heiau is poorly  maintained so don’t plan on bringing your low riders, a car with decent ground clearance should be fine. 

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau is a 5 acre site and is the largest left on the island of Oahu.  It’s only a ruin now but still worth seeing.  It is believed to be one of the 2 places where Ali’i (chiefs) were born.  It is also believed to have been a place where human sacrifice took place.  It was a powerful place for the Kahuna (priests). 

“Early Hawaiian religion resembled other Polynesian religions in that it was largely focused on natural forces such as the tides, the sky, and volcanic activity as well as man’s dependence on nature for subsistence.[citation needed] The major early gods reflected these characteristics, as the early Hawaiians worshiped Kāne (the god of the sky and creation), (the god of war and male pursuits), Lono (the god of peace, rain, and fertility) and Kanaloa (the god of the ocean).”   – Wikipedia

“In 1819, Kamehameha the Great died. In the aftermath, two of his wives, Kaʻahumanu and Keōpūolani, then the two most powerful people in the kingdom, conferred with the kahuna nui, Hewahewa. They convinced young Liholiho, Kamehameha II, to overthrow the kapu system. They ordered the people to burn the wooden statues and tear down the rock temples.”    – Wikipedia

Today though this sites are preserved as a historic cultural landmarks.

There is also a pathway going around the Heiau and down to a lookout where you get some amazing views of Waimea Bay and Pupukea. 

Waimea BayPupukea


After that we just went did a little more driving and exploring.  All in all is was another great day in paradise.  I think I could stay here forever and never run out of things to do!


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