Halekiʻi-Pihana Heiau

sights / Other

Halekiʻi-Pihana Heiau information

Halekiʻi-Pihana Heiau State Monument , USA
Hea Pl
admission free
Opening hours
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One of Maui's most important historical sites, Haleki'i-Pihana Heiau holds the remains of two adjoining temples atop a knoll with a commanding view of central Maui.

The site was the royal court of Kahekili, Maui's last ruling chief, and the birthplace of Keopuolani, wife of Kamehameha the Great. After his victory at the battle of 'Iao in 1790, Kamehameha came here to worship his war god Ku, offering the last human sacrifice on Maui.

Haleki'i (House of Images), the first heiau, has stepped stone walls that tower above 'Iao Stream. The pyramidlike mound of Pihana Heiau (Gathering Place of Supernatural Beings) is a five-minute walk beyond, but a thick overgrowth of kiawe makes it harder to discern. Much larger than Haleki'i, Pihana was the temple used for human sacrifices.

Although it's all but abandoned, a certain mana still emanates from the site. To imagine it all through the eyes of the Hawaiians 200 years ago, ignore the surrounding industrial warehouses and tract homes and concentrate instead on the wild ocean vistas.

To get to the monument, two miles northeast of central Wailuku, take Waiehu Beach Rd (Hwy 340) and turn inland onto Kuhio Pl three-quarters of a mile south of the intersection of Hwys 340 and 330. Then take the first left onto Hea Pl and drive up through the gates. If the gate is down, park on the side of the road and walk up the pavement. The site is less than half a mile from Hwy 340.