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Good For Kids

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The main temple area is fairly small and easy to walk around. It's right on the beach too and has a pretty setting.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau NHP

Hwy 160 & Hale O Keawe Road, Honaunau, HI 96726
Visitor center open 8:30-4:30. Park open 7AM-sunset.
808-328-2288 2 hours
December 2010 All year
$0-9 Honaunau Hawaii
Website Historical Historic Sites
First review
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park was established in 1961 to preserve an ancient Hawaiian temple and royal grounds that served an integral role in the Hawaiian social structure and religious system.

For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years this was an important place in Hawaiian society. It included a temple, a palace for chiefs and a place of refuge for lawbreakers. Under the social system, those who violated a kapu (law) could come here to receive an absolution blessing from a priest. While on the grounds, people could not be harmed so it was a general place of refuge as well. This societal and religious system continued till the 1820’s when it was abolished by the Hawaiian monarchy and the site fell into disrepair.

Today the primary site occupies less than an acre and can be seen well in an hour. The partially reconstructed buildings and structures include a temple, palace, fishponds and meeting places. The overall park is 182 acres and includes archeological areas, walking trails and picnic facilities. The park brochure is helpful as a basic guide but does not go into much depth about practices or traditions. This link has more in-depth information and provides a good historical background:

This is one of the few places in Hawaii that offers a meaningful and direct connection with past beliefs and customs. You can get a sense of history here when walking the grounds. For many Hawaiians this is a sacred place and it served a vital role in the lives of their ancestors. Those who want to learn more about ancient Hawaiian traditions and beliefs will appreciate a visit.
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