National Register of Historic Places #196607001173
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This church is located at 62-3601 Kawaihae Road, Kawaihae, Hawaii. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 20° 01.592 W 155° 49.203.
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This National Historic Site is home to one of the largest restored heiau (temple) in Hawaii and is part of the National Park System. Heiau were sacred places of worship for Native Hawaiians, and Puukohola Heiau was a site built to fulfill a historic prophecy.
North Kohala-born Kamehameha the Great was advised by his kahuna (priest) to build and dedicate Puukohola Heiau to the war god Kukailimoku to help in his efforts to unite the Hawaiian Islands. The fortress-like heiau was constructed overlooking the Kohala Coast between 1790 and 1791. King Kamehameha ultimately fulfilled the kahuna’s prophecy when he united the Hawaiian Islands in 1810.
This massive stone temple was built without the use of mortar. It is also believed that the lava rocks used to build the structure were passed hand-by-hand in a human chain all the way from Pololu Valley, some 25 miles away. The 224 by 100-foot structure is surrounded by 16- to 20-foot walls and has been carefully preserved and restored. It is believed to be one of the last sacred structures built in the Hawaiian Islands before western influence. Puukohola, which means “hill of the whale” in Hawaiian.