Dating back to the 13th century this ancient Maui site is the largest Heiau on all the Hawaiian Islands. Covering almost 3 acres about the size of two football fields its stone platform measures more than 415 feet in length and 340 feet in width. The heiau is located on a bluff in East Maui, 4 miles north of Hana, and has been incorporated into the Kahanu Garden, which is part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.
The construction style can't be found in any other heiau on the islands and the exact history isn't known. It may have been built by one of the Hana chiefs during the time when Maui was divided, with two ruling chiefs, one in Hana and the other in the rest of Maui. The name Pi'ilanihale means “house of Pi'ilani” in the Hawaiian language and was given this name after the heiau was rededicated by chief Pi'ilani in the 16th century when he united all of Maui.
Though entry to the heiau is not permitted you can see it from the distance while at the Kahahu Gardens off of the Hana Hwy. in East Maui.
Heiau = An ancient Hawaiian temple or sacred site.
This heiau is supposedly the oldest on Maui, dating to the 13th century. Legend has it that it was built in one night from stones taken from the Wailuku River. What really attracted me was this was the spot for the last human sacrifice on Maui. One of the princess's of Maui insulted him and well...... that was that.
A writer for the San Jose Mercury News, Lee Quarstrom claims to have almost seen, from the corner of his eye, a troop of helmeted Hawaiian warriors defending their sacred stronghold with clubs and spears against an onslaught of enemies from another island. Looking around there was nothing in his direct sight. Chilling to know the Hawaii of old is still there, jus out of our site.
You can't drive to the area any longer and if you want driving access you need to call a number. Otherwise, park down in the neighborhood streets and walk up the road. It's a fairly short and easy walk. Added bonus to the heiau is territorial view below.
Part time Maui resident sharing my Kihei condo with guests when I'm staying in my mainland home.