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Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area - A Hiking and Camping Destination in Oahu, Hawaii

Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area - Oahu, HawaiiThe Keaiwa Heiau is an ancient Hawaiian temple located in the 384-acre Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area located above the town of Aiea, north of Pearl Harbor, in Oahu, Hawaii. The heiau was used as a medicinal or healing temple or heiau ho'ola. It is unknown when the heiau was built but one source suggests that it was constructed in the 16th Century by Kakuhihewa, an ali'i (chief) of O'ahu, and his kahuna Keaiwa.

According to legends, the kahuna (priest) specializing in healing would diagnose and treat various illnesses and injuries in the heaiau. The kahuna would also train haumana (students) in the practice of la'au lapa'au, medicinal healing using plants, fasting, and prayers. Many of the plants and herbs were collected from the neighboring forest while others were planted around the heiau.

The temple's sacred area is enclosed by 4-foot high stacked rock walls that measure 100 by 160 feet. Within the enclosure was a halau (large thatched structure) built for the master kahuna to store the medicinal implements and train the students.

Apart from the heiau, the state park is also known for its lush forests, campgrounds, hiking trails, as well as picnic areas. The Aiea Trail boasts of spectacular views of Pearl Harbor, Waianae, Koolau Mountains and Diamond Head.

Facilities at Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area include restrooms, showers, drinking water, picnic tables, camping area, and pay phone. It can be accessed via 99-1849 Aiea Heights Drive.

Admission to the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area is free of charge. Opening hours are from 7:00am to 7:45pm from April first until Labor Day, and then from 7:00am to 6:45 pm from Labor Day until March 3.

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