This Heiau (temple) was begun in 1790 by the great Hawaiian chief Kamehameha I. It was prophesied by a Kahuna (priest) that if Kamehameha would build this heiau he would succeed in conquering the island chain and become the ruler over all of Hawaii.
The Heiau was completed in about a year, and Kamehameha dedicated it to his War God "Kuka'ilimoku", completing the dedication with the sacrifice of his major rival to the throne, Keoua.
It is known that this temple was once covered with different Ki'i (wooden images) dedicated to the gods, but it was not involved in human sacrifice as was Pu'ukohola. In historic times this temple was used as a fort to protect the area from enemies of Kamehameha.
This National Historical site is located about 40 miles north of Kailua and is open daily, subject to new budgeting. There are good trails around the area however, due to the sacred nature of the Heiau itself, no entry is permitted onto the actual structure. There is a fine beach and park adjacent to the site and less than a mile away in Kawaihae there are several good resturaunts.