Seven Secret Places in Hawaii - Page 2

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Aerial view of Halawa Bay, Molokai, Hawaii
Aerial view of Halawa Bay, Molokai, Hawaii  (Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty)

The Forgotten Islands
The islands of Molokai could be counted among Hawaii’s secret places, given that they’re not nearly as well-known as their cousin islands of Maui or Kauai. Indeed, Molokai is considered the "most Hawaiian island," where residents still, like their ancestors, live off the land and the sea. The Hawaiian language is still spoken in some households, and the art of hula dancing is pervasive.

The Puako Petroglyph Archaeological District
Hawaiian stick-figure petroglyphs are a great enigma—no one knows who made them or why. The largest concentration lies within the 233-acre Puako Petroglyph Archaeological District, on the island of Hawaii. Here, a total of 3,000 designs (depicting dancers, paddlers, fish hooks, spears, poi pounders, canoes) have been identified in the chocolate-brown lava fields along the 1.5-mile Malama Trail, next door to the Mauna Lani Resort.

The Hindu Temple
Believe it or not, a sacred Hindu temple is being carved out of rocks from India and deposited on the banks of Kauai’s Wailua River. The San Marga Iraivan Temple is being built to last "a thousand years or more," on the 458-acre site of the Saiva Siddhanta Church monastery, a sacred Hawaiian site called pihanakalani, "where heaven touches the earth." Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the granite for the construction is being hand-quarried by some 70 stonemasons in India, and then shipped to Kauai for final shaping and fitting in the temple, which also features a 700-pound crystal in its center.

Kukaniloko Birthing Stones
Few know the most sacred site in central Oahu: two rows of 18 lava rocks once flanked a central birthing stone, where women of ancient Hawaii gave birth to alii (royalty). According to Hawaiian belief, the bowl-shape rocks held the power to ease labor pains. Birth rituals involved 48 chiefs who pounded drums to announce the arrival of the newborns likely to become chiefs. Some think the site might have also served ancient astronomers—like a Hawaiian Stonehenge. Petroglyphs of human forms and circles appear on some of the stones. The Wahiawa Hawaiian Civic Club recently erected two interpretive signs, one explaining why this was chosen as a birth site, and the other telling how the stones were used to aid in the birth process.

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