Travel Photo Monday

Place of Refuge, Travel Photo Mondays

It’s Monday morning, time to enjoy some gorgeous travel photography and inspiration from around the world. Let’s banish those Monday blues by sharing gorgeous imagery and story telling.


The Place of Refuge

Black and white tiki gods

Today, let’s go visit another beautiful area on Hawaii Island called the Place of Refuge or Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. This National historic park is located in South Kona on Honaunau bay and is a short and scenic drive from Kailua Kona. This historic coastal area is significant for being one of Hawaii’s most sacred sanctuaries and royal compounds in the island chain.



The Place of Refuge

Shore line view in black and white





The Place of Refuge

Heiau detail


Once the home of Hawaiian royalty and at the same time a place of refuge to ordinary commoners that have broken a kapu (Hawaiian sacred law sometimes punishable by death). If the maka’ainana (commoner), makes it to a place of refuge then absolution is eventually given and they can return back to society. It was believed that the mana (spiritual energy) of the chiefs bones gave additional protection to the place of refuge so no harm could be done to those seeking protection in this sacred sanctuary and life begins anew for those ancient Hawaiians. The park has several historic and recreated structures including: the Hale o Keawe Heiau (sacred temples housing bones of the chiefs), rock walls, wooden carved images, and the royal compounds.


The Place of Refuge

Large carved tiki gods




Close-by to the park is a wonderful snorkeling spot called Two Step which is one of the nicer places to see some beautiful coral and Hawaiian tropical fish and honu (turtles) basking in the sun. There are many attractions and historic landmarks to visit in the park, here is the official national park website to visit and get more information on this historic sanctuary



The Place of Refuge

Honu (turtle) refuge


The small bay and landing is where Hawaiian royalty would land into the royal compounds. The beach area is now sectioned off to allow honu (sea turtles) to bask on the shoreline undisturbed. This is one of the best spots to always see sea turtles enjoying the day on the beach.



The Place of Refuge

Canoe house


There are many structures in the park depicting the many daily uses and rituals that happen around the grounds. A large display canoe house shows how canoes were housed. This beautiful wooden canoe is made of koa wood that was dragged down from mauka (upland) and carved into a fast canoe vessel used by royalty. Below is a scenic shot of the royal landing from the Honaunau bay.


The Place of Refuge

Royal landing and compound



The Place of Refuge

Detailed carving


Thanks so much for coming to visit Travel Photo Mondays and visiting this beautiful green sand beach in East Hawaii. To see more imagery of this sacred sanctuary, please visit my flickr site here. Also, come and enjoy some of these other bloggers from around that world showing you some beautiful imagery.


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