Nu'uanu Pali

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Nu'uanu Pali is a section of the windward cliff of the Ko'olau mountain located at the head of Nu'uanu Valley on the island of O'ahu. It has a panoramic view of the windward coast of O'ahu. The Pali Highway connecting Kailua/Kane'ohe with downtown Honolulu runs through the Nu'uanu Pali Tunnels bored into the cliffside. The area is also the home of the Nu'uanu Freshwater Fish Refuge and the Nu'uanu Reservoir in the jurisdiction of the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources. The Nu'uanu Pali State Wayside is a lookout above the tunnels where visitors are treated to a panoramic view of the O'ahu's windward side with sweeping views of Kane'ohe, Kane'ohe Bay, and Kailua. It is also well-known for strong Trade winds that blow through the pass, forming a sort of natural wind tunnel. The Nu'uanu Pali has been a vital pass from ancient times to the present because it is a low, traversable section of the Ko'olau mountain range that connects the leeward side of the mountains, Honolulu to the windward side, Kailua and Kane'ohe. The route drew settlers who formed villages in the area and populated Nu'uanu Valley for a thousand years. The Nu'uanu Pali was the site of the Battle of Nu'uanu, one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history, in which Kamehameha I conquered the island of O'ahu, bringing it under his rule. In 1795 Kamehameha I sailed from his home island of Hawai'i with an army of 10,000 warriors, including a handful of non-Hawaiian foreigners. After conquering the islands of Maui and Moloka'i, he moved on to O'ahu. The pivotal battle for the island occurred in Nu'uanu Valley, where the defenders of O'ahu, led by Kalanikupule, were driven back up into the valley where they were trapped above the cliff. More than 400 of Kalanikupule's soldiers were driven off the edge of the cliff to their deaths 1,000 feet below. Two large stones near the back of Nu'uanu Valley, Hapu'u and Ka-lae-hau-ola, were said to represent a pair of goddesses who were guardians of the passage down the pali. Travellers would leave offerings of flowers or kapa (bark cloth) to ensure a safe trip, and parents buried the umbilical cords of newborns under the stones as a protection against evil. It is said there is a mo'o wahine (lizard woman) who lingers around the pass. A mo'o wahine is mythical creature who takes the form of a beautiful woman and leads male travelers to their deaths off the cliff. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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