A secluded historic temple on windward Oahu holds clues to a rich culture and history

Ulupo Heiau in Kailua on windward Oahu is hard to find but rewards the intrepid traveler with a trip back in time to a place of reverence. The stone formations once stood as much as 30 feet high and provided the base for a temple. (Catharine Hamm/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Ulupo Heiau in Kailua, on windward Oahu, overlooks the Kawai Nui Marsh. The heiau was overgrown for years, but various groups have worked to remove invasive plants and plant taro, which once was raised here. (Catharine Hamm/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

KAILUA — It was like a watercolor dream, blurry at the edges, filled with jungle greens and cerulean sky. It was quiet and lush in a way that only Hawaii can be.