Saturday, March 21, 2009

Peru’s Machu Picchu

A great city indeed!

One of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu the “Lost City of the Incas” was recently included this in the World Heritage list by UNESCO.

Peru was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world. This city was built by an Incan ruler more than 600 years ago. The Machu Picchu pre-Columbian Inca site is located high in the Andes Mountains in Peru about 8000 feet above sea level and lies 43 miles northwest of Cuzco at the top of a ridge high above the Urubamba river. The ruins were rediscovered intact quite accidentally in 1911 by the Yale archeologist Professor Hiram Bingham. Its aesthetic and archeological values add importance to this ancient city. This site is believed to be a religious retreat and a royal estate because of the discovery of multiple temples and various religious articles.

There are about 200 buildings discovered here, mostly residences, some temples, storage facilities, and other public buildings. A population of about 1200 or so was believed to have inhabited this city at that time. Granite constructions are seen here. Potatoes and maize were cultivated by the inhabitants.

This city served as an astronomical observatory Intihuatana, which means for “tying the sun’ although “Hitching Post of the Sun” is also mentioned. It is a granite stone the size of a piano. This is a stone column rising from a block of stones the size of a piano. It is a precise indicator of the date of the two equinoxes and other significant celestial periods. On the 21 March and 21 September of each year, the sun stands exactly above the pillar with no shadow at all. On these days, the Incas held ceremonies at the stone when they “tied the sun” to halt its northward journey across the sky.

This is one of the most beautiful and enigmatic historic sites in the world. Increased tourists pose potential danger to this city and hence many responsible organizations advise immediate measures to arrest this trend. Together let us save this ancient city for future generations.

Source: The Young World
Image: Google

1 comments on "Peru’s Machu Picchu"

indiaprab on March 26, 2009 at 2:35 PM said...

great place to visit, i would love go there...
i wonder how these people could have build such a great city on that much height in those days.



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