The name Machu Picchu is enough to make you curious about it. It is an extraordinary place in Peru and is one of the wonders of the world with many mysteries attached to it. It is at a height of 10,000 feet on top of an Andean Mountain. It has many structures that have been built by the Incas which are composed of stone to form an intriguing design. It is believed that this was a secret city for ceremonial purposes where rites of sacrifice were carried out.
For a large part, the structures around Machu Picchu have been dated as originating from the 13th century. But it was probably considered a holy site long before that. The Incas have transformed this large area into a tiny but glorious city that was totally independent and concealed from below. There were terraces for agriculture around the city which were irrigated using natural water springs and this kept the whole population going.
Here are some not so known and 18 Interesting Facts about Machu Picchu:
- Inca emperor (Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui) had asked for Machu Picchu to be built to commemorate for having defeated the mighty rivals – the Chancas an ethnic group.
- Machu Picchu is composed of over 150 structures that include, temples, houses, sanctuaries and baths.
- There are more than 100 flights of stairs in the compound most of which are carved from a single slab of stone.
- Though many of stones that were part of the construction of the city weigh above 50 pounds there is no evidence that wheels were use to transport it to the top of the mountain.
- Machu Picchu was also used as an astronomical observatory and the Intihuatana, a sacred stone shows the two equinoxes. The sun will sit directly on the stone without any shadow twice annually.
- Since most other cities built by Incas were destroyed, Machu Picchu was saved due to its concealed location. It is well preserved
- It is also named the lost city since Machu Picchu was hidden by the jungle. It was found again by Hiram Bingham III in the year 1911.
- With one noteworthy and steep exclusion: the sundial at the Intihuatana stone, named the “Hitching Post of the Sun.” is an exceptional wonder of Machu Picchu
- The stones that are found at Machu Picchu are in really good form.
- Incas who were the architects of this place and had complex political structure in place had no formal language. Experts feel that Khipu may have been used as the means to function.
- Though it is believed that Hiram Bingham found the ruins there have been records that indicate that a German August Berns may have discovered it in 1867.
- Machu Picchu is believed to have been uninhabited since the middle of the 16th century.
- Machu Picchu has many rooms, terraces, chambers and temples. It is inferred that the Incas left the city to hide from the attacking Spaniards. One does not know why the observatory was built though it is believed to be for the purpose of being used as a sun temple.
- As Machu Picchu is beneath the Equator, so most people’s summer is their winter.
- Many excavations showed intriguing facts like there were 10 females to one male. Based on this it is believed that this was a asylum for the legendary Alkas who were beautiful virgins dedicated to the service of the sun god.
- It is also assumed that the Funerary Rock at Machu Picchu was used as a place for preparing Inca nobles for mummifying, a ritual within the tribe.
- When the stones were cut for the buildings they were so well cut that they fit perfectly without the need for mortar.
- There were many towers built for observing the arrival of outsiders.