Legends about the magical citadel of Machu Pícchu
Machu Picchu is an ancient Andean town that was built before the fifteenth century, in Peru surrounded by natural beauties and imposing buildings dating from the time when the Incas inhabited that land, Machu Picchu is a place surrounded by myths, mystery and energy.
It is one of the supreme myths not only of Peru, but of the whole world. One of those places that you have to see at least once in your life if you are a traveler with a minimum of interest for having an extraordinary adventure. Hidden in the eyes of Western archeology for centuries (because to say that it was discovered by the American Hiram Bingham would be lying) Machu Picchu is one of the best examples of Inca urban planning and, because of its location, a very difficult show to describe with words.
Beyond the fantastic or legendary interpretations was an Inca city that after the collapse of the Inca Empire was abandoned, but not forgotten; the Spaniards knew it (they describe it some historical documents) and the locals of the surroundings also.
Behind the stories of origins of this or that Andean civilization there are always legends, in the same way those that are told about the origins of Machu Picchu there are several, but you would be interested to know basically a few to have a reference.
Legend 01: Pachacuteq and the god Inty
It is a legend of the origins of Machu Picchu that tells the story that the Inca Pachacutec defeated his enemies Chancas with the help of God Inti (the Sun), who made the stones surrounding the imperial city of Cusco, become soldiers of the Inca to then defeat their enemies, the chancas. After defeating the Chancas Pachacuteq he ordered to build the citadel of Machu Picchu, but Pachacutec began to boast greatly and his ambition infuriated the God Inti.
Later Pachacutec realized why the god Inti had bothered, he apologized, but went to the goddess Quilla (Luna) who advised him to prepare a very nice drink and invite the god Inti to eat on the top of a nearby mountain to Machu Picchu, which would be the fearsome Huayna Picchu, this to appease the wrath of the god and thus be able to continue with the construction of his residence: the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Legend 02: The Virgins of the Sun
The city of Machu Picchu was closely linked to the cults of the Sun, and in this lived mainly women, considered sacred as the virgins of the Sun (acllas), these were responsible for maintaining the power of the sacred fire, and for this in some Evenings with the use of emerald stones captured the glimmering power of the stars and for that reason some of them also possessed the gift of clairvoyance. Only the Inca could take as wives as many as he wished of them.
Legend 03: The Inca Wiracocha in Machu Picchu.
The Inca Wiracocha cowed to face the Chancas, and that’s why his son named Kusi did it, this forms an army and defeats Uscovilca (leader of the Chancas).
Since then, the imperial city of Cusco began to transform beautifully, with the intention of humiliating Wiracocha his son Kusi invited him to witness the changes in Cusco; Wiracocha agrees to the proposal and when he arrives in Cusco he is amazed by the renewed city he found, at that time he gave the nickname of “Pachacuteq” to his son Kusi which means “Transformer of the world”. But his son Kusi, this one in an act of arrogance stripped him of royal power, took away the crown and put it on, proclaimed Inca ruler and his father sent him to live his last years of life banished in his own creation, the citadel of Machu Picchu.
When Wiracocha died, Pachacutec ordered to depopulate the citadel and abandon it forever, that is why the ruins of Machu Picchu were preserved intact to this day.
Some frequently asked questions:
Can you visit Machu Picchu during the rainy season?
Yes, you can make the tour to Machu Picchu at any time of the year, you just have to be much more careful in this era. In the same way you can observe this citadel from another perspective.
- Climbing Machu Picchu on foot from Aguas Calientes is impossible?
If possible, there is a marked trail with stone stairs that help in the ascent that lasts around 2 hours.
Was it actually discovered by Hiram Bingham?
In truth it was Agustín Lizárraga who “discovered” the lost city of the Incas on a trip in 1902. Nine years later, Bingham, explorer and American politician, made public his existence.
Actually, it is not so correct to say it that way, since they already knew who lived there before.
- Is the Inca Trail tour the only way to get to the citadel and is it easy?
There are many routes to Machu Picchu, for example: Choquequirao Walk, Lares Walk, Salkantay Trekking, Inca Jungle Tour; Inca Trail tour is one of them, the walk is quite demanding, with moderate difficulty that requires a good physical condition.
- Chewing or “stinging” the coca leaf is getting high?
The coca leaf is not a drug, but a medicinal herb, which was sacred at the time of the Incas and today those who live in high latitudes used to alleviate the cold, fatigue and altitude sickness.
- Does the “door of the Sun” align with its exit in the sky?
This is true, the Puerta del Sol was the first building that could be found in the access to the city through the Inca Trail (nowadays it can also be seen) its orientation allows it to receive the first rays of sun at dawn.
- Can the dominion of the Incas over water and crops be seen in the terraces?
Definitely this is true, the Inca architecture is one of the most sophisticated and incredible around the world, the Inca architects had the ability to manage the water and be able to cultivate almost anywhere. The terraces of cultivation of Machu Picchu are a great example of this, there they built almost 5 hectares of fertile soil on the slopes of the mountain, in addition to this an extensive canal carries water to the center of the city; for all this they built collector walls and drainages that are a monument to the engineering of this civilization.