Machu Picchu is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable architectural and archaeological gems in Peru. It is one of the reasons why each year, it receives millions of visitors seeking to appreciate the different architectural structures and the imposing landscapes. Among its various structures, one of them stands out among all. The Intihuatana is one of the most emblematic structures of Machu Picchu, as it is said that it radiates iconic energy capable of enhancing the senses. This carved rock is one of the best stone works, with various planes polished with high accuracy and precision. And together with the travel experts of Cusco Peru Travel, we want to tell you about its history and purpose within the Inca citadel. Join us to discover the Intihuatana in Machu Picchu.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INTIHUATANA IN MACHU PICCHU
- WHAT IS THE INTIHUATANA?
- HISTORY OF THE INTIHUATANA
- PURPOSE OF THE INTIHUATANA
- WHERE IS THE INTIHUATANA?
- ACCESS TO INTIHUATANA
- MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE INTIHUATANA
WHAT IS INTIHUATANA?
The Intihuatana is one of the most important lithic pieces of Machu Picchu. It is shaped like a polygon, and its different faces are polished in a very precise way. The faces of the carved rock cast shadows in relation to the movement of the Sun and the different seasons of the year. The Intihuatana was carved directly from the bedrock found at the top of the mountain. The carved rock is characterized by having different complex and flat surfaces whose purpose remains unknown. It also has some small stairs and a table carved in stone; it is assumed that these were an essential part of the ancient religious rituals. If you plan to enjoy a Machu Picchu vacation, surely you can explore this iconic carved rock.
HISTORY OF THE INTIHUATANA
It is believed that the Inca Pachacutec built the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, but it is just as likely that the Inca discovered much older ruins and decided to rebuild on them. At the end of the 16th century, the Viceroy of Peru known as Francisco Toledo, in his evangelizing mission, ordered the destruction of all Intihuatana they could find. The Andean religion and the importance of its constructions had blasphemous connotations for the belief that was being forced. Despite this, the Intihuatana of Machu Picchu was found intact by Hiram Bingham. That was evidence that the Spanish never found the Inca citadel, one of the most surprising Machu Picchu facts.
PURPOSE OF THE INTIHUATANA
The structure is a monolithic construction carved on three different levels. The upper part is like a kind of cylinder where all the sun’s rays are supported. Even the word Intihuatana comes from the Quechua language and means “where the Sun is tied.” The purpose and function of the Intihuatana are unknown, but scholars and historians believe that it functioned as a sundial. The Intihuatana was not only a clock, but it is also thought that it worked as a calendar that marked the sowing and harvesting seasons. It is also believed that it was designated as a kind of astronomical observing place and where the Incas performed their sacred rituals. Around, there are also other sacred places of great importance, such as the Main Square and the Temple of 3 windows. From the Intihuatana Pyramid, you can have a beautiful view of the citadel and its surrounding structures, as well as the Machu Picchu mountain.
WHERE IS THE INTIHUATANA?
The Intihuatana is located within the sector known as “Hanan” of the urban area in Machu Picchu. It sits atop a terraced pyramid and is very close to the Plaza Real. It is one of the most iconic and emblematic parts of the Inca citadel. In the different Luxury Peru tours of Machu Picchu, you will be able to absorb the energy that the Intihuatana radiates, as long as you do not touch the rock.
ACCESS TO INTIHUATANA
In order to access the Intihuatana, first of all, it is necessary that you arrive at the beautiful Inca citadel. You can get to it on a private tour from Cusco to Machu Picchu. When you are inside the citadel, you can reach the Intihuatana through two significant stairways that are to the north and south of the building. One of these ladders is made up of 78 steps finely carved into the rock of the mountain. When you reach the top, you will be able to appreciate the Intihuatana and other beautiful places of great importance around.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE INTIHUATANA
The Intihuatana is known as the “stone that radiates energy.” Tradition says that if you place your hands near it, you can feel a renewing and enhancing energy of the senses. Today, it is forbidden to touch the stone, and you will find it highly guarded. You can also find another Intihuatana in the archaeological site of Pisac; this is very similar to the one in Machu Picchu. If you are looking for more Machu Picchu information, you can consult with our advisors. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the archaeological complex.
“THE WORLD IS BIG, AND I WANT TO GET A GOOD LOOK AT IT BEFORE IT GETS DARK”
Together with Cusco Peru Travel, we hope we have been helpful in everything you need to know. It is practically impossible to lose sight of the Intihuatana on your visit to Machu Picchu; you do not even need any additional entrance to visit and admire its beauty. If you have any other type of query, you can ask our qualified advisors free of charge.