It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometers (50 mil) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). it is perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca World.Machu Picchu
Machu Pichhu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 meters (7,970 ft) above sea level. Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, South America.
The Incas started building the “estate” around AD 1400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.
Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu.
Johan Reinhard believes Machu Picchu to be a sacred religious site. This theory stands mainly because of where Machu Picchu is located. Reinhard calls it “sacred geography” because the site is built on and around mountains that hold high religious importance in the Inca culture and in the previous culture that occupied the land. At the highest point of the mountain in which Machu Picchu was named after, there are “artificial platforms [and] these had a religious function, as is clear from the Inca ritual offerings found buried under them” (Reinhard 2007).
These platforms also are found in other Incan religious sites. Another theory maintains that Machu Picchu was an Inca llaqta, a settlement built to control the economy of conquered regions. Another theory suggests that the city was built as an abode for the deities, or for the coronation of kings
The site received significant publicity after the National Geographic Society devoted their entire April 1913 issue to Machu Picchu.
In 1981 Peru declared an area of 325.92 square kilometers surrounding Machu Picchu as a “Historical Sanctuary”. In addition to the ruins, the sanctuary includes a large portion of the adjoining region, rich with the flora and fauna of the Peruvian Yungas and Central Andean wet puna ecoregions.
In 1983 UNESCO designated Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site, describing it as “an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization”
The World Monuments Fund placed Machu Picchu on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world because of environmental degradation. This has resulted from the impact of tourism, uncontrolled development in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes, which included a poorly sited tram to ease visitor access, and the construction of a bridge across the Vilcanota River, which is likely to bring even more tourists to the site, in defiance of a court order and government protests against it.
Machu Picchu lies in the southern hemisphere, 13.164 degrees south of the equator. It is 80 kilometers northwest of Cusco, on the crest of the mountain Machu Picchu, located about 2,450 metres (8,040 ft) above mean sea level, over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) lower than Cusco, which has an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft). As such, it had a milder climate than the Inca capital. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in South America, one of the most visited tourist attractions in all of Latin America and the most visited tourist attraction in Peru.
Machu Picchu is situated above a loop of the Urubamba River, which surrounds the site on three sides, with cliffs dropping vertically for 450 metres (1,480 ft) to the river at their base. The area is subject to morning mists rising from the river. The location of the city was a military secret, and its deep precipices and steep mountains provided excellent natural defenses. The Inca Bridge, an Inca rope bridge, across the Urubamba River in the Pongo de Mainique, provided a secret entrance for the Inca army. Another Inca bridge was built to the west of Machu Picchu, the tree-trunk bridge, at a location where a gap occurs in the cliff that measures 6 metres (20 ft). It could be bridged by two tree trunks, but with the trees removed, there was a 570 metres (1,870 ft) fall to the base of the cliffs.
Interesting and Fun Facts About Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,400 meters (7,875 ft) above sea level.
- Often referred to as “The Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu is the most known symbol of the Inca Empire.
- It is located on a mountain ridge through which the Urubamba River flows.
- Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World.
- The site was built around 1460 but abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers after a century.
- The site was forgotten by the world until 1911, when it was discovered by Hiram Bingham, an American historian.
- Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981.
- Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
- Machu Picchu is built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls.
- Its primary buildings are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows.
- Machu Picchu received great deal of attention after the National Geographic Society devoted their entire April 1913 issue to it.
- An area of 325.92 square kilometers around Machu Picchu was declared a ‘Historical Sanctuary’ of Peru in 1981.
- Machu Picchu is one of the most important archaeological sites in South America and a frequented tourist attraction in Peru.
- Machu Picchu comprises of around 140 structures.
- The Intihuatana stone located at Machu Picchu is one of many ritual stones in South America.
- Researchers believe that Intihuatana stone was built as an astronomic clock or calendar.
- In 1911, some people were found living on the site and a number of female mummies were also discovered.
- the most interesting of the facts Machu Picchu reveal is that it is not the only lost city high in the Andean mountains. Archeologist and treasure hunters have been following rumors of other cities for years.
- Machu Picchu was believed to have been made around the 15th century and was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham.
- Machu Picchu which is located 70km Northwest of Cuzco the former capital of the Inca civilisation.
- The ruins of Machu Picchu are 2,430 meters above sea level and is situated on a ridge in the Andean mountain region.
- Machu Picchu is called the “lost city” because the jungle had literally swallowed it when Yale explorer Hiram Bingham III “rediscovered” it in 1911. When the overgrown vegetation was removed, the complex of ruins was revealed.
The annual temperature averages 16°C (60°F) and annual rainfall is between 1500mm and 3000mm at low altitudes. At 2,500m (8,000 feet) altitude, the average temperature drops to 10.2°C (50°F), and annual rainfall is 2170mm. The dry season lasts from May to September and the wet season from October to April.
The Three Primary Buildings
The Room of the three windows
The Temple of