The Religious Significance of Machu Picchu

Much has been written and said about the religious significance of Machu Picchu. It’s no surprise that many sources can be vague, even contradictory in origin. After all, researchers have been trying to piece together a puzzle that’s been presented unsolved since its discovery one hundred years ago.

However, the assumptions to the religious significance of Machu Picchu come in hand with what has been found in the first place. The location, for instance, is a starting point. The Lost City of the Incas is nestled in the middle of the Andes mountains, surrounded by forest laden mountains, and guarded by steep cliffs. The analogy here is that this was not a place for easy access, thus it has been concluded that only high priests and the utmost VIPs of the Inca Empire could be allowed in.

Then comes the perfect cosmological alignment. The Sun Gate greets the sun in perfect synchronicity. So do several windows, sundials and water mirrors. The same position is used at night, where special rooms and features are aligned with constellations according to the time of the year, the seasons, and deities. This was no home for mere mortals. This was a landing spot for gods.

As to the pantheon of godly figures, the Incas worshipped the Pachamama (Mother Earth), Wiracocha (the Creator), and the Inti (the Almighty Sun God), among others. These were revered in strict order of lithurgy, and according to legend, the shifts in climate conditions and the reactions of the surrounding fauna could tell if the gods were angry or pleased. Some researchers are keen to point out that this was the place for Inca rulers to consult, as if it were a legendary oracle. High priests are said to have lived atop the Huayna Picchu (the mountain right next to Machu Picchu), a redoubt so inaccessible, it has to be climbed in a steep and dangerous trek.

Another legend states that the actual remains of the powerful ruler Pachacutec is buried somewhere within the ruins of the Lost City. Among the tale, it is said that the tomb encompasses troves of gold and invaluable artifacts. Treasure hunting and digging is strictly forbidden to visitors, thus discouraging grave robbing.

You can learn more about the fascinating culture and cosmology of this mystical culture by consulting our well-documented staff at Sumaq Hotel. We have dedicated years into creating an atmosphere that transmits that mysticism that only Machu Picchu can inspire. There is no better way to enjoy your visit to the Lost City of the Incas than to delve into the enthralling history and legends of this Andean culture. After all, magic is the topmost reason why people visit Machu Picchu, and Sumaq Hotel is ready to cater for your every need. Join us in this profound journey into a legendary land of myth and adventure.


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