Machu Picchu citadel: The Intiwatana Sundial

intiwata foto

To this day, one of the most enigmatic features  within the Lost City of Machu Picchu is the Intiwatana Sundial. In the Quechua language of the ancient Incas, Intiwatana loosely means “ Where the sun is tied down”. It´s no wonder that this monolithic structure truly lives up to its name.

The Intiwatana structure has a broad base, from which a short, four faced small pillar protrudes upwards. The pillar itself is no taller than a foot, and the whole area is barely 5 feet tall. What makes it stand out is the fact this Inca sundial was actually carved out of one solid piece of granite. Having four sides that are perfectly aligned to the four cardinal  points, the Intiwatana was used in religious  ceremonies to track the path of the sun, as well as predicting solstices and equinoxes.

It´s worthy to note that Inca cosmology was deeply involved with dealing with the Mother Earth, Father Sun, the wind and the water. Thus, being synced with these elements was crucial in their beliefs, since  their relationship with nature was the basis of their success. By knowing the exact movement of the sun and being able to predict climate conditions, they could easily harness the power  of nature in order to sow better crops,and maintain a perfect balance throughout the Empire.

In every  major Inca city, it is believed there was an Intiwatana. The most famous one remains in Machu Picchu. The staff at Sumaq Hotel is ready to provide you with knowledgeable guides, who possess insider information about this fascinating Inca sundial. Since we´re sure you won´t hesitate in taking on the adventure of discovering  the ancient wisdom of the Incas through their most distinctive landmarks, our in-house specialists at Sumaq Hotel will do everything within our means to provide  you with that tailor –made visit  you´ve been dreaming of us.


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