Since the discovery of Hiram Bingham III many has been the theories about what for was built the citadelle of Machu Picchu: holidays residence for the inca, A war room, an observatory, a laboratory for agricultural experimentation. I think is an all in purpose place.
However, a Peruvian-Polish archeological research team in 2013 give us a better understanding of what it could be the main purpose of Machu Pícchu: An Observatory. The team found a place they called “El Mirador (Vantage point)”. It was hidden, in the slope of Huayna Picchu mountain, very well preserved.
Now, what is the amazing thing about this? Short answer: The incas built Machu Picchu to have a kind of interaction with the stars, the sun, the moon and better yet, with constellations. The stars show them the way. For everything. First, they learn to read the stars; and then they built, farm and live according to them.
Machu Picchu, the Great Observatory
It’s well known that astronomy was very important to the Inca Civilization. They used that knowledge mainly for farming and religious acts. That’s why the observatory theory is the stronger one. They knew how to measure time passing and change of seasons.
But the real important point here is that Machu Picchu was entirely built according to the sun, the same as Cusco and other places of the empire.
Actually, it was discovered that all these Inca places are astronomically located to be aligned with each others. The question that comes to my mind is how they get all this knowledge and Where did all this great knowledge go? I think religion has something to do with that.
Intimachay and Inkaragay
These two places is where the team of researchers found what we can call: the incas tools and instruments to observe and measure the astronomical phenomena in the citadelle. They used those places to track and register winter and summer solstices; and the cycles of the moon.
Intimachay is located in the eastern terrace at Machu Picchu. is a kind of cave with some window-like holes, each at every side of the cave. There for instance the sunlight enter the back wall of Intimachay through the Eastern Window ten days before and after the winter solstice. These findings are really important because they could exactly know how advanced the Incas were in astronomy and how much of this knowledge has been used these days.
Incagaray is located in the northwest side of Huayna Picchu Mountain. The building has doble pilar in the front, in the back we can observe two trapezoidal niches and two little holes of 5 cm of diameter, also used for light observation.
Yes! We have reasons.
As I told you in this first article, I always heard friends and people say how wonderful is the experience in Machu Picchu, but I wanted to know by myself if this ancient citadelle was worth the visit. And It has been amazing all the things I have found. The way they build, the way they farm and the way they measure the sky to know how to rule an empire; It just unbelievable.
Please, don’t keep yourself away from this place. You are going to regret it. I’m about to book my first ever visit to Machu Picchu and i’m getting excited more and more.