In this the second part of 'Trekking Through Machu Picchu' I wanted to show you very familiar and famous photos of important sites throughout Machu Picchu. And where possible give you the experts opinion on the importance of the various sites. On a personal point before going to Machu Picchu all I was thinking about was that this trip involved far too much walking and far, far too much discomfort. But like a lot of things in life I was wrong and just walking on the grounds of this mystical place made every care and discomfort in the world disappear at least for a few hours.
The first hour we were escorted throughout Machu Picchu by a licensed guide who told us many things about the individual temples and other rooms.
After the guided tour we were left to our own explorations and we made the best of it. I believe we walked the entire property at least twice and on several occasions I had the opportunity to lay down on the ground and meditate. I could feel, through my spine, the completeness of the place. As I lay my body became one with the ground. My soul vibrated with a calming rhythm that tied me to this place and in that moment I became one with Machu Picchu and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace.
I don't belief that Machu Picchu was a military outpost. It has no walls, no defensive positions. It was, in my opinion, a place of meditation, a place for relaxation and regeneration of the spirit. Yes, I believe it was a sanctuary, a place where pilgrims travelled to heal their spirit by becoming one with the mountain.
Imagine, through these simple words and photos, how it would be to be here. You live in the clouds, surrounded by the most majestic mountains on the continent. Below are rivers and peaceful plateaus and above you only the sun and the sky. You are protected...you are at one with the gods.
Hope you get the chance the visit. It is well worth the trip.
If you missed Part I of this series simply click here: http://www.ufodigest.com/article/trekking-through-machu-picchu
This structure is known as Intihuatana the place where the sun was "bound" to Machu Picchu
Temple of the Sun: There are many ceremonial temples and sites at Machu Pichhu. The Temple of the Sun was used to honor and celebrate Inti, the Sun, an important Incan deity. When the sun of the winter solstice enters through the central window, it falls directly on the large ceremonial stone. The round building protects the stone. Source: http://gosouthamerica.about.com/od/topdestmachupicchu/ig/Machu-Picchu/Temple-of-the-Sun-Machu-Picch.htm
Entrance to the Temple of the Moon
This photo shows the entrance to the Royal Tomb. This cave-like area of Machu Picchu contains ceremonial niches and an Inca cross carved from one wall and is adjacent to the Temple of the Sun. The cross resembles a series of steps, and represents the three levels of existence in the world of the Inca. The first step, symbolized by the snake, represents the underworld or death. The second step represents the present, human life, and is symbolized by the jaguar. The highest step represents the celestial/spiritual plane of the gods, and is symbolized by the condor. Source: http://www.peru-machu-picchu.com/royal-tomb.php.
Temple of the Three Windows: Now we come to the royal sector where Pachacuteq may have stayed alongside other members of the nobility. The buildings in this district are particularly large with massive rock lintels weighing as much as three tons, characteristic of imperial Inca architecture. The Temple of Three Windows, together with the Principal Temple and the Intihuatana, make up what Bingham called the Sacred Plaza. He believed that the three windows framing the distant mountains - previously five in total - represented the three mythological caves from which the Ayar brothers, children of the sun, stepped into the world. Shards of smashed pottery were found beneath the temple perhaps indicating that pots would have been ritually broken here. Source: http://www.machupicchuperu.info/014_machu_picchu_temple_of_three_windows.html
Notice the pathway along the right side of this photo. It is by walking through the Main Gate that one approaches the royal city center.
Another spectacular view of the city with the mountains in the background.
Even early in the morning the ruins are crowded with tourists. So we walked out through the opening to the right and managed to take this photo.
This is the valley thousands of feet below the ruins of Macchu Picchu.
Part III, the final segment, of this photo series regarding Macchu Picchu is published here http://www.ufodigest.com/article/trekking-through-machu-pichu-part-iii.