One of the things that I feel whenever I hear Machu Picchu is that the name is like someone’s whispering its name, or not saying it loud enough. I always thought that this is the scenario about it, at least when it came to the phonetics of saying the name of the place. (The ach pich sound). Anyhow, we are here for more than just discussing what it sounds like. We are here to tell you some interesting facts about this Wonder of the World (because we decided to do series on all the Seven Wonders Of The World), which also happens to be the most visited place in Peru, quite justifiably. So, let’s start
1. Meaning of Machu Picchu
In the Quechua native language, “Machu Picchu” actually means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain,” coming from the words ‘machu’, which means ‘old’ or an ‘old person’, and ‘pikchu’, which means ‘ peak’, or a ‘mountain’, or a broad base which ends in sharp peaks. And obviously, it is quite old as the place is a symbol of the Incan Empire and was built around 1450AD.
2. A bit about the history
On the history part, I would like to enlighten you briefly about the makers of this grand heritage, the Inca emperor Pachacuti. He built it as the royal estate for his empire. But some historians believe that it was used as a place for the gathering of great minds and personalities of that period.
Much recently, that is in 1983 it was declared as a World Unesco Heritage site.
3. The technique used to create this Wonder
The Incas have actually been considered as some of the best masons of the world. The structures were built with such precision that not even a single knife blade can come in between two stones. The technique used for this is called ashlar, where stones are accurately cut to fit together without even using mortar.
4. Hidden Gem
Actually, the existence of Machu Picchu was known only by the locals until Yale Professor, Hiram Bingham rediscovered the site in 1911 and then wrote the book, The Lost City of the Incas, which was based on his findings of the place.
The thing is that most cities that were built by the Inca civilization were destroyed by the Spanish conquest. What worked for Machu Picchu was that it was in a hidden location (invisible from below) and thus was not found by the Spanish at that time. The location thus made it as one of the most well-preserved Inca cities which is now an archaeological gem.
5. Buildings around the complex
Machu Picchu is made up of more than 150 buildings which range from being houses to temples and sanctuaries and even baths. The entire compound has more than 100 separate flights of stairs, most of which were carved out of a single slab of stone. Aren’t you stunned by the beauty and precision of these works?
6. The Usage of the Site as an astronomical observatory
Interestingly, the Intihuatana stone served as an astronomical clock during those times and was used in identifying seasonal changes. The planting and harvesting decisions were then made subsequently, and even the construction of buildings was planned according to the clock of the stone.
7. The Llamas as photobombers
This point may not feel like a great informational tidbit, but we really wanted to show you the fun side also of the place, which is this fact that llamas are extremely photogenic. As amusing as it may sound, the llamas in Machu Picchu are actually great in getting themselves clicked. Whether you want them to give an impromtu pose or whether they decide to bomb your selfie, you can never know what kind of a photograph you may get with them.