Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

February 27, 2024Junaid Abro1


In the heart of the Andes Mountains lies the awe-inspiring Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This UNESCO World Heritage site stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of the ancient Inca civilization. Nestled at an altitude of approximately 2,430 meters (7,970 feet), Machu Picchu is a captivating blend of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, nestled high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is an iconic archaeological site and UNESCO World Heritage site. Built by the Inca civilization in the 15th century, this breathtaking citadel is renowned for its architectural marvels, including intricate stone structures and terraced fields. Machu Picchu, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” offers a captivating glimpse into ancient Incan culture and engineering prowess. Surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the Urubamba River Valley, the site’s mystical ambiance and historical significance attract millions of visitors annually, making it one of the most celebrated and preserved archaeological wonders worldwide.Machu Picchu - Wikipedia

Origins of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century during the height of the Inca Empire. Historians believe that it served as an imperial estate for the Inca emperor, Pachacuti. The site’s strategic location and its intricate architecture suggest a combination of ceremonial, agricultural, and astronomical significance. Machu Picchu, the awe-inspiring Inca citadel, traces its origins to the 15th century during the height of the Inca Empire. Emperor Pachacuti, a visionary Incan ruler, is credited with commissioning its construction around 1450. Serving both as a royal estate and a religious retreat, Machu Picchu was ingeniously built on a mountain ridge overlooking the Sacred Valley. The site’s strategic location provided both natural defense and breathtaking panoramic views. Abandoned in the wake of the Spanish Conquest, Machu Picchu remained concealed until its rediscovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Today, this archaeological marvel stands as a testament to the advanced engineering and cultural richness of the Inca civilization.How to buy tickets to visit the Historic Sanctuary of Machupicchu?

Architectural Marvels

One cannot help but marvel at the precision of Inca engineering evident in the construction of Machu Picchu. The use of polymeric stones cut with remarkable precision, without the aid of mortar, showcases the ingenuity of Inca craftsmen. The agricultural terraces, temples, and residential areas harmoniously coexist in this mountainous landscape. Machu Picchu is renowned for its architectural marvels, showcasing the ingenuity of the Inca civilization. The site features meticulously crafted stone structures, such as the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows, revealing advanced construction techniques. The precisely cut stones fit together without the use of mortar, displaying the Incas’ mastery of dry-stone masonry. Intricate agricultural terraces demonstrate their engineering prowess, effectively managing water drainage. The urban layout, with its plazas and residential areas, reflects a harmonious integration with the natural landscape. Machu Picchu’s architectural brilliance not only captivates visitors but also stands as a testament to the Inca’s sophisticated understanding of both aesthetics and functionality.

Accessing the Sanctuary

Modern-day visitors can embark on a memorable journey to Machu Picchu via various routes, with the most renowned being the Inca Trail. This ancient trail, etched into the rugged terrain, offers a challenging yet rewarding trek, unveiling stunning vistas of the Andes along the way. Accessing the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu involves several options, the most popular being the classic Inca Trail trek, a four-day hike that offers a scenic and culturally rich journey to the site. Additionally, the shorter Inca Trail or alternative treks like the Salkantay Trek provide diverse approaches. Travelers can also reach Machu Picchu by train, with services departing from Cusco or Ollantaytambo, offering a comfortable and picturesque route. Buses run regularly from the town of Aguas Calientes to the entrance of Machu Picchu, facilitating a quicker ascent. Regardless of the chosen mode, the journey to Machu Picchu promises enchanting landscapes and a memorable adventure.

Alternative Routes

For those seeking a different adventure, alternative routes like the Salkantay Trek and the Lares Trek provide unique perspectives of the region. Additionally, travelers can opt for a scenic train ride from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, followed by a bus ascent to the sanctuary. Apart from the classic Inca Trail, there are alternative routes to reach the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek, a popular choice, offers a challenging yet rewarding path through diverse landscapes, including high mountain passes and cloud forests. The Lares Trek provides a more culturally immersive experience, passing through traditional Andean villages. For those seeking a shorter trek, the Inca Quarry Trail is an intriguing option, passing by ancient quarries and offering unique views. Alternatively, travelers can opt for a train journey from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, followed by a bus ride to the entrance of Machu Picchu. These alternative routes cater to various preferences and fitness levels, ensuring a memorable approach to this archaeological wonder.

Inti Mach’ay: Temple of the Sun

As visitors traverse the sanctuary, the Temple of the Sun, or Inti Mach’ay, captivates with its celestial alignment. Scholars believe it served as a ceremonial space to honor Inti, the Inca sun god. The interplay of light and shadow during solstices adds an ethereal touch to the experience. Inti Mach’ay, translated as “Sun Cave” in Quechua, is a significant structure within the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, often referred to as the Temple of the Sun. Positioned on the southern side of the site, it is dedicated to the worship of the sun, a central deity in Inca cosmology. The temple features meticulously crafted stone walls and a semi-circular niche thought to have housed sacred artifacts or served ritualistic purposes. During the winter solstice, sunlight precisely illuminates the central altar, highlighting the Inca’s sophisticated understanding of astronomy and architecture. Inti Mach’ay stands as a testament to the spiritual and astronomical significance embedded in Machu Picchu’s design.

Room of the Three Windows

The Room of the Three Windows, an enigmatic structure with three trapezoidal windows, holds cultural significance. It is believed to represent the three realms of Inca cosmology – the Hanan Pacha (upper world), Kay Pacha (world of the living), and Uku Pacha (world of the dead). The Room of the Three Windows is a distinctive chamber within the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, showcasing Inca architectural excellence. Located in the Sacred Plaza, this rectangular room stands out for its precisely crafted stone walls and, as the name suggests, three large trapezoidal windows. These windows frame stunning views of the surrounding mountains, creating a deliberate alignment with the natural landscape. The purpose of the room remains a subject of speculation among archaeologists, with theories ranging from a ceremonial space to a royal residence. Regardless of its original function, the Room of the Three Windows contributes to the mystical allure and structural brilliance of Machu Picchu.

Agricultural Terraces

Machu Picchu’s agricultural terraces, an engineering marvel, showcase the Inca’s advanced knowledge of farming techniques in challenging landscapes. The agricultural sector sustained the population, highlighting the site’s self-sufficiency. Machu Picchu is adorned with intricate agricultural terraces, a testament to the advanced engineering skills of the Inca civilization. These terraces, meticulously carved into the steep slopes of the Andes Mountains, served both practical and aesthetic purposes. Functionally, they provided a clever solution for cultivating crops on the challenging terrain, optimizing water drainage and preventing erosion. Beyond their utilitarian role, the terraces contributed to the overall aesthetic harmony of Machu Picchu, creating a stunning visual contrast against the natural landscape. The agricultural terraces at Machu Picchu not only showcase the Inca’s mastery of agricultural techniques but also highlight their ability to seamlessly integrate practicality with beauty in their architectural endeavors.

UNESCO Recognition

In 1983, UNESCO recognized Machu Picchu as a World Heritage site, emphasizing its cultural and historical importance. The designation has spurred global efforts to preserve and protect this ancient marvel for future generations. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu has earned prestigious recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designated in 1983, this acknowledgment underscores the exceptional cultural and historical value of Machu Picchu. The site’s inclusion in the UNESCO list aims to preserve and protect its unique archaeological and natural attributes for future generations. Machu Picchu’s significance lies not only in its architectural marvels but also in its representation of the advanced Inca civilization. The UNESCO recognition reinforces the global commitment to safeguarding this iconic site, promoting its cultural importance and ensuring its enduring legacy as one of the world’s most treasured historical and archaeological wonders.

Sustainable Tourism

To ensure the sustainable preservation of Machu Picchu, various measures have been implemented. Visitor quotas, regulated trail access, and eco-friendly initiatives aim to strike a delicate balance between tourism and conservation. Sustainable tourism is a crucial aspect of preserving the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Recognizing the environmental and cultural sensitivity of the site, efforts have been made to implement sustainable practices. These include limiting the number of daily visitors, promoting eco-friendly transportation options, and emphasizing responsible visitor behavior. Trails and facilities are designed to minimize ecological impact, and initiatives focus on waste management and conservation of the surrounding natural resources. Sustainable tourism not only helps protect the delicate ecosystem of Machu Picchu but also ensures that future generations can continue to experience and appreciate this extraordinary cultural and historical treasure in a way that respects and sustains its integrity.


In summary, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu stands as a timeless wonder that beckons adventurers and history enthusiasts alike. Its rich history, awe-inspiring architecture, and breathtaking vistas make it a must-visit destination. As we explore the mysteries of Machu Picchu, let us cherish and protect this invaluable heritage for generations to come.

Junaid Abro

Copyright by Looklify. All rights reserved.

Copyright by Looklify. All rights reserved.



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