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What are the theories about Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is a mysterious and fascinating ancient site in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is a popular destination for travelers visiting South America. There are many theories about what the site was used for and how it was built. Here are a few of the most popular theories about the purpose of Machu Picchu.

Temple of the Sun

One theory is that Machu Picchu was a temple of the sun God, Inti. The Temple of the Sun of Machu Picchu is also known as the Torreon. It is a circular building that nestles at the highest point of the site and was used for astronomical observations.

The Temple of the Sun is oriented towards the east. Locals believe that the sun would have shone directly through the doorway on the winter solstice, marking the beginning of the agricultural season.

Royal tomb

Another theory is that Machu Picchu was a royal tomb. The site contains a number of burial grounds, including the Royal Tomb. It is a rock-cut chamber on the eastern side of the site. Theories say that this tomb was used to bury important members of the Inca royal family.

Sun

Agricultural terraces

Some historians believe that Machu Picchu was an agricultural site. The Incas used it for growing crops and raising animals. The site contains a number of terraces, which were used to cultivate crops and to provide irrigation. The terraces help prevent erosion and to create a microclimate suitable for growing a variety of crops.

What are the theories about Machu Picchu?

Fortress

Some researchers believe that Machu Picchu was a fortress. The Incas built it to protect the Inca Empire from invaders. The site nestles at a high altitude and is surrounded by steep cliffs, making it difficult to access. It’s possible that the site was used as a strategic lookout point to defend the empire from threats.

Inca citadel

Others believe that Machu Picchu was an Inca citadel. The citadel served as a retreat for the Inca royal family and their advisors. The site nestles in a remote and beautiful location. It is possible that it was used as a place of refuge and rest for the elite.

Religious center

Some researchers believe that Machu Picchu was a religious center, used for ceremonies and rituals to worship of the Inca gods. The site contains a number of ceremonial buildings, including the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Three Windows, where the Incas did religious ceremonies.

Machu Picchu

Observatory

Some historians believe that Machu Picchu was an observatory. The Incas used the place for studying the stars and celestial bodies. The site contains a number of buildings and structures that may have been used for this purpose, including the Temple of the Sun and the Intiwatana, a stone pillar that may have been used as a sundial.

Military training center

Another theory is that Machu Picchu was a military training center, to train Inca soldiers. The site nestles at a high altitude and is surrounded by steep cliffs. This could have made it an ideal location for military training.

Palace

Finally, some researchers believe that Machu Picchu was a palace, used as a residence for the Inca royal family. The site contains a number of luxurious buildings, including the Royal Tomb and the Temple of the Sun, which may have been used as living quarters for the ruling elite.

Machu Picchu

Final thoughts

Overall, there are many theories about the purpose of Machu Picchu, and it’s likely that the site served multiple purposes. It’s possible that the site was used for religious, ceremonial, and administrative purposes, as well as for agricultural and military purposes. The true purpose of the site may never be fully understood, but it is a fascinating and mysterious destination that continues to captivate visitors from around the world.

If you’re planning on visiting Machu Picchu, be sure to book your tickets in advance and to bring warm clothing, as the site is located at a high altitude and can be cold and windy, especially in the rainy season.

You can also visit the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, which is a popular spot for photos. The Sun Gate is accessible by hiking the original Inca Trail or by embarking on a 45 minutes hike from Machu Picchu citadel.

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