Pisac: An archaeological encounter with the millenary Inca Culture
- Published on Nov 03, 2016 Destinations
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The archaeological site of Pisac is located in the district of Pisac, Province of Calca, Cusco. Pisac’s impressive architectural layout erected on the top of a hill within Valle Sagrado de Los Incas (Sacred Valley) makes it one of most important Inca jewels inherited from the Inca Pachacutec. It is located at 2950 m.a.s.l. around 33 kilometers to the east, from the city of Cusco.
Pisac’s fascinating stone block walls show a balanced proportion, from its size to the perfect joints of each stone, forming a wonderful architectural complex that captivates visitors in the Sacred Valley.
The word Pisac has a Quechua origin meaning partridge, a hen-like bird that inhabits the area. According to theories, this complex was slightly similar to the “Royal Estate” of the Inca Pachacutec, that’s why it has a variety of facilities such as terraces, a ceremonial room, palaces, walls, and towers all connected to each other, without any amalgam.
If the traveler hasn’t had the chance yet to visit the world wonder of Machu Picchu, he or she can set off to that destination on the Vistadome train, which departure is at Estación Ollantaytambo (Ollantaytambo Station) and Estación Urubamba (Urubamba Station). However, if the traveler departs from the Ollantaytambo Station, he or she may also set off on the Expedition train.
Places in the Pisac ruins to visit
Known as the most important ceremonial and religious site in Pisac, it has buildings made of sedimentary rocks. The translation of its name from Quechua means “Sundial”. It is located at the top of the mountain and from that point the whole valley can be appreciated.
The Intihuatana is considered as Pisac’s Temple of the Sun, as it served as astronomical observatory during the Inca Empire. The fineness of its carved rock walls is perfectly aligned with the rising of the sun during June Solstice (the onset of winter).
La ciudad de las torres (the City of the Towers)
It is believed that its developments served as water channels, which still exist today. Their fine finishes are similar to the constructions of Sacsayhuaman. Furthermore, about 20 towers were erected on the edges of the mountain.
Ñusta Encantada (Enchanted Princess)
It is a rocky complex that can be seen from the Ñustáyoc hill, to the south. It is called ñusta (Inca princess) because it has the shape of a woman carrying saddlebags on her back. A famous Andean legend tells that the cacique of Pisac (village chief) Huayllapuma had a daughter named Inquill Chumpi. She had to marry a prince who had the strength to build a bridge in one night.
The possibility of building that seemed ridiculous for most villagers, being a very hard task. Once upon the time, after turning down many potential suitors because of the difficulty of this task, the Inca prince Asto Rimac appeared and asked for the princess’ hand. They fell in love, and he began to build the bridge. However, Inquill Chumpi had to climb the hill without turning until her beloved finished the request; otherwise, they both would turn into stone.
After hours of work, when the bridge was almost done, the worried daughter of the cacique turned to see her fiancé. At this disobedience, they both were turned into stone until this day.
Pisac’s diverse and incredible Inca architecture that endures the lapsing of years captivates travelers because of its ancestral history and culture.
Enjoy the wonderful Inca heritage and their amazing sacred world! Come to Pisac.
Sources: Pisac, Perú Travel, De Perú, Cusco Perú, Origen andino.