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The story of Machu Picchu


Join travel blogger Michael Hodson as he discovers the story of ancient site Machu Picchu with Cox & Kings local guide Darwin Camacho.

[Video transcript]:

Machu Picchu means ‘the old mountain’, and the elevation of this place is 8,000 feet.

Machu Picchu is the end of the highland and the beginning of the jungle so this is a holy landscape, a special area, and this is the reason why the Incas built Machu Picchu in the middle and in the centre of this holy geographical feature – to worship mother earth.

The Incas built many temples in this area to give thanks and to worship this holy mountain protector. And this is the reason why the Incas built an Inca trail that goes to the summit of Wayna Picchu and also Machu Picchu as the top of the mountains represent [being] closer to the heavens and to the sky.

We are now in the religious sector of Machu Picchu, and here we have two important temples. The principal temple was built to worship the holy mountain of Machu Picchu, because in that mountain the Incas found two natural springs of drinking water. Without water in that mountain, [there could be] nothing here. Over there is the temple of the three windows, [which follows] the holy trilogy of the universe. The Incas split the universe into three different parts. The Kingdom of Heaven [the sun and the sky], our planet Earth where we live, and underneath where you find tombs, burial sites, cemeteries – the inner world.

Three Andean animals of the Inca religion represent the three different parts of the universe – the condor represents the sky, the puma our planet earth and the snake the inner world. This is the temple of the whole universe that the Incas called Pacha Kamaq [“earth-maker”, a creator God]. The Incas not only worshipped Machu Picchu and the mother earth of the Pachamama [the goddess Mother Earth], the Incas worshipped the whole mother universe.

This is the reason why we call this place the religious centre of Machu Picchu.


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