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Machu Picchu Ruins
The Sacred Plaza.
Travels And Tours
Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.

Department of Cusco,
Urubamba Province, Peru

George & Eve DeLange

Google Map To Machu Picchu, Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru


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View Of Machu Picchu Sacred Area. The Intihuatana, or the 'Hitching Post of the Sun'. Machu Picchu.  The Sacred Plaza. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru Travels And Tours Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
View Of Machu Picchu Sacred Area.
The Structure In The Background Is
The Intihuatana, or the “Hitching Post of the Sun”.
Huayna Picchu Is Behind The Intihuatana.
April 16, 2006. About 10:42 AM.

Machu Picchu: Discription Of Main Features.

This Fourth Group Of Attractions Are In An Area Known As The "Sacred Plaza."

***The Sacred Plaza:

This site overlooks all of Machu Picchu and is located just below the Intihuatana Shrine. With it's major structures opening onto the plaza on three of it's sides and the fourth side open all the way down to the Urubamba River valley, this was an important sacred area.

***Three-Windowed Temple:

Not far from the Chamber of the Princess is the spectacular Three-Windowed Temple, part of a complex situated around the Sacred Plaza, a ceremonial center that some argue is the most captivating section of the city. The temple’s unusually large trapezoidal windows perfectly frame the mountains unfolding beyond the Urubamba river valley. To your left as you face the Three-Windowed Temple is another popular Machu Picchu attraction, the Principal Temple.

*** Principal Temple:

Situated next to the Three-Windowed Temple, this magnificent three-walled building derives its name from the immense foundation stones and fine stonework that comprise its three high main walls. The wall facing furthest east looks onto the Sacred Plaza. In contrast to most ancient temples in the Americas, whose entrances face east, the Principal Temple’s entrance faces south. White sand found on the temple floor suggests that the temple may have been tied symbolically to the Río Urubamba, a theory that is not too farfetched considering the importance of water in the ancient Inca culture. The kite-shaped sacred stone sitting in the small square around the temple is thought to represent the Southern Cross constellation. A short stroll uphill from here brings you to one of the most spectacular sites of Machu Picchu, the Intihuatana, or “hitching post of the sun”.

*** Intihuatana:

A brief walk uphill from the Principal Temple will bring you to one of the most important shrines at Machu Picchu. The Intihuatana, or the “Hitching Post of the Sun,” is an intriguing carved rock whose shape mimics that of Huayna Picchu, the sacred peak rising beyond the ruins. The Intihuatana (also called the Saywa or Sukhanka stone) is a polygonal-shaped Sacred Stone, commonly known as the "Sundial". It is designed to hitch the sun at the two equinoxes, not at the solstice (as is often stated tourist literature and new-age books). At midday on March 21st and September 21st, the sun stands almost directly above the pillar, creating no shadow at all. At this precise moment the sun "sits with all his might upon the pillar" and is for a moment "tied" to the rock. At these periods, the Incas held ceremonies at the stone in which they "tied the sun" to halt its northward movement in the sky. There is also an Intihuatana alignment with the December solstice (the summer solstice of the southern hemisphere), when at sunset the sun sinks behind Pumasillo (the Puma's claw), the most sacred mountain of the western Vilcabamba range, but the shrine itself is primarily equinoctial. (See December Alignment At Bottom of page!) Though the Incas created rocks like this for all their important ritual centers, Intihuatana is one of the few not destroyed by the Spanish conquistadores. Given its shape and strategic alignment with four important mountains, many scholars have conjectured that Intihuatana is symbolically linked to the spirit of the mountains on which Machu Picchu was built.

In September of 2000, the attention of the archaeology world was drawn to the "Intihuatana" when it was damaged during the filming of a commercial for a local beer company by a U.S. advertising agency from this site at Machu Picchu. The commercial was shot by the U.S. publicity firm J. Walter Thompson for beer company Cervesur, a subsidiary of Peru's largest beer company, Backus & Johnston. "We do not feel responsible,'' said Cervesur regional manager Carlos de la Flor. On this occasion, one of the edges of the long polygonal-shaped Sacred Stone was broken.

Apparently, this was not the first time that the "Sundial" had been damaged. Jose Gabriel Cosio, a historian from Cuzco who represented the Peruvian government on the Hiram Bingham expedition to Machu Picchu, stated in his official report in April of 1913 that the Intihuatana had "...a four-faceted polyhedron rock that finished in a ring of rock carved from a single piece extending from the base". He also affirmed that, "...when I returned after nine months, I found to my disappointment that the ring had disappeared and that the Sacred Stone had been defaced". If you follow the steps down from here, past the Sacred Plaza and towards the northern terraces you’ll arrive at the Sacred Rock, gateway to Huayna Picchu.

***The Stone Quarry:

Adjacent to the Sacred Plaza (on the opposite side from the Intihuatana Shrine) is the Stone Quarry. There are many granite stones lying about and this most certainly was convenient for the Inca stone masons. There is one stone nearby that Hiram Bingham tried to split by using hot water, but it did not work.

***The Sacred Rock:

Just down the steps from Intihuatana and across the Sacred Plaza is the Sacred Rock, a massive piece of granite curiously shaped like the Inca’s sacred mountain of Putukusi, which looms on the eastern horizon. Little is known about this rock, except that it serves as the gateway to Huayna Picchu.

***The Southern Cross Stone:

The Southern Cross stone points to the star Gacrux on 2 May of each year. Gacrux or Gamma Crucis, is located around 88 light-years from Sol. The star lies in the "top" of the Constellation Crux (see photo and chart below the Southern Cross Stone Photos. Gamma Crucis is a highly evolved Red Giant Star. Astrophotos by David Malin and can be purchased from him.

***Temple of the Moon:

The Temple of the Moon is situated about 1,200 feet beneath the pinnacle of Huayna Picchu (about a 45 min walk each way from the summit). The temple consists of a large natural cave with five niches carved into a massive white granite stone wall. Toward the cave’s center is a rock carved like a throne, next to which are five carved steps that lead towards darker recesses where even more carved rocks and stone walls are visible. The temple’s name originates from the way it glows with moonlight at night, but many archaeologists believe that it was also symbolically aligned with the surrounding mountains. The steps on either side of the small plaza in front of the temple lead to more buildings and some interesting stone sanctuaries below. We did not visit The Temple Of The Moon, but a hiker gave us two of his photos which we included on this page.

***Inca Bridge:

The Inca Bridge is actually part of the stone path that heads west from Machu Picchu. This spot was considered to have been of vital strategic importance for the defense of the citadel. Here the Incas left a twenty foot gap in the carved cliff edge. The space, gaping out over a 1,900 feet drop, was bridged by a pair of tree trunks. In times of danger, the Incas had only to withdraw the trunks to make this part of the citadel unassailable. The Inca Bridge is reached along a path that sets out from the far upper edge of the Machu Picchu ruins (next to the meteorological station). The walk, up and back, takes about an hour. We did not visit The Inca Bridge, but a hiker gave us two of her photos which we included on this page.

***Winay Wayna:

One can walk the last stretch of the Inca Trail to Winay Wayna, which is one of the most important archaeological sites in the area. This is a 6 - 7 hour walk that requires hikers to be in good shape, it is worth it since it is an opportunity to enjoy the experience of the Inca Trail without having to spend the three to four days walking the trail. After setting out from the citadel for Intipunko, hikers need to descend a steep section of the trail toward the East. Then in the background, to the left, one can spot the visitors' center at Winay Wayna, and just behind it, the Winay Wayna ruins. The route has spectacular scenery and gives the visitor a chance to see many species of flora and fauna. We did not visit Winay Wayna, but a hiker and his wife gave us two of their photos which we included on this page.

We were at Machu Picchu the afternoon of April 16, 2006 and the morning of April 17, 2006. April 16th was a very cloudy day. April 17th was a very clear day. The photos of the attractions on our Machu Picchu Web Pages were taken at various times during both days.

We're Glad You Stopped By! Come back soon!

This page is for information purposes only and while we have made every effort to be accurate, it is the travelers responsibility to make the appropriate choice as to which hotels to use in Peru.

We found that when touring Peru, Magical Cusco Tours gave us the best service of all. They even arranged very personal tours based upon our ages and experience. They were there for us whenever we needed them.

Click on any of their links on our pages and they will give you a 4% discount for taking their package tours. Mention delange.org. Merchant Code Inka2010 for your discount! We suggest letting Ana Maria handle your tour.

Note: The 4% discount applies to package tours only! Discount does not apply to hotel bookings, domestic or international tickets, meals or any other service booked as a single activity.

Magical Cusco Tours also has a culinary tour that you may enjoy.Click Here For: Taste Of Peru.com their culinary tour page.

The good hotels in the area of Machu Picchu are all expensive; but the price for the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu, is very expensive!

We suggest you use one of the various Aguas Calientes hotels that are nearby.

We prefer the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel.

Hint:

If arranging a tour on your own; when searching for a package deal or just for a hotel, plan your flight into Cusco and then search for hotels in either Cusco and Aguas Calientes.

An internet search for Machu Picchu will usually bring up the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge as it is the only hotel in the Machu Picchu Ruins. That is why it is so expensive. ($800 to $1000 a night).

We also have links to Priceline.Com on our pages, in case you may prefer to use their services.

Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Three-Windowed TempleThree-Windowed Temple
A Sacred Stone Across The Bottom
Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Three-Windowed Temple
And Sacred Stone
The Sacred Stone
At The Three - Windowed Temple
Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Three-Windowed TempleThree-Windowed Temple
Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Three-Windowed Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Three-Windowed TempleThree-Windowed Temple
Principal Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Principal Temple. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Principal TemplePrincipal Temple
The Intihuatana Shrine An Ancient Astronomy Observatory. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.George DeLange At The Intihuatana Stone Or Hitching Post of the Sun At Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Intihuatana Shrine Is Located
On The Top Of This Hill
An Ancient Astronomy Observatory
Sacred Plaza Below
George DeLange Says
This Intihuatana Stone
Or “Hitching Post of the Sun”
Is Considered One Of The Most
Important Monuments
In Machu Picchu
The Intihuatana Stone. Designed To Hitch The Sun At The Two Equinoxes. The Sacred Plaza. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.The Intihuatana Stone. Designed To Hitch The Sun At The Two Equinoxes. The Sacred Plaza. It Hitches The Sun At Midday On March 21st And September 21st At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. In The Sacred Plaza.
The Intihuatana Stone
Or “Hitching Post of the Sun”
Designed To Hitch The Sun
At The Two Equinoxes
The Intihuatana Stone
Or “Hitching Post of the Sun”
Hitches The Sun
At Midday
On March 21st
And September 21st
The Intihuatana Stone Also Aligns With The December Solstice At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.The Intihuatana Stone Also Aligns When The Sun Sets Behind Pumasillo, The Puma's Claw, Sacred Mountain At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Intihuatana Stone
Or “Hitching Post of the Sun”
Also Aligns With The December
Solstice At Machu Picchu
The Intihuatana Stone
Or “Hitching Post of the Sun”
Aligns When The Sun Sets
Behind Pumasillo
(The Puma's Claw)
Sacred Mountain
See Alignment
Bottom Of Page
The Intihuatana Stone Or Hitching Post of the Sun At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.The Intihuatana Stone Or Hitching Post of the Sun Cervesur Beer Commercial Breakage At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Intihuatana
Stone Alignment
Is At A 14 Degree Declination
So There Is No
Shadow When The Sun
Is Overhead On March 21st
And September 21st
The Intihuatana Stone
Or “Hitching Post of the Sun”
Showing The Breakage
At The Top Left Corner
Caused By
The Filming Of The
Cervesur Beer Commercial
The Stone Quarry At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Stone That Hiram Bingham Tried To Split By Using Hot Water, It Did Not Work At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Stone Quarry
With A Stone
That Hiram Bingham Tried
To Split By
Using Hot Water
The Stone That
Hiram Bingham Tried
To Split By
Using Hot Water
While It Worked In Egypt!
It Did Not Work In Peru!
Stone Quarry And Sacred Plaza At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Stone Quarry And Sacred Plaza At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Stone Quarry
Photo Taken From
The Intihuatana Shrine
Closeness Of
Stone Quarry To
The Sacred Plaza
The Funerary Rock At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.The Funerary Rock At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Rock Barely Seen
To The Right Of
The Watchman's Hut
Is Called
The Funerary Rock
The Sacred Rock At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.The Inca’s Sacred Mountain Of Putukusi At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Sacred Rock
Is Shaped Like
The Peak Of The Inca’s
Sacred Mountain
Of Putukusi
The Inca’s
Sacred Mountain
Of Putukusi
Look At The
Top Of The Peak
Southern Cross Stone At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Southern Cross Stone At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Southern Cross Stone
At Lower Left
Of The
Principal Temple
Southern Cross Stone
Points To The
Highly Evolved
Red Giant Star
Gacrux Or
Gamma Crucis In The
Southern Cross Constellation
Every Year On May 2
Southern Cross. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Southern Cross. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Southern Cross:
Note The
Red Giant Star, Gamma Crucis
At The Top Of The Cross
Astrophoto By: David Malin
Southern Cross
Photo Labeled
Temple of the Moon At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Temple of the Moon At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Temple of the Moon
1,200 Feet Beneath
Huayna Picchu
Temple of the Moon
1,200 Feet Below
Huayna Picchu
The Inca Bridge At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.The Inca Bridge At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
The Inca Bridge
Is Part Of
The Path
Leading West
From Machu Picchu
The Inca Bridge
Was Important
To The Defense Of
Machu Picchu
Winay Wayna At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.Winay Wayna At Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
Winay WaynaWinay Wayna

Photo View Of Machu Picchu Sacred Geography At Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
View Of Machu Picchu Sacred Geography.
"M" Is Machu Picchu,
"W" Is Wayna Picchu, "P" Is Putucusi;
The Vilcanota River
Bends It's Way Between Them.
Machu Picchu And Wayna Picchu
Form A "Yanantin" To Putucusi.
Then, When Joined With
Sachapata And Intipunku Mountain,
They Form A First Circle.
Then Mountains San Miguel,
Cedrobambaorcco, And Wayratanbo;
Along With Masaqaqa, Wayraqtambo,
And Intipata;
Form A Second Sacred Circle.
Map Of Machu Picchu Sacred Geography At Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
This Sacred Allignment (shown above)
Can Be Seen On
This Map Of Machu Picchu Sacred Geography
View Of Machu Picchu Sacred Area December Dawn Solstice Alignment At Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu. Department of Cusco, Urubamba Province, Peru, Travels & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews. The Sacred Plaza.
December Dawn Solstice,
At The Intihuatana Shrine; On A Flat Rock,
The Dawn Sunlight Marks These Circles Representing
The Sacred Geography Of The Machu Picchu Area

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