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Raqchi Wiraqocha Temple
(Raqchi Templo Del Dios Wiracocha)

George & Eve DeLange

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(Raqchi Templo Del Dios Wiracocha), Peru


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After visiting Andahuaylillas, we continued driving South East of Cuzco, on the road leading toward Puno, for about 119km, there we arrived at Raqchi village which is in the district of San Pedro de Cacha, the province of Canchis.

Raqchi is located on the right bank of the Vilcanota River, at an altitude of about 3500 mts. (11500 ft.). Its pre-Hispanic name was "Cacha". Archaeological evidence suggests that Raqchi was a complex village with multiple many purpose buildings; including farming terraces, "kanchas" (apartments), "wayranas" (buildings having only 3 walls), "qolqas" (storehouses), different shrines, religious water fountains, etc.

The most important building within the complex is the "Wiraqocha Temple", that according to ancient chroniclers was made built by Inka Wiraqocha in homage to the Superior Invisible God of the Andean people: "Apu Kon Titi Wiraqocha".

The Spanish soldier and explorer, Pedro de Cieza de Léon, who wrote the Chronicles of the Incas in 1540, recorded in "the tradition of the people" that the shrine was built after the appearance at Raqchi of a man who began performing miracles Then for some reason, the village inhabitants decided to stone him to death; but when going in search of the very strange man, they found him, knelt with his arms extended skyward, and immediately afterwards a fire rain fell from the sky.

Thus, the very remorseful local village men set him free. Then, the strange man left toward the coast and became submerged into the ocean waters disappearing forever.

After the Spanish conquest, it has been said that the building of a shrine and the sculpture of a stone idol here was perhaps created in the image of a Christian apostle that may have visited this land. Concerning the fire rain, it is possible that it referred to an eruption of the presently extinguished volcano "Kinsach'ata" located nearby. There is a large quantity of volcanic rock surrounding the area.

The "Wiraqocha Temple" is classified as a "kallanka"; that is, a large building completely covered with a thatched roofing (wood and "ichu"); it is 302 feet long and 83 feet wide. The central wall of eleven piers is pierced by 10 doorways. Its central wall is of well carved stones at the base to a height of about 3 feet. It has adobe bricks extending upwards 27 to 33 feet. Today that wall is about 36 feet high, a century ago it was about 45 feet.

Also at this same site there are some other very important sectors with the remains of "wayranas", and "qolqas" with walls of the "pirka" type.

Southeast of the Temple is a series of five-kancha style courts with twelve pairs of houses arranged along a straight avenue. All the measurements of walls and angles at Raqchi are highly accurate, so that the view down this avenue is very symmetrical. The various compounds have rows of niches on their inner walls, as do the various pairs of houses on each side of the court. These compounds may have housed temple priests, various pilgrims arriving to worship at the shrine, or perhaps armies of soldiers passing through the very strategic Vilcanota valley.

The lava flows, which surround this site provided its Inca masons with building material. The site covers abou 80h in area, and about 2.2 miles of the enclosing wall are still preserved.

We visited this ruins on April 19, 2006 at about 8:30 AM.

Since Raqchi is about half way between Cusco and Juliaca Peru; you have two choices of airports when planning to visit the Raqchi Wiraqocha Temple. There are no flights directly to Raqchi. One choice is Cusco, the other is Juliaca.

The Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA: CUZ, ICAO: SPZO) is located in the city of Cusco, a city in southeastern Peru. Cusco, a principal tourist attraction in Latin America, receives various domestic flights as well as some international flights.

Or you can fly into the Inca Manco Cápac International Airport (IATA: JUL, ICAO: SPJL), known as Aeropuerto Internacional Inca Manco Cápac in Spanish, located in the city of Juliaca, thirty minutes from the city of Puno at Titicaca Lake. It is run by CORPAC S.A. (Corporación Peruana de Aeropuertos y Aviación Comercial S.A.), a government-run organization that oversees the management of Peruvian airports. Its runway is the longest in Latin America. While it is called International; it does not serve international flights!

You can fly into Peru to the international airports located at Lima, Arequipa and Cusco. Then you can be flown into the Inca Manco Cápac International Airport.

Then, you could stay at Juliaca or you can be transported from the airport of Juliaca, to the town of Puno in a taxi; with an average cost of about US $20; or in a minibuse, with an average cost of about US $5 per person. The leading hotels in Puno have transportation back to the airport.

There are also several Guided Tour Agencies offering standard city, and archaeological tours of Cusco and the surrounding area.

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.

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

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