Machu Pichu The Historic Sanctuary of Inca Civilization -Tahmid Bhuiyan
Our earth is full of hundreds of wonders created by ancient people. The city of Machu Picchu in Peru is one such ancient, man-made but extraordinary land of beauty.
The richest and strangest customs in the history of the world is the Inca Civilization also known as the “Lost City of the Incas.” Some even call it “city of gold”. The word is pronounced Matsu Pitsu in Spanish which means ancient peak. Historians’ research has uncovered all the unknown facts about the city, but many mysteries remain elusive.
The city of Machu Picchu is located in Peru. Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, is located on a hilltop in the Andes Mountains, part of Peru. The construction of the city was well-planned and its location was extremely secure. Just as it was difficult for others to find the city, no one could take advantage to attack the city. Because of the geographical location, the city was naturally quite safe. This is why the city is also known as the ancient fortified city of the Incas.
1450 was the Golden Age of Inca civilization. The city of Machu Picchu was built at such a time. But sadly, within 100 years, the city was abandoned. It is thought that almost all the people in the city died of smallpox.
One hundred years later, in the 16th century, the Spanish invaded and destroyed most of the Inca cities. But since then the city of Machu Picchu remained a secret place, none could not find it! For many years after that the city was uninhabited. Meanwhile, due to the absence of people, the city was gradually turned into a dense forest.
Then four hundred more years passed. For four hundred years this ruined city was hidden from the people of the outside world. Finally, in 1911, the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham drew everyone’s attention to it. Only a few peasants living in the vicinity of the area knew about the existence of the magnificent forts there.
Since then Machu Picchu has gradually become an attractive tourist attraction. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the Peruvian government in 1981, and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. It is currently one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The city of Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of about 2,400 meters (8,85 feet) above sea level. The biggest mystery is how they built this city so high. Again hundreds of years, ago when the use of wheels was not common among the Inca- so how did they lift the stone so high! With which the city was built! Hundreds of workers are thought to have pushed the rocks through the slopes of the mountain.
Among the various installations there are some temples, shrines, gardens and residential buildings. Machu Picchu has more than 100 steps, some of which are made of a single piece of granite. There are also a large number of springs, which are connected to each other by small canals made of stone. Water was supplied to every house from the canals.
Machu Picchu bears the signature of much ancient architecture. The walls of the installations here are made of stone. Interestingly, no cement or lime-surkey mixture was used to attach the stones to each other. Their construction technique is called ‘Ashler’. In this method the pieces of stone were cut very perfectly. Then they were put in grooves. So, there was no need for connecting cement. The Incas were highly skilled in this method that it was impossible for a thin knife blade to penetrate the gap between two stones.
Peru is quite an earthquake prone area. Installations would not last in this earthquake if ordinary cement was added. But these structures in Machu Picchu are quite earthquake resistant as they are built by placing them in the crevices of the rocks. This is why the Inca city has survived numerous earthquakes in the last 400 years. As part of the road system, the Incas built a road to Machu Picchu. Today, thousands of people travel to Machu Picchu on foot.
According to many, Machu Picchu was a religiously sacred place. However, there are many who think that it was actually a prison built by the Inca kings. There were kept all the horrible criminals. Many researchers have done a lot of research on this city of the Incas. Among them, John Rowe and Richard Burger have slightly different views. According to them, it was the leisure center of the then Inca king. Most archaeologists support this view.
By the middle of 2000, about four lakh tourists had visited Machu Picchu. It is currently one of the Seven Wonders of the World. At present, due to the influx of additional tourists, many people have expressed doubts about the existence of this city. Therefore, everyone should pay attention to the proper preservation of these world traditions.
The writer is a feature writer on history, science & geography.