Ever since I was a child, I had always imagined it to be other worldly and divine. In the wake of dawn, I stood there along with my fellow trekkers, waiting for the first rays of sun to shower upon this great wonder its warm blessings. We waited, holding our breath, some of us exhausted, others exhilarated from the challenging trek. We were silent with anticipation, yearning to get a glimpse of what was described to us by many.
The overcast gave way to the break of dawn, the rays of sun warmly lighting up this majestic city, the mist caressing it like a mother caresses her new born. Rising from the morning mist, it almost looked surreal, like a figment of my well brewed imagination! Watching the mist slowly unwrap the city, the pain and exhaustion gave way to “gasps” and “wows” around me. Standing in front of me, in all its morning glory was the Lost City of the Incas – Machu Pichhu. A sight to behold, a majestic citadel cradled between emerald green lush mountains and deep ravines, above the Urubamba River Valley.
Over the last four days, we traversed the same path that the Inca people travelled on, hundreds of years ago, stopping at ruins and learning how this elusive civilization survived longer than other cultures. Their innate ability to predict disasters and their architectural prowess to build cities to withstand them was one of the many discussions that we had with our guides.
As we descended from the Intipunku (Sun Gate) towards this mystical yet awe inspiring ancient city, my mind could not help but wonder – how did they build this magnificent citadel saddled between towering mountains and deep valleys? Many theories have been discussed, but none the truth. As we got closer, we felt the energy exuded from this city. A myth, skeptics might say, but you need to feel it to believe it. I separated from the crowd and perched myself on a rock, taking in every detail of this city while breathing in the clean and crisp morning air. My pain seemed to wash away and I felt renewed, recharged – this was indeed a magical place!
As the sun rose and bathed the city, it seemed like a puzzle unraveling itself, waiting to be discovered. I walked through the ruins, immersing myself in the sophistication of the architecture, an entire city built from huge granite stones, precisely cut and fused together with no mortar. Structures built to complement the astronomical alignments, ceremonial altars, sun dials and temples are some of the evidences that this was a place of utmost spiritual significance. I was not only awe struck but also intrigued with the higher form of intelligence the Inca civilization possessed.
As I stood watching the city come to life with tourists, I concluded that the beauty of this marvel was truly in its captivating history, unparalleled location, astonishing architecture and revitalizing energy.
FACTS ABOUT MACHU PICHHU:
Known for: Inca citadel or the Lost City of the Incas civilization.
Location: Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Peru – at 2430m above sea level.
Distance: 3.5 hours by train from Cusco or the 4 day Inca Trail Trek.
Best time to visit: May to September.