Where is the Temple of the Sun – Machu Picchu?
The Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu
The cave below the Temple of the Sun
This cave was a tomb, is known as the royal tomb, and only one person could be destined to a niche like this, Pachacútec (founder of the Inca city of Machu Picchu). It must have been decorated with gold and precious stones.
Inside the cave (royal tomb) you can find fine stonework, you can see trapezoidal niches of life size and an altar carved in the shape of a staircase, with three steps, which is the representation of the “Chakana; symbol that represents the trilogy of the Andean cosmovision Hanan Pacha (the world above, of the gods), the Kay Pacha (the world of people) and the Urin Pacha (world of the dead).
The altar of the Temple of the Sun
In the center of the temple there is an altar carved in rock, where religious ceremonies were probably held in honor of their gods, especially the sun god. The two windows and the shadow projecting on grooves marked on the central rock of the temple, they allow to measure exactly the sunrise during the summer solstices (around December 21) and winter (around June 24).
What role did the Temple of the Sun have?
Respect, to the function that could have fulfilled this place, was purely religious, it served as astronomical observatory where the arrival of the solstices and the changes of season could be determined exactly; this thanks to the strategic position of the temple windows.
Do you want to see the Temple of the Sun?
Book Machu Picchu tickets in advance and a good guide, you will need one to enter Machu Picchu. Remember that if in addition to the amazing structures of Machu Picchu, you want to ascend to the Huayna Picchu mountain, you must book your tickets months in advance.