Machu Picchu – One of the New Seven Wonders of the World

By Narendra V

machu picchu

MACHU PICCHUmachu picchu

Machu Picchu is a ruined city in Peru which is one of the New Seven Wonders of The World. It was built by Incas in 1450 as an estate to their emperor Pachacuti. It was abandoned after 100 years. It was not known to outside world and not even to Spanish colonial rulers. Machu Picchu means old peak in local language.

Discovery

An American historian and lecturer at Yale University, Hiram Bingham was in Santiago for attending Pan-American Scientific Congress, then he travelled to Peru where he was invited to do research on Inca ruins. He organized an expedition in 1911 to search for “Lost city of Incas”. With the help and guidance of locals he discovered city of Vitcos and city of Vilcabamba, then he continued his expedition deep in to mountains and discovers Machu Picchu and calls it as Lost city of Incas but actually Vilcabamba was actual Lost city of Incas. During his expedition he collected many artifacts belonging to Incas took them to Yale University. After returning from the expedition he published many articles explaining about the discovery to outside world. He has written a book called “The Lost City of Incas”.

History

Machu Picchu was built when the Inca Empire was at its peak and it was abandoned after 100 years at the time when Spanish conquest happened, but It was not touched by conquerors. Historians believe it to be royal estate of Incan Emperors. Some others believe it to be religious site.

The site

It is located in the middle of tropical mountain forest in the eastern side of Andes mountain range in Cuzco region in Peru. The site has crafted stone work, terraced fields, well developed irrigation systems which prove Inca civilization’s agricultural, architectural and engineering expertise. Buildings are made by cutting stones and arranging them without any cementing. This architectural technique was developed during Incan civilization. There are different sectors for farming, royal district, residential area and sacred area which having temple of the Sun and a stone clock.

The site was declared as world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983 and it was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by Internet voting in 2007.

Its magnificent beauty and landscapes make it one of the great tourist attractions all over the world. Every year tourists come in tens of thousands to see it. But archeologists fear the tourist influx may ruin its structures. Recently local government has taken steps to protect the site.

 

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