-By Sivam Pathak
More than 7000 feet above sea level in Andes Mountains stands an emblem of ancient Inca Civilization that still reminds us the days of Inca’s prosperity and rich culture. This bygone emblem is
known as Machu Picchu. In Quechua language Machu Picchu is often interpreted as Old Mountain. Located north-west of Cusco, Peru, Machu Picchu is a testament to the potential and brilliance of the Inca engineering. At the time when Inca Civilization was at its zenith, the empire stretched about 2500 miles alongside South-America’s Pacific coastline from modern day Ecuador down to Chile. Machu Picchu stands at the centre of this once wide-ranging empire. It is one of the few monuments and structures that are surviving and well-preserved up to this day.
Over a long time the existence of Machu Picchu was unknown to the world. Even Spanish Conquistadors who invaded the Inca Empire in 16th century never stumble upon the site. But on 24th July, 1911 a professor from Yale University, Hiram Bingham,
came across the site with the help of a local farmer Melchor Art Yaga, and brought it to the international attention. Bingham and other successive explorers devoted much of their academic careers to unravel the mysteries of this archaeological wonder. Machu Picchu (That was build around 1450 A.D.) was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a world heritage site in 1983. On 7th July, 2007, when it was winter season in Peru, Machu Picchu was included in the renowned list of New Seven Wonders of the world.
Today Machu Picchu has 200 buildings that are regarded as architectural wonders. These 200 buildings entail urban sectors, agricultural sectors, an upper town and a lower town. The temples are basically located in the upper town, and warehouses in the lower town. Despite Machu Picchu’s enigmatic nature, visitors from all around the world come to pay homage to this marvelous piece of history. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to remark the stone city of Machu Picchu as one of the most fascinating archaeological sites on the planet.