Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ingapirca - Ecuador's largest Inca ruins

This is Mike...
We visited Ingapirca on the way to Cuenca. The elevation was 10,400 feet (3170 meters) so the air was thin, the wind cold, and it even drizzled a bit on us. The girls tried staying warm but since they were wearing summer clothes and it was near 40 degrees (5 degrees centigrade) it was a challenge. The ruins are just amazing and made with such detail. The ruins sit on a high hill between two rivers with four high mountain peaks surrounding it. The mountain peaks around the site happen to be positioned perfectly north, south, east and west. During the zenith of the Inca empire each mountain top had spotter camps on them to alert the temple of impending attacks etc. The Inca temples of the sun and the moon were important places for them indeed.
Many of the mountains in the Andes are treeless or nearly so. Many of the forest have been replaced by agriculture.

The pre Inca ruins of the Canari peoples served as a base for the Inca temples

Each angles and curve had a meaning for the solar and lunar observations

A moon dial near the lunar temple

The stone tools that were used for grinding food

A grinding station for pulverizing ingredients for paints

Many of the stones are being returned to the temple from nearby looters

A section of stone aqueduct that distributed water through the villages and temples for thousands of years

The girls standing in front of amazing stone work

The remains of the only intact Inca home. The inner walls had insets for religious artifacts and other special items.

The girls tried staying out of the icy wind behind the walls of the temple of the sun.

The joints and seems were perfect

The white tags on the outer walls are there to measure movement of the walls. The temple of the sun is built next to a made made wall that is nearly 150 feet high in places.

This view shows how vegetation grew up the hills and walls of the temple compound

The drive from Banos to Cuenca was some biggest changes in altitude on our journey so far. Our ears were constantly adjusting to the ups and downs ranging from 5,000 feet to 12,000 feet.

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