Among the stunning temples of Machu Picchu stands a shining testament to the Inca Empire’s architectural finesse: the Temple of the Sun. Crafted from finely cut and precisely fitted stones, this semi-circular edifice is a marvel.
Astoundingly, it is not just the architectural brilliance that mesmerizes visitors. The temple embodies the Incas’ profound understanding of the cosmos. Its strategic placement and design make it a celestial observatory.
Additionally, the sun shines through a window at specific times of the day. The resulting beam illuminates a sacred stone within. This event was of immense significance to the Incas, serving as a harbinger of abundance.
The temples of Machu Picchu bear silent testimony to the Inca Empire’s astronomical wisdom. The Temple of the Sun serves as an epitome of this celestial connection, blending architecture with astronomical precision.
Beneath this temple, lies an intriguing feature: a Royal Tomb. The presence of this tomb has led archaeologists to believe this temple had great importance. It might have been a royal retreat or a holy shrine.
As we traverse the echoes of the past within these temples, we realize each structure is a story in itself. The Temple of the Sun unravels the deep bond between the Incas and the cosmos. This bond influenced not just their spirituality but also their everyday life.
The enduring temples of Machu Picchu continue to cast their enigmatic charm. Each stone, each carving, weaves a tale of a civilization that was, and still is, a luminous legacy of human ingenuity and spirituality.
Where it is located?
- This temple is located in one of the most important areas of the Inca city of Machupicchu, in the ‘Hanan’ neighborhood, in the religious sector.
- To get there you just have to follow the tourist circuit in the company of an official tourist guide.
- Currently you can only see the Temple of the Sun from a viewpoint located at the top of the building. For protection reasons, you cannot enter the temple.
What are the visiting hours?
- The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu offers different entry times: from 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1 and 2 in the afternoon. After admission, each tourist has 4 hours to visit the entire tourist circuit, including the Temple of the Sun.
- The Temple of the sun can be visited every day of the year during the visiting hours of Machu Picchu: from 6 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.
Uses And Purposes Of The Temple Of The Sun at Machu Picchu
It is also thought that the Temple of the Sun may have served other purposes. One purpose was as a royal tomb. There is a natural cave under the temple, and it is believed that the cave may have originally contained the remains of the Inca Emperor Pachacuti (although more recent studies dispute this idea and suggest the space may have been used for ceremonies to honor Mother Earth).
Another function of the temple may have been as a solar observatory, with the trapezoid window being positioned in such a way as to capture sunlight during the winter solstice on June 21st.
The Temple of the Sun was likely also used as a sacrificial center. The Inca priests would kill animals and then read their lungs and stomach.
Visiting Machu Picchu is not cheap, but it is something no one regrets. There are multiple ways to get to Machu Picchu, and one of the most popular ways is by hiking there on a multiday hike with porters to carry the baggage.
Machu Picchu’s Temple of the Sun is not to be confused with many other temples around the world of the same name – including the massive Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan just out of Mexico City
Frequently Asked Questions about the Temple of the Sun at Machu Picchu
1) What is the Temple of the Sun?
The Temple of the Sun was a sacred Inca precinct located in the heart of the religious sector in Machu Picchu.
2) Where is it located?
The Temple of the Sun is located in the high part and in the religious sector of Machu Picchu. A few steps away are important buildings such as the Main Square, the Royal Tomb or the House of the Inka.
3) What to see in the Temple of the Sun?
The Temple of the Sun stands out for its fine granite constructions carved in a semicircular shape. There you can see trapezoidal windows as well as niches where religious ceremonies were held.
4) Is there another Temple of the Sun in Ollantaytambo?
Ollantaytambo is famous for its Temple of the Sun. This construction is made up of six immense monoliths carved and fitted together to perfection. It is located in the upper part of the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo.
5) Can I enter the Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu?
The Temple of the Sun can be seen from different viewpoints in Machu Picchu. It is currently forbidden to enter this site. It can only be observed from a distance.
6) How much does it cost to visit the Temple of the Sun?
The visit to the Temple of the Sun is included in the entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
7) What to bring to my visit?
During the visit to the Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu do not forget to bring: comfortable clothes, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, a hat, water, snacks and whatever you think is necessary.
8) What type of entrance ticket to Machu Picchu should I choose to visit the Temple of the Sun?
The ‘Machupicchu Only’ ticket includes the visit to the Temple of the Sun from the top. The other tickets ‘Machupicchu with Huaynapicchu’, ‘Machupicchu with Mountain’ and ‘Machupicchu with Huchuypicchu’ include the visit from the lower part.
9) Where to take the best photos of the Temple of the Sun?
The best photos of the Temple of the Sun can be taken from the top, in the religious sector.
10) Why was the Temple of the Sun burned?
Some stones of the Temple of the Sun show signs of fire. Investigations indicate that the fire was caused by the Spaniards who sought to impose the new Christian religion on the few inhabitants of Machu Picchu.