What is Machu Picchu?

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The iconic tourist site Machu Picchu in Peru was shut down recently, due to the ongoing anti-government protests that are spreading throughout the South American nation.

About Machu Picchu:

  • It is a 15th-century Inca site.
  • Location: Machu Picchu is located 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, Peru, in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains.
  • Machu Picchu is believed to have been built by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the ninth ruler of the Inca, in the mid-1400s
  • It  is made up of temples, palaces, terraces, monuments, complexes and walls.
  • The city is divided into a lower and upper part, separating the farming from residential areas, with a large square between the two.
  • Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century.
  • Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer  Hiram Bingham.
  • It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

What is the Inca Civilization?

  • Inca Civilization flourished in ancient Peru between c. 1400 and 1533 CE.
  • It is the largest empire ever seen in the Americas and the largest in the world at that time.
  • Inca society was highly stratified. 
  • The emperor ruled with the aid of an aristocratic bureaucracy.
  • Inca technology and architecture were highly developed.
  • Their economy was based on agriculture.
  • The Inca religion combined features of animism, fetishism, and the worship of nature gods.
  • The Inca language Quechua is still spoken by around eight million people in the world.
  • The descendants of the Inca are the present-day Quechua-speaking peasants of the Andes, who constitute around 45 percent of the population of Peru.


Q1) What is a UNESCO World Heritage site?

World Heritage site is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). These sites are cultural and/or natural sites of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’, which are important across countries and generations.

Source: Peru closes Machu Picchu as anti-government protests grow