Archeology, Travel

The Inca’s Highway and the Temple of the Moon

While visiting the city of Cuzco it is worth walking along part of the Qhapaqñan. The Incas had a highways system that extended the length and breadth of their empire and it all begins with the Qhapaqñan and its four exits from the city of Cuzco. Along it are located many points of importance for the Incas and today.

They each depart from the different corners of the Cuzco’s Plaza de Armas and run through many districts of the city before entering the countryside and continuing onward. Today we will focus on the North East quadrant, the ancient road to Antisuyo.

This path rises out of the city through San Blas and then past it underneath the Sacsayhuaman archeological park. It crosses the Avenida Circunvalación before continuing upward to where the land is flat and Eucalyptus trees abound. There between two rock walls its wide, grassy swath continues onward as it passes Laq’o, commonly known as the Temple of the Moon.

Temple of the Moon
Temple of the Moon

More and more tourists are visiting the Temple of the Moon and walking up the Qhapaqñan; it is starting to be the object of tours as tour operators compete to attract more clients and open new possibilities. From my point of view it is a place where a large number of people from many different places gather. It seems a place that brings together the energies of the past and the present. Tourists may come with organized tyour groups, or on their own since it is an easy hike from the city.

Called huacas, these monuments always held a certain mystery for local people and foreigners. Before they cleaned the vegetation off people from Cuzco would already gather to the Temple of the Moon and neighboring areas to play sports and practice spiritual disciplines such as yoga, jiu-jitsu, and reiki among others. As a result, this is a place where Peruvians come to learn with foreigners and develop new ways.

Down Hill at Qhapacñan Road
Down Hill at Qhapaqñan Road

Today it is one of the places most visited by tourists and by the population of Cuzco. During the week, and especially on Sundays, Cuzqueños come here to exercise and free themselves from stress while tourists come everyday.

The Temple of the Moon complex is very tranquil. You enjoy fresh air and a light breeze as well as a gurgling stream. You feel the energy of the mountains. For many people these are the Pachamama, the Earth Mother, calling you.

In any case, going to the Temple of the Moon is an important escape valve. By going there and lettign its calmness and tranquility embrace you, all the adrenaline built up in your body from daily stresses seems to run right out.

Doing Exercise in Sacsayhuaman
Doing Exercise

People come here not just to relax, or play sports, but also for spiritual practices both Andean and of other traditions. My friends and I have run into a whole United Nations of spirituality just in that one place.

When visiting Cuzco yogis will come here. There will be vedic specialists as well as Andean pampamisayoqs (Andean priests) who gather to feel the energy of this place.

These customs have proliferated in the Temple of the Moon and it has become known for them. Cuzqueños also come here to learn them, as part of learning other disciplines. Along with sports, this has made the Temple of the Moon into a recreational and spiritual complex.

A Place Where Many People Run Behind of the Temple of the Moon
A Place Where Many People Run Behind of the Temple of the Moon

People from other places even come up here to camp, to roam, and to cook in the open air. Some faiths come up here to carry out baptisms.

As a result, the Temple of the Moon has become an important place in Cuzco. People who take the time to come here will enjoy its mystery, its beauty, and the fresh air of the place. It is where you can go to be free and let your ideas flow.

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