Archeology, Culture

The Qhapac Ñan, The Inca Road System

Qhapaq Ñan, Inka Road (Wayra)

The Qhapac Ñan was a system of roads developed by the Incas that had a very important purpose: to have good communication with the four parts of the world: Contisuyo, Antisuyo, Chinchaisuyo, and Collasuyo or the four cardinal points: east, west, north, and south.

These roads covered great distances of more than 60 thousand kilometers. The functions of these paths were political, economic, social and military.

These roads entailed points called tambos that served as resting points to supply water, food, weapons, etc. before arriving at their destinations. Important people who traveled these roads were the chasquis (Andean messengers). These messengers carried information and mandates from one place to another using the ways of the Qhapac Ñan.

In social and economic terms, from different regions came products to make exchanges. Some of the roads had names like “the Way of salt and wine”, reflecting the products that were brought for exchanges.
Currently the roads of the Qhapac Ñan have survived many climatic and meteorological events such as the two earthquakes that occurred in the city of Cusco in 1650 and 1950, as well as the eradication of idolatries by the Spaniards.

These Inca roads can be seen in most archeological centers such as Machupicchu, Chiquequirao, Waqra Pucara, Sacasayhuaman, Tipon, Ollantaytambo, Pisaq, etc. In order to reach these archeological centers, these roads are used and in many communities these roads are still used to transport from one place to another.

At the same time, maintenance and restoration work on the roads of the Qhapac Ñan is often carried out. This network of Inca roads connected the Incas with the whole territory and nowadays it connects us with the ancestral culture and makes us aware of the technological progress for the constructions that they possessed at that time.

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