Monday – March 28, 2011 – Continuing Our Journey to Puno – A stop at Raqchi
After leaving Andahuaylillas, we continued our drive toward Puno. The next stop was Raqchi and the Temple of Wiracocha. There was also a small market set up at the entrance, and I captured a few images of the local folks selling their pottery and textiles.
Raqchi is an Inca archaeological site in the Cusco region in Peru also known as the Temple of Wiracocha, one of its constituents. A town nearby has the same name. Both lie along the Vilcanota (Urubamba) River. The site has experienced a recent increase in tourism in recent years, with 83,334 visitors to the site in 2006, up from 8,183 in 2000 and 452 in 1996
The most prominent structure is the Temple of Wiracocha, an enormous rectangular two-story roofed structure that measures 92 metres (302 ft) by 25.5 metres (84 ft). This structure consists of a central adobe wall some 18 to 20 meters in height with an andesite base. Windows and doors allow passage. It is flanked on each side by a row of eleven columns. The foundations measure 4 metres (13 ft) for both the wall and the columns are classic high Inca stonework with the remaining height built of adobe.
Prior to its destruction by the Spaniards, the temple had what is believed to be the largest single roof in the Incan Empire, having its peak at the central wall, then stretching over the columns and some 25 metres (82 ft) beyond on each side. The huge proportions of the temple, and its prominence on the site explain why the whole complex is also sometimes referred to as the Temple of Wiracocha.