One of the must-see locations in Peru is Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is a marvel in and of itself, having many exquisite Incan temples, palaces, and architectural styles.
The Intihuatana Stone, on the other hand, is one of Machu Picchu’s most visited sights. You should not confuse this with the Intihuatana in Pisac, Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Intihuatana is a word from the ancient Quechua language of the Incas, which means “place to tie up the sun.” Because there are no written records of this structure, it is not known by the name the Incas gave it. Rather, the name was given by researchers in light of the structure’s purposes.
Standing at the highest point of the Machu Picchu archaeological site known as the Sacred Plaza. The SACRED Stone at Machu Picchu is cut from a sizable piece of stone from the nearby mountains. The reason why it is believed to be a sundial is because of its location atop the tier-by-tier pyramid-like building. It is sitting gracefully with its four sides pointing in various directions (north, south, east, and west).
It is thought that the Intihuatana Stone in Machu Picchu was made with astronomy in mind. Because the sun rises directly above the stone on the two equinoxes (March 21 and September 21). Because no shadow is visible at those times, it is popularly thought that Intihuatana is a sundial. Researchers have discovered that the Intihuatana is just slightly inclined—by 13 degrees—to cause this phenomenon.
It is also stated that on these dates—March 21 and September 21—people in the Inca empire used to hold ritualistic ceremonies to secure a good crop yield and to wish for the prosperity and success of the community.
It is conceivable that Intihuatana was used as a religious or spiritual location to honor Inti, the Sun God. Inti was the main god worshipped by the Incas. The only spot that has a shadow during those times is the Temple of the Sun, which is just a short distance from the stone.
You can also see minor dents and other constructions in the Intihuatana Stone. These are thought to have been used for ritualistic activities like sacrifices or as a place to store the mummies of the Incan ancestors.
The best time to visit the Intihuatana Stone is during the dry season of the Cusco region. It lasts from April to October. This can be done on your tour to Machu Picchu. However, the Intihuatana stone is only open to the public from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., so plan your visit accordingly.
Visitors were once permitted to touch the stone to feel the energy that emitted from it, but now a security guard is on duty to ensure that no one touches the stone.
Although it is unclear why Intihuatana Stone was created, thousands of visitors visit it each year as part of their Machu Picchu visit.