Peru Travel Confidential

Inca Temple

An Inca temple could harbor altars for one god or more gods. The sun was the Inca main god. Among the Inca divinities, we can find gods and semi gods; each god or semi god has their own set of religion ceremonies. The Incas may have two reasons to adopt gods from other cultures. First, because they were afraid about the power of this semi gods, and second, because the natural fusion of cultures during the Incas empire expansion.

A good example of adopted gods will be the re build Inca temple of Pachacamac. The Lima culture builds the Pachacamac temple in the 200 BC and then in 650 AD it was re build by the Wary culture. From the 1200 to 1450 AD it belong to the Ischma culture and finally the Inca people adopt the god of Pachacamac from the 1450 to 1532 AD. The sacred temple of Pachacamac was consider, the most important Inca Religion pilgrimage destiny during the Inca Empire.

The thunder was an Inca divinity and his name was illapa. We don’t know the existence of any Inca temple dedicate only to the thunder. The illapa thunder god was picture like an Inca warrior with a truncheon in the left hand and a slingshot in the right hand. It was believe the thunders were the result of illapa shooting stones; when the stone hit the ground, a thunder was unleash. The lightning was call golden glow, the Incas make small statues of textiles to represent it and they were always place next to the images of the god sun.

The stars were divinities too and they have an Inca temple nearly in every main city. The Incas use these temples to follow the stars and the sun; that’s how they create the Inca Calendar. The Incas saw images of animals in the stars and they believe that thanks to the stars the animals could reproduce. Different people with different professions pray to different constellations. It was a religion practice similar to the catholic tradition of devotion to one catholic saint.

The Inca temple main use was to predict and follow all solar and moon eclipses. The Incas believe that a solar eclipse announces the death of the Inca king, so they take him to a save place. There was no food and no drink, just in case that he will be poison. The Incas believe the lunar eclipse happen because a cougar and a snake were attacking the moon. So the Inca people scream to the moon make loud noises and make the dogs bark, to help the moon in her fight.

The Chancas tribes attack the city of Cusco and after a fierce battle, the eighth Inca king Viracocha lost the city. Few days after, his son the Inca prince Yupanqui return to his father Viracocha, holding in his hands the heads of the Chancas generals. The Inca prince Yupanqui explain how the stones in the battlefield became warriors and fight next to him. When the battle ends the Inca warriors that help Yupanqui become stone again. The prince Yupanqui picks up the stones and places them in all Inca temples around the kingdom. All these stones become war divinities.

The divinity mother of the lakes and the ocean name was Mamacocha. It’s a goddess and it’s related to water. The most interesting mythology version of the origins of the Inca Tribe, it’s about Manco capac and Mama ocllo. They are the founders of the Inca Empire; and the story tells that Mamacocha goddess give them birth in the Titicaca lake. Her position in the divinity Inca world, it’s similar to the Virgin Maria, mother of Jesus. The Mamacocha goddess did not have an Inca temple by herself, but she was the fishers most important divinity.

The Inca Pyramids were a different style of Inca temple. They were use for various purposes and everyday religious ceremonies. The Mallquis were strong political and religious divinities too. A Mallqui was the mummy of a death Inca king. They were dress with fine textiles and their faces cover with cotton. The Inca people consider them oracles and they take part as they were alive in parties and ceremonies.

The goddess of the earth and fertility name is Pachamama. Her main Inca temple contains penises of stone. The stone penises are from half meter up to 1.3 meters and they represent the fertility of the Inca Empire. The Pachamama goddess is view as the mother earth. She is the goddess that will take care of your body when you will die. Pay respect to mother earth by spilling the first sip of your drink is a tradition that starts with the Incas and last until today.

The Inca temple dedicated to the moon was exclusive for women. Only the virgin chosen priestesses could enter these temples. The Inca religion believes the Moon was the most important goddess. The Inca authorities took young Inca Women from the entire kingdom and send them to this temple. They will never return to their homes. They will spend all their life inside the temple, praying to the Moon and taking part in religious ceremonies.

The Inca temple of the sun was the Qoricancha temple. This temple contains areas for all divinities and nearly all the walls were cover with large layers of solid gold. Documents about the History of The Incas, explain what was need to enter the Qoricancha temple. You need to don’t eat at list one day before, be barefoot and carrying a load on your back as a sign of humility. We believe the experience to enter the Qoricancha temple during the Inca rule was an overwhelming feeling of beauty.