Ollantaytambo – The Heart of the Sacred Valley

ollantaytambo

The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo, a former Inca administrative center and gateway to Antisuyo, sits at the end of the Sacred Valley. At the time of Spanish intrusion and conquest of Peru Ollantaytambo served as the last strong god for Inca Mancos Yupanqui leader of the Inca resistance at the time. At this time, the Ollantaytambo ruins town is popular for tourism. In an Ollantaytambo, there is a fort on the outskirts of a small town known as Temple Hills.

History of Ollantaytambo

In the 15th century, the Inca Pachacutec start to build again Ollantaytambo, build terraces for many purposes like forming an irrigation system. These terraces look like temple Hills. This town is related to Inca nobility. After his death, the town automatically becomes in the hand of Inca Mancos. Inca Mancos use Ollantaytambo as a hideaway from the Spanish’s attack. The fortress of town is specially built for war purposes, one of the only successful ones against the conquistador. The Inca managed the holdback and decide to defeat the Spanish. In this war, the Spanish have been defeated badly. After this Inca Mancos retreated to the jungle of Vilcabamba because of knowing that the Spanish would come later with force.

Location

Ollantaytambo is a town in southern Peru some 72 km by the road northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region.  Due to the location of the Ollantaytambo the maximum temperature is 18’ to 23’C and minimum temperature is 11’ to 5’C throughout the year. During April to December, the weather is try, while during January, February and March the weather is rainy.

Places to visit

Ollantaytambo is a stunningly beautiful tourist attraction on account of its location. There are many places to visit (Inca Quarries, Choqana, and Naupa Iglesias, etc.) Some of the beautiful spots include Archeological Park Ollantaytambo is a great site for exploring before heading to Machu Picchu and getting a feel of Incan beliefs, skills, etc. Pinkuylluna Mountain Granaries is a self-directed hiking opportunity to see the Inca granaries ruins on the hillside overlooking Ollantaytambo. The Pumamarca ruins are spectacular, lovely, and worth is a wonderful hike, which offers beautiful views of mountains, agricultural terraces, and ruins.

Battle of Ollantaytambo

During the Spanish conquest of Peru, the Battle of Ollantaytambo took place in January 1537 between the army of Inca monarch Mancos Inca and a Spanish expedition led by Hernando Pizarro. Mancos Inca Yupanqui (a king and leader in the Inca resistance) had retreated to Ollantaytambo after a loss at Saksaywamán in 1537. Francisco Pizarro’s younger half-brother, Hernando Pizarro, led an army of cavalrymen and foot soldiers to Ollantaytambo in an attempt to capture Mano Inca Yupanqui. From atop the high terracing, Mancos Inca’s men pelted the oncoming Spanish with arrows, spears, and rocks, preventing them from scaling the castle. Mancos Inca used channels he had prepared previously to the fight to flood the plain below the stronghold in a clever battle tactic. The Spanish were forced to retreat due to their horses’ inability to advance and were then pursued by tens of thousands of Mancos Inca’s warriors.

The Archaeological Site

One of the Inca society’s most enormous archaeological complexes, generally referred to as a “fortress” due to its immense walls, was a “Tambo” or city property carefully positioned to dominate and safeguard the sacred valley. The architecture used, as well as the quality of the stone and how it was worked individually, make Ollantaytambo a surprising one-of-a-kind work of art created during the Inca period, particularly the “Temple of the Sun”.

The straight, tiny, and quaint streets of today are fifteen blocks of residences positioned north of the population’s main plaza, which is a truly historical legacy. Some colonial-style homes are built on well-polished Inca walls. The stone’s tones are bright, with a dark pink petrified floral color. A massive block of perfect edges in a double row fits his fifteen angles terrestrial star in the main square.

Ollantaytambo the Present Town

The settlement was divided into rectangular blocks with a well-designed geometrical system, giving the impression that it was built by modern architects. Its winding streets lead to the Urubamba River. Every block is made up of a cluster of houses connected by a door to the central patio. From the Inca era, there are straight street distributions that have been populated. While walking around the street you can observe the fascinating sceneries, and people dressed in beautiful traditional dress with colorful hats. Walking throughout town will expose you to a rich variety of live cultures that you will never forget.

Cachiccata Quarry

The Sacred Valley’s Cachiccata is a small rural village. The ancient people of this region grew cereals, potatoes, barley, potatoes, and corn. The famed Cachiccata Cachiccata quarry, located near the settlement, provided the pink granite stones used to construct the Ollantaytambo Fortress.  Walking through the Intiwatana archaeological site before taking in the breathtaking views of the mountains and the famed Inca God Veronica (Snowy Peak), gives memories for the rest of life.

Ollantaytambo – A mystery

That’s all there is to know about the wonderful town in terms of truth and fiction. The one thing that can be claimed with certainty is that there is almost no information concerning the town itself available. Ollantaytambo is a fascinating place with a mystery.

What to expect?

Ollantaytambo is easily accessible from Cusco with a great view of mountains surrounding the area and for an excellent follow-up to a visit to Machu Picchu. Small well preserved Inca dwellings can still be found inside the current city. You may also get a great view of the mountains and the surrounding area from here.

How to get to Ollantaytambo?

Not surprisingly this is a beautiful city considered as the masterpiece of charming Inca architecture. Several routes can take you to Ollantaytambo, some of which are The Pisac Route, The Chinchero Route, etc.

If you are a mystery lover then Ollantaytambo is the right place for you!

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