The Condor, Machu Picchu
I was told that the Temple of the Condor is a construction that resembled a condor with stretched wings, but I couldn´t see anything like that. The head and beak are supposed to be these rocks on the picture, but I can´t still see anything!!!
The incas believed in a world with 3 divinities: the Condor was the God of the Sky, the Puma was the God of the world of the living, and the Snake was the God of the Underworld. So the Condor was very important in their mythology.
Under and behind the wings of the Condor in the Temple of the Condor are cracks and caves that are fun to explore. This may be something you would let your kids do if they were bored with looking at ruin upon ruin. But neither Sarah nor I are children, and we had fun scrambling in and out of the darkened areas. Aparrently, there used to be man-made crawl spaces that went on for quite a distance, but they are now closed off to prevent people like Sarah from getting lost in them.
One of the most fascinating temples in Machu Picchu is the Temple of the Condor, which is a small public area in the Eastern Urban Sector. The condor, South America's largest bird, was sacred to the Incas and still inspires awe among the people of the Andes (in fact, the song "El Condor Pasa" which you'll here everywhere, was written in the 1940's). This temple honors the condor in an abstract way, by using the natural rock formation as the wings and implanting a triangular stone in the ground for the body. Most interesting are the white semi-circular stones placed around the condor's head to indicate its ruff.
Warning: this place is frequented by tour groups, so I wouldrecommend holding off on a visit until the late afternoon, when all the one-day, Cusco-and-back tours have departed. However, there is a good side to the tours as well -- you can get a free narrative if you listen in on the guide. We caught guides speaking in French and English and they both said about the same thing.
If you use your imagination, you will see a condor with its bent wings...
(If you do not use your imagination, you will see two mountains and a lot of ancient stones!!!)
Si usas la imaginación, podrás ver un cóndor con sus alas semidesplegadas...
(Si no usas la imaginación, verás dos montañas y una pila de piedras viejas!!!)
This carving was in a temple and represented the head of a condor. Next to it was a large rock that represented the body of the said condor.