The forecast is for rain after this morning so I decided to get an early morning hike up to the ruins at K’usilluchayoq (also known as Templo de los Monos/Temple of the Monkeys).
This is a small set of ruins on the way up to the better known Amaru Marcawasi (Templo de la Luna/Temp/e of the Moon) site. It is one of those enigmatic sites consisting of innumerable stone carvings that defy explanation.
To get there, I had to hike about a mile (1.6 km) uphill along the ancient Camino del Inca al Antisuyo which was one of the four major roads leading out of Cusco to the four main regions of the Inca Empire.
It’s a beautiful hike up with some breathtaking views of the city, but the stone path can really be slippery on a day like this. I slipped several times on the way back down though I never actually fell.
When I finally arrived at K’usilluchayoq, I visited the small set of buildings on the left. It’s made up of a few little rooms with a number of niches for ceremonial idols along with a single flat ceremonial platform.
The carved stones are extremely interesting, though I think many of the interpretations are, at best, highly questionable. Like so much of the mythology surround the Incas and Inca sites, a great made up story is far more interesting than the likely truth. For that reason, without any basis other than mythology, I won’t bother presenting any baseless speculation.
No matter what, this is still a fascinating site at which to spend a little time exploring.
Be sure to check out the ritual bath/fountain along the road a few meters just north of the site. Note the two channels at the top that brought water in from a source long since gone.
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