According to Inca oral history, in the early part of the 15th century an Inca king arose who would not only revolutionize the entire Andean world but who would also create some of the finest architectural monuments ever known. At the time, the Incas lived within a small kingdom centered around the valley of Cuzco, one of many such small kingdoms in the Andes and on the coast.
The Incas told the Spaniards that, at the time, they were led by an old Inca king named Viracocha Inca. Faced with an approaching army from the powerful kingdom of the Chankas, the Inca ruler fled, leaving his adult son, Cusí Yupanqui, behind. The latter quickly took charge, raised an army, and somehow miraculously defeated the invaders. Cusi Yupanqui then deposed his father, arranged for his own coronation, and changed his name to Pachacuti, a Quechua word that means “earth- shaker «or «cataclysm,» or » He who turns the world ups ide down.» The name was a prescient one, for Pachacut i would soon turn the status quo of the Andes entirely upside down.
Pachakutec was the builders of Machupicchu
According to Inca history, Pachacuti had had a profound religious experience when he was young, a sort of epiphany that revealed to him both his divine nature and a vision of a nearly unbounded future. Wrote the Jesuit priest Bernabé Cobo:
lt is said of this Inca (Pachacuti), that before he became king, he once went to visit his father Viracocha, who was . . .five leagues from Cuzco, and as he reached a spring called “Susurpuquiu”, he saw a crystal tablet fall into it; within this tablet there appeared to him the figure of an lndian dressed in this way: around his head he had a “llauto” like the headdress of the Incas; three brightly shining rays like those of the sun,sprang from the top of his head;sorne snakes were coiled around his arms at the shoulder joints …and there was a kind of snake that stretched from the top to the bottom of his back. Upon seeing this image, Pachacuti became so terrified that he started to flee, but the image spoke to him from inside the spring, saying to him: «Come here, my child; have no fear, far I am your father, the Sun; I know that you will subjugate many nations and take great care to honor me and remember me in your sacrifices»; and, having said these words, the vision disappeared, but the crystal tablet remained in the spring. The Inca took the tablet and kept it; it is said that after this it served him as a mirror in which he saw anything he wanted, and in memory of his vision, when he was king, he had a statue made of the Sun, which was none other than the image he had seen in the crystal, and he built a temple of the Sun called “Qoricancha”, with the magnificence and richness that it had at the time when the Spaniards came, because before it was a small and humble structure. Moreover, he ordered that solemn temples dedicated to the Sun be built throughout all the lands that he subjugated under his empire, and he endowed them with great incomes, ordering that all his subjects worship and revere the Sun.Jesuit priest Bernabé Cobo:
Soon after becoming king, “Pachacuti” wasted no time in remaking the world according to his unique vision, beginning with the city of Cuzco. There, he undertook a major rebuilding campaign, reorganizing the layout of the capital, tearing down old buildings, creating new boulevards, and ordering a host of palaces and temples to be built. All of these were constructed in a new style of stonework that “Pachacuti” preferred-later referred to as the imperial style-stones cut and fitted together so perfectly that the skill and artistry displayed would eventually become famous as one of the wonders of the New World.
Not satisfied with defeating the “Chankas”, however, the ambitious young king soon led his army into the nearby Yucay (Vilcanota) and Vilcabamba Valleys, conquering a number of ethnic groups. To celebrate these victories, “Pachacuti” ordered the construction of a number of royal estates: one in Pisac, another at “0llantaytambo”, and a third that would eventually be known as Magic Machu Picchu. The three estates were unusual, however, in that they were destined to be privately owned by the conqueror himself. It was a model that would soon be copied by succeeding Inca emperors and also by a small number of high-ranking Inca elites. Theirs would be the only privately held lands within the rapidly expanding Inca Empire.
The New estate – Machupicchu
“Pachacuti” created his new estates with a number of specific purposes in mind, perhaps the most important of which was to support his own family lineage. Each new Inca emperor was supposed to found his own “Panaca”, or descent lineage, in essence becoming the patriarch and founder of a new family line. The crops and animal herds raised on Pachacuti’ s private estates were thus slated to be used to support the members of his royal “Pa naca”. After his death, the estates would continue to be used and maintained by his descendants.
A second purpose for building the royal estates was to commemorate Pachacuti’s recent conquests; when complete, they would serve as monuments that would reflect the new emperor’s bold ness, initiative, and power. Finally, the estates were also meant to serve as secluded royal retreats- luxury resorts located well away from the capital where the emperor and a select group of relatives and elites could rest, relax, and commune with the local mountain gods.
As with the new palaces and buildings he had ordered to build in Cuzco, “Pachacuti” was first presumably shown models of his proposed estates in clay, complete with the projected buildings, agricultural terraces, and temples .Once “Pachacuti” had approved the designs, a legion of the kingdom’s finest architects, engineers, stonecutters, and masons went to work.