Friday, 10 June 2016

Puka Pukara; The Red Fort of Inca Ruins in Peru

Puka Pukara is a military ruins site, located in mid-southern Peru, approximately 4 to 5 miles from Cusco on the road to Pisac and near the Antisuyo, Cusco Region. Puka Pukara is also known with “Puca Pucara means in Quechua “red fortress”. This is actually a big fortress, made of large walls, terraces, and staircases an example of military architecture. The fortress purpose to defense of Cusco in particular and the Inca Empire in general. The name likely to be comes from the red color of rocks at dusk. The Fortress was also use for an administrative center, probably placed to give the military extra vision over important parts of the empire. The fortress is also located on high ground a bird eye view of Cusco valley and Tambo Machay, creating a beautiful view. 

 The exact date of construction is not confirmed, however Puka Pukara is a one of Incan ruins, and one theory describes, perhaps constructed during the reign of Pachacutec, who was 9th ruler of the empire. Thus, this is very important strategic location of the ruins, as a overlooking point and one kilometer away from Tambomachay, gives more reason to think that this was a military place. 

The walls stones are in irregular shaped stacked together in kind of a here-and-there style to make walls that are fully functional. As far as architecture the walls are not too beautiful, contrast to a lot of other sites in the region. Probably the walls, and building were built in somewhat hurry, as Puka Pukara military headquarters required urgently. During the construction, the variable sized and shaped stones actually have been a red color due to all the iron in the limestone used in the walls. Other possible explanations: when the Inca would go to Tambomacay, part of the warriors would stay in to keep guard, and since the two places are not that far apart they would communicate through mirrors reflecting light or they could also have used pieces of gold?.

However, the real function of Puka Pukara’s was partially a military based. It was placed on such an important place, as major roads and watch-point to grey areas, also monitor the people causing disturbance. In the modern terms, you could say is a checkpoint on the road, stopping people, investigating, suspicious travelling in/out into the empire. Besides, it may be served as military groups stop travelling nearby. Moreover, may believe it was a place of rest for hunters and weary travelers as well as Incan nobles, due to its entire luxurious baths, canals, plazas, fountains and separate rooms. 

This is Peru’s most prominent archaeological sites in the city of Cusco, and most noteworthy place to observe the Peruvian ruins. So, visitor’s likes to visit this area, due to its magnificent views of surrounding jungle and ruins, and hues that are probably change the color of the walls around sunset. The common thing of people lives here to set up tables selling small souvenirs to take pictures of groups in front of ruins jus for the mere of few sols. Therefore, overall, Puka Pukara is not a main travel attraction in the area, and that is the reason why very few people come to visit it.