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  MACHUPICCHU: AROUND MACHUPICCHU

Machupicchu is surrounded by clusters of buildings nearby, including Intipuncu, the Temple of the Moon and the Hanging Bridge. The visitor will need plenty of time and a good knowledge of the area, as the cliffs and poor state of some of the Inca roads make it a dangerous venture during the rainy season.

Intipuncu

Intipuncu, which means Gate of the Sun, is located a kilometer southeast of Machupicchu and was the fortress that protected the city. It was linked to the citadel by a royal road called inti ñan.
Along the way there are altars that were built along the way, which Bingham called "ritual waystations".
Intipuncu is a major archaeological complex built into the mountain.

Waynapijchu

Waynapijchu, the "needle-thin mountain" is the final part of the rock outcrop that forms part of the mountain, whose semi-circular base is surrounded by the waters of the Urubamba River.
The road to Waynapijchu starts behind the sacred rock to the far North of the city. The lowest part of the road unites the two parts of the mountain and is 2 meters wide. There are no walls, and on either side the cliff drops away vertically.

The path zigzags its way up the western slope of Needle Mountain, where the path is just 1 meter wide and climbs a steep slope.
Halfway up, the path splits off to run to the Temple of the Moon. Historian Víctor Angles wrote: "A steel cable has been strung up at a height of 1 meter to help visitors. There have been accidents, and when people have fallen, it has been extremely difficult to find the body."

It takes an hour to climb to the top. The summit has a superb view of the main square of Machupicchu 400 meters below. Below spreads the Urubamba canyon against a patchwork of shades of green and snow-clad peaks in the background.
Waynapijchu was a guardpost, a communication station and worship site. On the top there are enormous stone blocks that have been carefully carved. The leaning blocks were part of a temple at one time.

The Temple of the Moon

Despite being a small construction, the Temple of the Moon stands out for its perfect stonework.
The complex stands halfway up Waynapijchu on the North side. The builders carved a vast chamber out of the rock, with niches and doorways carved into the rock, which features an 8-meter-high doorway which is 6 meters wide. The quality of the stonemasonry and its location points to the fact it was a royal tomb, temple of worship and an observation point.
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The Hanging Bridge
The bridge is part of one of the most dangerous paths in the city. The path sets out from the Chamber of the Ten Bays on the south side of the city.

The narrow path was made with extreme daring on the edge of the granite mountain. The path runs for 2 km, and after curving, halts before a gap which is sometimes bridged by trunks.

The bridge itself is made of tree trunks which were inserted into holes in the rock in such a way that they could be dismantled in case of danger. The builders of the road and the bridge had security very much in mind.


The Hanging Bridge

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