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RAQCHI


Continuing the route to the east of Puno, at the 125 km, we find the town of Raqchi that is part of the district of San Pedro de Cacha, province of Canchis. Raqchi is located on one side of the Vilcanota river at 3500 meters (11500 feet). It seems that its Prehispanic name was "Cacha" instead of "Raqchi".

There are evidences proving that Raqchi was a complex town of multiple constructions, even the terraces to cultivate had different purposes. "Kanchas" (apartments), "wayranas" (building of only three walls), "qolqas" (storages), different urns, the religious fountains, etc. It was possibly an important "tambo" along the route to go to Collayuso.

Wiracocha temple in Raqchi
The most important building inside the complex is the "Wiracocha temple" that according to the old chroniclers was built by the Inca Wiracocha in honour to the Superior God invisible for the Andean people: "Apu Kon Titi Wiracocha".

Pedro Cieza de Leon relates the tradition about an urn that was built after a man appeared performing many miracles in that place.

The inhabitants had decided to throw him stones and kill him, but when they went looking for this strange man they found him on his knees with the arms open, immediately after that a rain of fire fell on that place. For this reason, the men regretted and let him free. That strange man went to the Coast and immersed in the ocean and disappeared forever. After this event, they built an urn on his honor and a sculpture of stone idol, that according to some of the conquerors who saw him, had been the image of some Christian apostle that passed by those lands. Regarding to the rain of fire, it is possible that they referred to some eruption of the volcano "Kinsach'ata" currently extinguished located near there. Around the area there is a huge quantity of dry lava (volcanic stone).

The "temple of Wiracocha" is a great construction for that age. Architectonically it is classified as "Kallanka", that is, a high building completely covered with straw (wood and "ichu"). Externally it is 92 meters long (302 feet) and 25.25 meter wide (83 feet). Its central wall was built with refined carved stones, the base is about 3 metres of adobe (bricks of sand with straw dried by the sun). The walls are 1.65 meters wide at the bottom and 1.30 meters wide at the upper part. Today that wall is 12 meters high, but one century ago it was 15 meters. According to a hypothetic reconstruction originally made by Santiago Agurto it should have been 16.60 meters. Its lateral walls were 1.20 meters wide and 3 meters high. The ceiling was impressive as it was about 2500 metres square and an inclination of slope of about 50. There were round columns that we can still find in the bases between the central wall and the lateral one to support the ceiling.

Those columns were 1.60 meters and about 9,80 meters high. There are some other very important sectors with the remains of "wayranas" and a big quantity of "qolqas" with walls like "pirka" in that same




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