Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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The Machu Picchu doppelganger

Posted on September 4, 2010 | Historic Destination5 Comments

If you were to talk about Peru and lost civilizations that are visited by people the world over, the first name mentioned by anyone worth the stamp on their passport is that of Machu Picchu. The tragedy, however, is that no one knows of the “other” Machu Picchu that far many hikers are now preferring. We are talking about Choquequirao, literally meaning “The Cradle of Gold” and this is a trail that is wild and feral, untamed by time and loved by hikers for its remoteness and distance from the commercialism and popularity of Machu Picchu, its more celebrated cousin. Located in Southern Peru, this Incan city’s remoteness is its strength as the few that do make it here are treated to a world trapped in time and far from the madding crowd.

Choquequirao Machu Picchu

In structure and style, it bears a markedly strong resemblance to Machu Picchu and is littered with architectural gold dust in the form of buildings that sit on terraced hilltops. Legend has it that this city was the last abode of the Incans after they fleed Cusco in the 16th century. This was constructed during the time of King Pachacuti Inca Yupangui and is nestled away in the Salkantay mountain range high above in the valleys of the Cusco region. Archaeologists have only uncovered about a third of the entire city but the parts that have been excavated is classical in its Incan ways. The temples and buildings stand on a square with the living quarters of commoners not far off and the niches used and styling of the doorways shows that the city was once an exalted one in Incan culture. The city itself is so inaccessible that it wasn’t until the 1970’s that excavation work begun.

Strangely, and maybe even impressively, carvings and figures of Llamas and Alpacas are freely found all around Choquequirao on a set of terraces and it is strange to see the animals so carefully worked into the terraces using white rock. It is perhaps true then that these creatures held a special position in the way of life of the Incans. If the Peruvian government has its way, more people will be able to enjoy little wonders like this because as it stands getting to Choquequirao involves taking a two day hike from Cusco, but the government has mooted a cable car service that will cut traveling time drastically. While this means that the place will lose its uniqueness, it is also a good thing in some ways since the hike is very treacherous as of now with mud slides and rock sides a common occurrence, especially once the rains set in. It is far more difficult to trek that the route to Machu Picchu and the dirt trail is unending and maddening. Perhaps all of that will be a thing of the past now, which is a shame for the trek itself is a rite of passage to a city lost in the bowels of time.

Choquequirao trek

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  • Stephen Tsongas says:

    If you like hiking then go to Himalayas or Peru.I love those kind of trips.

  • Tracy Forster says:

    Going to Peru is well, if you ever have an opportunity to go there, you should go there because it is absolutely mind-boggling!

  • Naomi Johnson says:

    Choquequirao is the most awesome place if ever explored..

    The hike to Choquequirao has more breath-taking views than Machu Picchu and the overall experience is amazing!

    What makes the trip so special is that there is no other option of getting there, so you are left with hiking as the only option and you bet,it was the most memorable experience of my life..We trekked for 4 nights and five days so we could see all the Incan ruins..

    These Incan ruins are unique because they are the only ruins to have drawn llamas on their walls..
    The walls on the backside of the mountain must not be missed!

    Its the best part about the ruins!

    The hike back and fro from Andes holds awe-inspiring views.It would suffice to carry plenty of food and a water purification system.
    You could also buy snacks and soda and water from the locals at Cachora..

    Bon Voyage!

  • Horace Nye says:

    Of many people I’ve meet who’ve been to Choque and Machu Picchu, they hold an opinion that Choque is better than Machu Picchu.
    After planning a trek to Choque I realized what they meant!

    When you are at Choque its like having your own private Incan ruins..During our 5 day hike we hardly saw anybody..When we reached the ruins we saw a few other people all day!

    A few suggestions here :

    -cover the trip in 5 days. Most people who do it in 4 days are too tired to see the entire ruins and miss seeing the walls at the backside of the mountains which are exotic and only existing ancient drawings of white llamas.

    - Being an experienced hiker would definitely help as you could hike all by yourself..You can even trek from Choque and head towards MP.

    -Also spend sometime with the locals as they are really friendly and let you stay on their land for free.

  • Bob Murphy says:

    Thanks for suggesting Choque and Machu Picchu as a combined trip!

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