Sacred Valley of the Incas
Why so called Sacred Valley?
Many believe that this valley that is more than 50 kilometers from Cusco is or was once sacred, the truth is that when the Incas invaded Cusco almost a thousand years ago realized that there was a beautiful place where ancient civilizations of the Incas had already inhabited it and also sowed from corn to some fruits, was when the Incas realized that this valley had fertile land and that whatever was sown grew very fast and with enough flavor then decided to inhabit it. They first built watchtowers to protect access and thus ensured that no other inhabited the valley although it was not easy to evict the first inhabitants of the valley but after a while were expelled from Cusco leaving there their temples and some buildings for domestic and religious use (sites that can still be seen on mountaintops such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo) the Incas began the construction of terraces almost on the very tops of the mountains were almost unreachable, but their passion for nature made them think a lot about it so they tried to do their best to make these terraces look and have the same shape as the mountains.
Some terraces or platforms measure up to 3 meters in height, a construction that could have taken many years but they cared little or nothing about the time they were more concerned that they look good, they put all their knowledge that they inherited from other civilizations, they were very sure that all this was going to be worthwhile and they always built thinking that these would last forever, but very apart from this beautiful valley there was a river that passed very close by and although they did not use it to irrigate the terraces because for this they had to transport the waters from the snowy peaks and springs, for them the river played a very important role, many of them were very wise people among them there were astronomers who compared the river with the Milky Way because at night you could appreciate the stars and constellations was when they decided to call it Willkamayu in Quechua that would mean sacred river and that is where the name of the sacred valley comes from, It was not only because of its fertile land but also because of that river where once you could appreciate the constellations and it was considered very sacred, although today unfortunately it was abandoned and the water is no longer so clear and even changed its name to Urubamba or Vilcanota river still for many is still the Wilkamayu the sacred river of the Incas.