Inca Pachacutec

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In the history of Peru, it is necessary to know about the history of the Incas in the Tahuantinsuyo period. One of the most important Incas in history was the Inca Pachacutec, during his rule, the imposing citadel of Machu Picchu, is now considered one of the world’s wonders.

Machu Picchu is one of the works of art of the Incas, and here you will learn the history of Pachacutec, how his government was, and his death. Pay close attention and continue reading this article!

Who was the Inca Pachacutec?

According to Andean history, the Inca Pachacutec was born in the city of Cusco. Son of the Inca Huiracocha and the coya Mama Runtu. Pachacútec Inca Yupanqui was the ninth ruler of the Inca State and was responsible for turning a simple curacazgo or reign into a great empire known as the Tahuantinsuyo.

From a very young age, Pachacutec showed an aptitude for government and conquests, endowed with a great military talent with which he expanded the great Inca empire. This Inca imposed his dominion among more than 500 tribes located on the borders of present-day Peru, Quito, and the Nazca valley; however, he was unjustly relegated to the benefit of Urco, a prince without sufficient merit.

During his government, Pachacutec was dedicated to directing the construction of roads, cities, temples, and monuments so that today we can be witnesses to appreciate his work.

Inca Pachacútec

Pachacutec was the builder of the citadel of Machu Picchu.

What does the word Pachacútec mean?

Pachacutec means “He who changes the earth”. According to the English historian Clement Markham, he was “the greatest man that the Aboriginal race of America has ever produced“. As a child, Pachacutec was educated in the Yachaywasi (Houses of Knowledge) in history, law, language, and the art of war. As a teenager, he was already admired by the upper classes for his bravery and intelligence.

He is considered the best ruler in the Inca Empire. Pachacutec was one of the most important figures in the history of Peru.

Government of Inca Pachacutec

The period of Pachacutec’s government began in the year 1438 and culminated with his death in the year 1471. During his government, he consolidated the Inca curacazgo in the face of threats from local peoples, giving rise to the Tahuantinsuyo and initiating an imperial era for the Incas. His government is recognized as one of the most successful in the history of pre-Columbian America.

Subsequently, Huiracocha father of Pachacutec, named his brother Urco as successor to the throne. Urco, unlike Pachacutec, had no military or administrative skills.

The War between the Incas and the Chancas

The Chancas were neighbors and great enemies of the Incas. In the year 1430, the Chancas tried to invade the city of Cusco, which provoked the flight of the Inca Huiracocha. Pachacútec managed to win the war while the Chancas fled to Ichupampa, to wait for another possible attack.

Pachacutec convinced the neighboring ethnic groups to support him in the expulsion of the chancas. Pachacutec finally won and in 1438 he was armed with the ‘Mascaipacha’ (symbol of Inca power). During his rise to power, he asked that his father Huiracocha be pardoned for abandoning Cusco and that he be the one to hand over power to him. In this way, a new stage of the Inca government began: the imperial stage.

Once he defeated his rivals, Pachacutec had to fight against his brother Urco for power.

Inca Pachacutec

Historical monument in honor of the Inca Pachacutec, in the city of Cusco.

Death of Pachacutec

Pachacutec died a natural death in a full period of government. His mummy was carried in his seat, carried by the great lords to the Aucaypata square (known today as the main square of Cusco). He was dressed in sumptuous blankets and gold and silver ornaments, in addition to a feather headdress and a coat of arms.

Finally, his mummy was placed in the center of Tococache (current neighborhood of San Blas, in Cusco) in a temple dedicated to the thunder that he ordered to build. Pachacutec was recognized and valued as the greatest Sapa Inca of the Tahuantinsuyo for his support of the expansion and architectural works.

What works did Pachacútec carry out?

  • Rebuilt the Temple of Qoricancha.
  • Started the construction of the Sacsayhuaman Fortress.
  • Directed the construction of Machu Picchu.
  • Built the citadel of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
  • He also built the road network of the Qhapac Ñan, which was the main road used by the Incas.
  • He designated the sun as the supreme god of the empire.
  • He was in charge of the construction of bridges, squares, neighborhoods, and palaces to beautify the city of Cusco.

inca Pachacutec

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