Located in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is not only a beautiful spot on this planet, but also a place shrouded in a veil of mystery.
How did the Inca know the shape the lake as seen from the air? What precious ancient treasures are hidden at the bottom of the lake? Why is Lake Titicaca so sacred?
There are many questions, and we can answer some of them, but beautiful Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America still holds many ancient secrets we know little about.
Lake Titicaca And The Inca God Viracocha
Lake Titicaca was long considered the origin and center of the cosmos by the local people and then also the later Incas.
Ancient Inca legends tell after a Great Flood, the creator god Viracocha emerged from Lake Titicaca. He created the Sun, Moon and stars. Viracocha who was fair-skinned and bearded, brought culture to the ancient peoples of South America.
According to some Inca myths, Viracocha went to Tiahuanacu (Tiwanaku) where he created the first humans.
The 16th century Spanish chronicler, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, recorded in his Historia de los Incas a tale about Manco Capac the first Inca.
According to Inca mythology, the Inca are the direct descendants of a mythical first Inca, named Manco Capac, who emerged from one of the three openings in the mountain Tambotoco, near Pacaritambo (or Pacariqtambo) (‘tavern of the dawn’), located some six leagues (approximately 33 km) to the south-southwest of Cuzco, Peru.
Manco Capac came to found the Inca civilization.
Even though his figure is mentioned in several chronicles, his actual existence remains unclear.
While he remains a semi-mythical figure whose actual time period cannot be clearly pinpointed, he is regarded as an Inca hero and many ancient legends connect Manco Cápac to the foundation of Cuzco.
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa wrote: “The Great Flood being passed and the land dry, Viracocha determines to people it a second time and to make it more perfect, so he created luminaries to give it light, and with this objective in mind, he went with his servants to a great lake called Titicaca. Here Viracocha ordered that the sun, moon, and stars should come forth and be set in the heavens to give light to the world, and it was so.
This done, Viracocha made a sacred idol in that place as a place for worship, and as a sign of what he had there created. Leaving the island, he passed by the lake to the main land, taking with him the two servants who survived.
He went on to a place now called Tiahuanacu (Tiwanaku) in the province of Collasuyu and in this place he sculptured and designed on a great piece of stone, the likenesses of all the nations he intended to create. This done, he ordered his two servants to charge their memories with the names of all tribes that he had depicted, and of the valleys and provinces where they were to come forth, which were those of the whole land.
He ordered that each one should go by a different road, naming the tribes, and ordering them all to go forth and people the country. His servants, obeying the command, set out on their journey and work.
All agree that Viracocha was the creator of these people, and it is recalled that he was a man of medium height, white skinned, and dressed in a white robe like an alb secured round the waist, and that he carried a staff and a book in his hands.
When he was ready to leave the land of Peru, he made a speech to those he had created, apprising them of the things that would happen. He told them that people would come who would say that they were Viracocha, their creator, and that they were not to believe them, but that in the time to come he would send his messengers, who would protect and teach them.
Having said this, he went to the sea with his two servants who went traveling over the water, as if it was land, without sinking, for they appeared like foam over the water, and the people therefore gave them the name of Viracocha, which is the same meaning as the foam of the sea.”
Lake Titicaca As Seen From The Air
Lake Titicaca lake is composed of two nearly separate sub-basins that are connected by the narrow Strait of Tiquina. In his book, Ancient Technology in Peru and Bolivia, Childress, David Hatcher writes: “The larger, deeper lake is known as Lago Chucuito in the Aymara language, or in Spanish as Lago Grande (Greater Lake).
The smaller and shallower sub-basin is known as Huinaymarca (or Winaymarka) in Aymara and as Lago Pequeño in Spanish (Little Lake).
It is said that the name “Titicaca” is a combination of Aymara and Quechua names meaning “Rock Puma,” and that the locals believed that the shape of the two lakes (seen from the air) together looked like a puma hunting a rabbit (which is the lesser lake, Huinaymarca). Huinaymarca).
The Island of the Moon, an island near the larger Island of the Sun, is said to have been called “Titi’kaka” in Aymara. It may be that this name was originally meant for the Island of the Moon but is now used as a name for the entire lake.
At any rate, the origin and meaning of the name “Titicaca” is largely a mystery though the ‘puma chasing a rabbit’ story is commonly told to tourists. How the locals would have known what the two lakes looked like from above is unknown.”
Hidden Secrets At The Bottom Of The Lake
Underwater archaeologists have found many ancient treasures in Lake Titicaca. There are many tales about the lake containing underwater citadels and wealth and archaeologists have found some of the precious ancient objects hiding beneath the water.
Part of a discovery of pieces of gold, silver, bone and ceramics dated 1,500 years ago found on the Bolivian banks of the Titicaca lake by a group of Belgian archaeologists, in La Paz, on October 8, 2013.Aizar Raldes Nunez/AFP/Getty Images
Some of the relics found underwater are from the Inca era and pre-Inca (1438-1533). Intriguing pieces of gold, silver, bone and ceramics dated 1,500 years ago found on the Bolivian banks of the Titicaca lake by a group of Belgian archaeologists. Archaeologists think these discoveries are just the beginning. More amazing ancient objects could be hidden at the bottom of the lake.
Sacred and beautiful Lake Titicaca still holds many ancient secrets…