Research indicates that Waqrapukara was initially built by the Canchis culture and not by the Incas. The Canchis inhabited the southern territories of Cusco (current province of Canchis) parallel to the Incas. Both cultures competed for territorial control.
However, after the Inca vs. Chancas (1440 AD), the Canchis allied themselves with the Incas and formed part of the Collasuyo region, in the nascent empire of Tahuantinsuyo.
The construction date of Waqrapukara is still a mystery. The canchis must have built the first roads and enclosures in a few centuries before the formation of the Inca empire in 1438. It is estimated that under the government of Emperor Túpac Yupanqui (1471 – 1493) the main temples and platforms were built.
Oral tradition brought to this day an Inca legend about Waqrapukara. This legend tells that this area lived the nobility of the Inca Qanchi. The legendary General T’ito Qosñipa, with the army of the Inca Wayna Qhapaq, won high awards as general of the conquering armies of the Tawantinsuyo Empire. In use of his vacations he came to his Qanchi tribe, stimulated by the magnificence of the Imperial Court considering distant and remote the possibility of occupying the Inca throne due to his commoner condition, it arose in his audacious mind, to overthrow the ruler of the Inca empire, with For this purpose, he ordered the construction of the Waqrapukara Fortress in secret, so that if his revolutionary adventure failed, he could take refuge and resist any attack by the imperial army.
T’ito Qosñipa proclaimed general of the Qanchis, organized an army, which then headed towards Cusco. The Ruler of the Tawantinsuyo Empire, informed by the subversive activities of T’ito Qosñipa, sent a part of his army to unveil the movement, commanded by General Anqoayllo. Both armies met on the slopes of the Phiñaypampa hill, near Corma. After a bloody and bloody battle, the hosts of T’itto Qosñipa were defeated.
As testimony to this fact, there are still human bone remains at the site of the battle. T’ito Qosñipa the Inca Qanchi, after the battle of Phiñaypampa, with the rest of his soldiers, returned to Waqrapukara. General Anqoayllo’s troops pursued the fugitives and surrounded the Waqrapukara fortress with violent attacks. When the soldiers of the aforementioned general went up to the fortress, they were thrown into the ravine as they went up, through the gates towards the abyss, today there are remains of these gates. After fifteen days of resistance to the imperial Inca army, they discovered the water channel that supplied the fortress, they cut off this water service to the Inca Qanchi’s army, for this reason he had to capitulate with General Anqoayllo.
T’ito Qosñipa was taken prisoner with a hundred of his Qanchi soldiers before the Inca ruler of the Empire. Wayna Qhapaq, knowing the reckless courage of the young warrior T’ito Qosñipa, seeing that he would be useful in his conquests, spared his life and made him marry a ñusta chosen by the Inca Qanchi in Cusco. His soldiers were also amnestied, they returned to their Qanchi tribe, with the promise of being loyal to the empire. But the ears of the hundred Qanchi soldiers were cut off. Since then they have been called mottoqanchis.
In the future, in the conquest of more Inca territories towards Ecuador by Wayna Qhapaq; This warrior T’ito Qosñipa fought with the brave Cañaris. For the triumph of the imperial Inca, two thousand Cañaris warriors of the imperial guard were brought, escorting the victorious Wayna Qhapaq. Some of these brave Cañaris warriors were also taken to the Qanchis tribe by T’ito Qosñipa; For this reason, the surname Cañari also exists today in Pomacanchi.
According to local stories, before their ears were cut off, the Qanchi soldiers of T’ito Qosñipa danced the dance of the Qanchis, by order of the imperial Inca. This dance called Qanchi Tusuy is currently practiced in Cusco, especially by the Qanchis of the 19th century. From that date they bore the nickname of Mot’oqanchis, the soldiers of the Inca Qanchi. But since colonial times, Mot’oqanchi has remained the surname, currently the offspring of such a brave warrior, we find Mottoccanchi in the ayllu of Qanchoqa, District of Pomacanchi.
There are three routes to get to Waqrapukara from the city of Cusco:
- Route through Sangarará: The trip by car starts from Cusco and ends in the town of Sangarará (2 hours 30 minutes trip). Then there is a 15-kilometer walk (between 2 to 3 hours) to Waqrapukara. The return path is the same.
- Route through Huayqui: This route is preferred by tourists and tourism agencies to the peasant community of Huayqui (approximately 3-hour trip). From here begins a walk for approximately 7.5 kilometers. This route on foot takes 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Route through Santa Lucía: This route also follows the route south of Cusco until arriving at the peasant community of Santa Lucía (approximately 3-hour trip). From there begins the 2-hour walk to Waqrapukara. Much of these routes follow Inca trails and ancient pre-Hispanic trails.
This archaeological complex is located in the district of Pomacanchi, province of Acomayo, department of Cusco. It rises over 4,300 meters above sea level, at the top of a huge ravine covered with forests that crown the abysses that lead to the canyon of the river. of Apurimac.
The original name of Waqrapukara is “Llaqtapukara”; it seems that this name was being lost over time in colonial times and the name waqrapukara was given by a group of mestizo intellectuals who plan to recover the archaeological remains and clean up this place, they gave that name because the two natural towers had shape of the horn of a cattle, In the Pre Inca and Inca times there were no cattle, so it is impossible that they have given it the name Waqrapukara. Rather lately the careful observers have found the image of the llama, in truth we can find the image of the head with its respective neck; the two natural towers are the ears of the auquénido and not of a bovine, these characters who visualized the aforementioned image are Mr. Odilón Cruz and Mr. Lucio Delgado Figueroa.
The climate is varied according to the zone, in the part of the Interandean Valley a warm temperate climate is felt that reaches 22° and in the Mountain part a cold and dry climate is felt that reaches 20° and the minimum of -4 ° in the frosty season.
Archaeologist Miguel Colque Enríquez, in 2008, began his research work in Waqrapukara and divided it into sectors as follows:
Main square, also called main terrace, is “the highest part of the complex, it extends to the foot of the natural towers, where the beautiful walls are adapted to the topography of the land, thus achieving 06 varied wide embankments of 9 m, average. In the upper part there are rectangular open spaces, which are arranged according to squares, and each space is interconnected by means of passages. It is important to note that these structures are associated with and appropriate to the existing rock outcrop.
- LA PLAZA.- It is a singular attraction due to the views that it has. Intipunku, a magnificent cover, made of beautiful Inca ashlars. Dimensions of 2 meters high, 1 meter wide.
- VIEWPOINT.- It is a small observation window. It is a reason worthy of admiration.
- NORTH-EAST BUILDINGS.- It has trapezoidal niches, with a double jamb, on the right two niches with a single jamb.
- SACRED ENCLOSURE OF THE GOD WIRAQOCHA.- The priestly hall is found, three niches; Next to the room that has been described, facing East, there is an almost square plaza, in whose area there is a very interesting altar, both for its shape and for its magnitudes.
- GREAT ALTAR.- In the middle of a wide wall there is a niche with three jambs, its shape is trapezoidal. It has all the characteristics of a sacred place and the niche reveals that it was to worship some symbol that the faith of the believers maintained, perhaps for hundreds of years.
- TOWER.- At the South and North-East ends of the fortress esplanade stand two natural towers, modeled by the action of the temple, they have a circular shape and are very high, in relation to the main terrace. It does not have access anywhere, because the abysmal sensation overwhelms and dwarfs the human spirit; but it is possible to suppose that the ancient lookouts perched on these strategic observation sites, for the same reason that they were so skilled tightrope walkers, they went up and down with great alacrity, to watch over the fortress and guard against a possible assault.
It is located in the middle part of the rock formation immediately below Sector I. It is the sector with the greatest architectural evidence, formed by retaining walls, and its artificial platforms, adapted in a sinuous way following the capricious formations of the geomorphology.
Located to the SE of sectors I and II, lower part, it corresponds to a small rectangular platform oriented from E. to W, in which the main entrance to the archaeological complex is evidenced.