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Chinkanas, the mysterious underground tunnels found in Cusco

The Chinkanas are a set of complex passages and a network of underground galleries that are found in Cusco, very close to Sacsayhuaman and that would connect with the intraterrestrial world of the Incas. An investigator entered these underground labyrinths and managed to capture some amazing images.

The Chinkanas (from Quechua “chinkana”; place where one gets lost) or also called labyrinths, are mysterious caves built on limestone; It is not known whether the Incas or an earlier civilization did it, or how, or the purpose of its construction.

There are different stories about Inca or Chinkana caves, these caves are related to different types of entrances to temples known as the Golden Temple of Cusco or better known as Coricancha.

Agnelio Oliva (1542-1572)

Fray Martín de Morua (1590)
Topa Inga Yupanqui .This brave captain Ausi Topa was the one who for Under his father’s mandate, he made an underground path from the fortress of this city from Cuzco to Curicancha, where they had the temple and the oratory of the sun and the moon and all the other huacas they worshipped, until the entrance to this abyss in the aforementioned fortress where they called the chingana although everything is lost and finished, as there is no one to see where it is going, but this is just the entrance, because when entering a section, they get lost and I cannot find the way.

Garcilaso de la Vega (1609)
Garcilaso de la Vega (Royal Commentary of the Incas, 1609) explains that:

“A network of underground passages, as long as the towers themselves were connected. The system was made up of streets and malls departing from all directions, all with identical doors. It was so complicated that even the bravest would not have ventured into the maze without an orientation guide consisting of a coil of rope or thick brabant attached to the front door to unfold as you progress, your progression through the tunnels. As a child I used to go to the fort with boys my age, but we didn’t dare go very far, we always stayed in places where there was sun, because we were so afraid of getting lost after listening. to all of them the stories that the Indians told us about the place ………. “

Garcilaso continues: “Some of the tunnels reached Cusco, three kilometers away, connecting Saqsaywamán to the Koricancha and other buildings. Other tunnels went deep into the heart of the Andes, not knowing exactly where they were leading. “

Investigations into these labyrinths gained importance in 2003, when the international press echoed the discovery of a large two-kilometer-long underground tunnel in the basement of Cusco. The discovery was made based on the work carried out by PROJECT KORICANCHA by Spanish archaeologist Anselm Pi Rambla and his exploration team, who claim that this tunnel connects Sacsayhuamán to Koricancha (now Santo Domingo’s temple).


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