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The ancient & magnificent wonder of Mexico- Chich’en Itza

The Mexican & North American fascination with Chich’en Itza

Mexico, April 30 (UITV): According to legend, twice a year when the day and night are in balance, this pyramid dedicated to Kukulcan (or Quetzalcoatl), the feathered serpent god, is visited by its namesake. On the equinox, Kukulcan comes back to earth to meet his worshipers, shower blessing for a full harvest and good health before entering the sacred water, bathing in it, and continuing through it on his way to the underworld.

A burst near the foundation of the pyramidal results in an uncommon chirping echo, which is said to reproduce the call of the sacred quetzal bird.

All legends aside, artful and geometrically brilliant architecture combined with the natural rotation of the Earth creates an amazing and somewhat eerie image of a giant snake crawling down the temple. For five hours an illusion of light and shadow creates seven triangles on the side of the staircase starting at the top and inching its way down until it links the peak platform with the giant stone head of the feathered serpent at the bottom. For 45 minutes this impressive shadow stays in its tottality before slowly descending the pyramid and disappearing along with the crowd that gathered to view it.

The Pyramid of Kukulcan or Kukulkan (also known as El Castillo, a name given by the Spanish vanquishers) is the centre of Chich’en Itza, it was built over a precedent temple between 800 and 900 CE. It is the biggest pyramid in Chich’en Itza; at its base 53.3 meters wide on all four sides. It soars above the other monuments at 24 meters tall with a 6-meter temple on top of the highest platform. Before access to the throne room of the pyramid was restricted, you could climb to the top and, on a clear day, see the top of the grand pyramid at the nearby ruin site of Ek Balam.

The Mexican & North American fascination with, and knowledge of, math and astronomy beams when examining the details of its architecture. Each of the four sides has 91 steps ascending it, 364 steps total, with the temple surpassing the pyramid considered an addition step totalling 365, each step representing a day in the calendar. Besides, the pyramid’s nine stages, cleaved by a staircase on each side, represent the eighteen months of the Maya Calendar year. The pyramid was built to be a corporal representation of the Maya Calendar (the same calendar that predicts the end of the world in 2012), while its orientation, slightly North East, is believed to have been calculated in order to create the phenomenon know as the “Descent of Kukulcan”.

This phenomenon is recreated nightly (artificially) during the Light and Sounds Show at 7 p.m. in winter and 8 p.m. in summer.

Chich’en Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The archaeological site features various structures that are classified into major clusters. The most popular and visited cluster is the Great North Platform where besides the Kukulcan Pyramid one can find the Temple of the Jaguars and the Great Ball Court.

Know Before You Go
From Cancun it is very easy to get a tourist bus to Chich'en Itza. Or drive west on Hwy 180. Ask your hotel for more specific directions due to constant change in Mexican roads and lack of detailed information available online. From Merida drive 74 miles East on Hwy 180.