Chichen Itza, Yucatan
Chichen Itza is one of the most renowned and visited tourist destinations. It is Yucatan’s grandest archaeological site which is also culturally significant. This time honoured and antiquated Mayan ruin is a UNESCO’ World Heritage area and The Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, known as ‘EL Castillo’ has recently been added in the list of Seven Wonders of the World. The pyramid ‘EL Castillo’ depicts the importance of Maya astronomy and is flooded with cosmological symbolism. Its four sides include 365 steps (depicting solar year), 52 panels (for each year in the Mayan Century as well as the each weak in solar year) and 18 terraces (for 18 month in a religious year). Moreover, during the fall and spring equinoxes, the shadows of the sun fall in the shape of a snake on the pyramid and line up with stone serpent head at the base of the ‘Castillo’. The enormous Ball Court at the site was used to be the place where the Mayan sports, with intricate rules and exciting competition were held. The site contains a Sacred Cenote, a natural well, 60 meters in diameter with escape-proof walls, was religious site where females were thrown live as sacrifices to Mayan rain god. Temple of Warriors, also known as Temple of Thousand Columns, showcases a stone where steaming human hearts were offered to the gods. Apart from these, other vestiges of Mayan civilization including; The Great Market, Temple of Jaguars, Sweat-baths, Platform of Skulls, Cenote of Sacrifice, El Caracol; the observatory, High Priest’s Grave, The Nunnery Complex, The Red House, Temple of Wall Panels, Akab Dzib & Xtoloc Cenote; are also found in Chichen Itza archaeological site.