Lima : The illustrations of condors, alpacas and llamas incorporated into the structures of Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in southeastern Peru are revealed only by the sun`s rays on specific dates of the year, an expert said.
The creators of the Inca citadel, built over 600 years ago, "were guided by the stars, mountains and rivers" while selecting the spot for building the structures, said researcher Zadir Milla.
Machu Picchu was also "a pilgrimage centre" and "an astronomical observatory" where the elite learned about the cosmos, he said. The Incas also built a research centre on the terraces of Machu Picchu to improve crop quality.
"The Andean culture is cosmological, where everything is part of a comprehensive harmony, and living beings are all one family," said Milla, the author of the study "The Secret Code of Machu Picchu".
Machu Picchu was conceived as a school to educate its rulers about the universe, he said.
"Our ancestors were so incredible that they created a space whose image changed as the year progressed," the Peruvian semiologist told EFE.
"When one sees the citadel from above, one sees that the mountain of Machu Picchu has the shape of a condor with its wings outspread, a bird that in the Andean cosmo-vision represents the sun, the god that is creator of life and fertility.
"And the upper part of Huayna Picchu, another mountain looking down on the citadel, has the form of a llama looking at the sky, a representation of the earth.
"There is an area inside the citadel they call the prisons (because they look like three stone cells) standing on the sculpture of a condor taking wing, and at the foot of this condor is a ceremonial stone table that shows the same bird flying as high as the temple of Huiracocha (god of justice and civilization)," he added.