Country - Peru

Peru

Peru Country Information

Peru is a land of miracles and inexplicable esoteric places!

The most enigmatic Nazka lines were drawn in a geoglyphical form in the Nazca desert of southern Peru. The length of the lines is so stunningly enormous that the total design of the lines can be seen in its entirety in a satellite picture or by an aerial view.

Peru boasts proudly of being home to the mysterious ancient kingdom of Inca dynasty, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, known as Machu Picchu, built in 15th century A.D. It is not known as to why the human settlements of huge magnitude were left forlorn from the next century onwards.

Peru is a country in the extreme western part of the South American continent. Peru has common border with Ecuador and Colombia to its north, Brazil to the east and Bolivia to its south east. The eastern tip of Peru is in contiguity with Chile. The entire western border of Peru is wave lashed by the Pacific Ocean.

Peru has its official name as Republic of Peru. Lima is its capital and the largest city. Spanish is the main official language, though Quechua and Aymara are also given the official language status as per the constitution of the country which came into effect from 1993. As per the estimates of 2018, the total population was above 32 million and the average density of population was 23 people per square kilometer.

The World Bank has ranked the economy of Peru as upper middle class, considering the per capita GDP (nominal) of US$ 7,199. Peru exports mainly copper, gold, zinc, textiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The chief items of imports are petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel, wheat and soya bean. As of September 2018, the trade surplus was US$4.63 billion.

Peru is credited with numerous alfresco sightseeing places which come as ventilating relief for the tourists choked up in the routine hustle-bustle of life.  Hailed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is located in Cusco region, Urubamba province above the Sacred Valley.

Situated at 2,430 meters (7,972 feet) above the sea level, the Incan settlement in the eastern Andes mountain range is believed to have been built for the Emperor Pachacuti’s retreat. Intriguingly, historians find no convincing reason for the abandonment of the sprawling ancient township in the 16th century. The region seemed to have surprisingly missed the attention of the Spanish invaders who ruled the country for about two and half centuries.

The ancient township remained unknown to the outside world until 1911 when it was brought to international exposure by Mr. Hiram Bingham, an American historian. A distant view of the entire site is predominant with pretty wide steps of numerous stone terraces and the old citadels/constructions built with polished grey rocks sans the use of concrete and mortar. The three major structures in the Inca kingdom are Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. The mountain peaks in the area are often greeted and caressed by the giant flakes of passing clouds. In spite of being in a state of neglect for many centuries, the green pastures spread over the entire area add to the grace of the region and demand a constant and uninterrupted gaze of the tourists. Nevertheless, renovation works are underway and more than a quarter of all the dilapidated ruins have been reconstructed with a serious and an uncompromising objective to retain the original form of the ancient structures.  The shorter cousins of camels, called Llamas, are spotted frequently in the area. The region was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983.  Machu Picchu has been retained as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World through internet poll in 2007.

Even a more mind-boggling mystery is the Nazca lines (with a running length of 80 kilometers) which are believed to have been drawn in a period between 200 B.C. and 500 A.D., in a desert called Pampa Coloroda. The geoglyphic lines were spotted accidentally by some people travelling in a plane in 1930. Thereafter, geologists did serious research on the lines, which were more than 800 in number. The designs of the lines were about more than seventy forms depicting the giant sketches of monkey, fish, hummingbird, lizards, sharks etc.  The width between the lines is a whopping 24 miles and the lines run some 59 kilometers parallel to the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Some lines are as short as 600 feet and some of them seem to be in the shape of plants, insects, llamas, spiders and even killer whales. Some sketches resemble condor, a round headed friendly-looking human (referred to as astronaut locally) and gigantic trees. The puzzling enigma is compounded by the geometrically symmetric pattern of parallel lines, triangles, trapezoids, arrows and zig-zag designs in a major part of the land, running great distances of several kilometers.

A curious argument was put forth by Erich Von Daniken who authored the book “Chariots of the Gods” in which he maintains that the Nazca lines were created by aliens for their use as a landing base for spaceships akin to Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). His contention was accepted by some as tenable when he asserted that humans must have never had the necessity of drawing over 800 lines of absurd huge lengths (for the hypothetical airstrip for alien spaceships in pre-historic ages at a time not even bicycle was invented on earth) which would be of no use to mankind and it would be exclusively possible for aliens alone who could observe the correctness of shapes and supervise completion of sketch work, watching from astronomical heights.

While the author’s argument sounds convincing substantially to a pretty larger extent, a small obscurity still lurks in the minds of stark rationalists about the necessity of having had to draw astonishingly lengthy lines and irrelevance of the specific shapes of the lines (depicting birds and animals) to the landing/launching pad of the imaginary interplanetary alien spaceships.

Other scholars have propounded theories stating that drawing of lines was a herculean task which might have required several decades for completion and the purpose of the lines was for conducting religious ceremonies which might have involved lengthy walkathons. The task must have been more arduous than imagined as the furrows were dug with depths of 4-6 inches in the ground. The lines were understood to have been made by engraving the external red ferric oxide layer to make yellow-grey furrows which are visible from the hovering aircrafts.

All theories have their own assumptions and hypotheses that need to be proved beyond doubt to gain authenticity. The consistent arid climate of the region has thankfully kept the furrows intact and unspoiled for several centuries. Tourists have a chance to get an aerial view of the Nazca lines by peeping from the windows of tourism aircrafts.

Leaving aside the locations with mysterious origin and enigmatic existence, Peru has an abundant cornucopia of amazing sightseeing places of the present times. The capital city Lima itself is rich in tourist stop-overs, lively culture and enticing coastal line. Plaza de Armas in Lima is a big condominium of yellow coloured stately buildings separated wide apart by well-paved clean venues in between. The Lima Cathedral is an architectural beauty par excellence.

A brief ride away from the Plaza de Armas will take you to the world famous Larco Museum which houses about forty thousands of pre-Colombian artifacts, ranging from weird human faces/masks, small sized porcelain cutlery articles and utensils to huge panels of sketch-work. Your visit in the interiors of the museum will explain the international fame acquired by the museum.

In Lima, Miraflores is an amusement lush green park (by the Pacific seacoast), at the centre of which lies an erected stone ramp with bigger-than-life size human statues, one in the lap of the other in a cuddling posture.

At the Parke de la Reserva, brilliant dancing water fountains illuminated by multi-coloured beams of laser strobes shall hold you awe-struck. When you move away southward from Lima, you would encounter vast endless space of sandy desert where you can try your hand at sand-surfing/sand-skiing.

Pisac Market is marked by roadside vending shops, selling diverse wooden handicrafts and Halloween masks/visages of tribal people and indigenous shoe ware. At San Blas, you can pamper yourself with a variety of fruit juices to savour the local taste.

Peru is undisputedly an enthralling exotic place where you can get to see the locales which are never found anywhere else on the blue planet and a trip to the country will leave an ever-lasting lovely and pleasant imprint on your mind.