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Chichen Itza
Written by Shristi on July 3, 2020 Share on

Things to see in Chichen Itza: A must visit and must do

Chichen Itza is the most prominent amongst the famous Mayan cities. However, it might not make some sense in the beginning since the great structures here do not follow the traditional Mayan architecture, yet they display strong influences from Central Mexico. Moreover, rising to be one of the most developed Mayan ruins this place attracts huge crowds. After all, the blend of great monuments and its puzzling astronomical calculations is what makes Chichen Itza absolutely amazing. Here are the top things to see in Chichen Itza which are definitely worth a visit!

Top 10 Things to see in Chichen Itza

  1. Casa Colorada
  2. Temple of the Bearded Man
  3. La Iglesia
  4. Tomb of the High Priest
  5. Sacred Cenote
  6. Temple of the Skulls
  7. Main Ball Court
  8. El Caracol
  9. Temple of the Warriors
  10. Temple of Kukulkan
 El Castillo
Courtesy: Unsplash

1. Casa Colorada

The Casa Colorada is one of the most-preserved raisings at Chichen Itza. In its chambers, you will find engraved pictographs of its rulers and few from the nearby city of Ek Balam as well. It also treasures one of the oldest Maya data found in all of Chichen Itza dating back to 869 AD. The structures and architecture portray that it must have made for an elite residence.

2. Temple of the Bearded Man

The Temple of the Bearded Man also called the North Temple is a tiny handiwork creation with elaborate carvings on the inner surfaces including a main central figure which has intricate carving below his chin that resembles facial hair. At the south end of this stands another and much larger temple, but just has the remains.

La Iglesia
Courtesy: Unsplash

3. La Iglesia

Commonly called the Church for its proximity to a nunnery, The La Iglesia is one of the earliest structures of Chichén Itzá. The masks of Chac decorating the uppermost stories makes it even more impressive. Amidst the crowd of Chac, there is also an armadillo, a snail, a crab and a tortoise which represent the Maya lord bacha, who was known to hold up the sky.

4. Tomb of the High Priest

The Tomb of the High Priest also called the Osario Temple is a steep-pyramid stupa with staircases on either side. The temple is established on top of a limestone cave which homed skeletons and other offerings, giving the temple its name. At present date, archaeologists believe that the design was not a tomb and neither the people buried in it were priests.

Chichen Itza
Courtesy: Unsplash

5. Sacred Cenote

The Sacred Cenote is a broad opening which is connected to Chichen Itza by a raised walkway. It is believed that this massive natural well may have given Chichén Itzá (Well of the Itzáes) its name. Just close to it there is another grotto in the middle of Chichén Itzá that served as a source of water for its residents. However, over the years, the misty water here has yielded various artefacts remains of around 200 people. Some of these include gold, jadeite, copper, turquoise, obsidian, pottery, rubber and shells.

6. Temple of the Skulls

Besides the Great Ball Court is the Temple of the Skulls (Tzompantli), one of the most fearful stupas in Chichen. It has been built on a low rising stage covered with a series of skulls on all sides. The skulls displayed here were all of the sacrificing victims and those of the members who lost the ball play. One can find similar platforms in central Mexico. In other words, this definitely is a go-to place and top things to see in Chichen Itza.

Chichen Itza
Courtesy: Unsplash

7. Main Ball Court

Chichen Itza homes nearly 8 ball courts, but nothing can be the impressive structure of the Main Ball Court. Spread across an area of 545 x 223 feet, it is the biggest ball court in the whole of Mesoamerica. It came in use from the 864AD and stands out from the other Mayan ball court. Mainly for the size and sloping sided fields. The two vertical walls of the Main Ball Court are 12 meters high and hold engraved displays of the various clubs.

 8. El Caracol

El Caracol is a circular structure on a huge square platform dating back to 906 AD. It was presumably a traditional Maya observatory with openings aligned to celestial events, especially around the path of Venus. One can view the clear skies without any hindrance from the tower of the Mayans. In addition, El Caracol also has a stone spiral staircase inside which is referred to as “snail” in Spanish which makes it worth a visit when in Chichen Itza.

Chichen Itza
Courtesy: Unsplash

9. Temple of the Warriors

The Temple of the Warriors is a huge pyramid that was named after the encompassing carvings portraying warriors. This temple is like Temple B at the Toltec city and symbolises some sort of cultural connection between the two sections. At the summit of the temple’s sits the Chac Mool, a statue depicting a reclining posture holding itself on its elbows with a bowl on its stomach.

10. Temple of Kukulkan

Located in the heart of the open court stands the Temple of Kukulkan which is also called the El Castillo (the castle in Spanish). This structure is dedicated to the snake god Quetzalcoatl and is one popular landmark of Chichén Itzá. Interestingly, the rising and setting of the sun during the Spring and Autumn seasons casts a shadow of a snake on the edge of this tomb symbolising the god Quetzalcoatl.

The temple carries several references to the great Mayan calendar. Each of El Castillo’s four sides has 91 steps which, when added with the temple platform sums to the 365 days of the celestial year. All of the nine platforms are split into two, which makes it 18, signifying the months in the Maya calendar. The terraces hold a total of 52 councils, leading to the 52-year sequence when both the cosmic and religious calendars unite. Fascinating, isn’t it? You would agree with us when we say this is one of the best things to see in Chichen Itza.

Chichen Itza
Courtesy: Unsplash

Chichen Itza had been one of the most famous wonders of the world at one time, only the ruins remain now. This ancient centre has managed to display a great mix of grand stepped pyramids, rock formations, columned arcades, and numerous temples. So, make sure you save a few hours on your trip to the USA to see a whole world of marvellous structures. Above all, for a detailed tour hire a guide while visiting this site and sure enough he/she would reward you with extensive details and hidden treasures, making your exploration completely worth it. You can also log onto pickyourtrail for some amazing tour packages. Happy vacay!

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