TITICACA - THE SACRED LAKE

Lake Titicaca has been the most important lake in the Andes for more than two millennia. It is the highest navigable lake in the world and it is also the most sacred lake in the Andean region. Two thousand years ago, one of the most important civilizations of South America developed near Lake Titicaca. They were the people of Tiahuanaco and they built their ceremonial sites on the shores of their sacred lake.

It was a sacred lake for the Incas, too. One of the most important Inca religious sites was the Island of the Sun on what is now the Bolivian side of the lake. According to legend, Manco Capac and his -wife Mama Ocllo, the children of the sun god, came out of the blue waters of Lake Titicaca and founded Cusco and the Inca dynasty.

There are many exciting stories about the lake. One of the most interesting stories is that when the Spanish came to Peru, the Incas took the Huascar's gold chain weighing two thousand kilos out of the Temple of the Sun in Cusco and threw it into the lake, so that the Spanish couldn't find it. It is still there, safe in the deep waters.

The Indians in the area still believe the lake has very special qualities. They make offerings to it so that their fishing will be successful, so that the weather will be good and so that they will be safe when they go across in their boats.

   

Andean Doll

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