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  CUSCO´S SURROUNDINGS: THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK OF TIPON

The Archaeological Park of Tipon

Tipon, a city of beautiful royal rooms and great water fountains, is another one of the most important architectural complexes found in Cusco.
This old town is located 23 km. southeast of the Inca capital at a height of 3,560 meters above sea level; the highest area of the park is found at the pass of Ranraq'asa above 3,800 meters. It belongs to the district of Oropesa, province of Quispicanchis in Cusco.
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The Origin of Tipon

Historian Luis Antonio Pardo says the real name of Tipon may come from the Quechua word Timpuj which means "to be boiling", and it relates to the water flowing out of the fountains as if the liquid was boiling. This name was recently made up since the original name is not known.

Victor Angles holds that Tipon could have been the Royal House of Yahuar Huaca, who retreated here after being defeated by the Chancas. His son Huiracocha faced the Chancas and defeated them, being crowned Inca instead of his father.

Garcilaso de la Vega wrote the following: "It was determined that the son, as most of the court decided, would be the head of the kingdom; and to avoid riots and civil wars, they accepted everything the prince wanted. After it was agreed, they obtained a Royal House, between Muyna and Quepicancha, in a pleasant place with all the gifts, fields, gardens and other royal amusements for hunting and fishing. The house was built close to the Yucay river.." Angles assumes that the place identified by Garcilaso is Tipon.

The Watanay river passes close to Tipon and two small rivers flow out of it to surround the complex. These could be the small rivers that the Garcilaso wrote about.

Groups that make up the Tipon Park

This amazing Inca park is located over a very irregular surface. During the Inca period, there were no flatlands, so everything was modified by the inhabitants of the Tahuantisuyo for their monarch's satisfaction.
The main sectors that form Tipon are:

1. Royal Rooms and Gardens

The Royal House that Huiracocha ordered to build for his father Yahuar Huaca had beautiful rooms and gardens on top of blocks of stone. This group is the most beautiful and spacious of the complex. It has well-built fountains and drains that continue to give water that comes out of secret underground canals.

2. Intiwatana

Beautiful rooms with exquisite trapezoidal niches from where one can see most of Tipon are located very close to the main rooms. They are located at a higher level in the mountain, which protects the complex.

Next to Intiwatana, there is an impressive reservoir, forty meters long by twenty-five wide. They were provided with water by a long canal.

3. Minor Rooms

Someone of great importance, but not part of the nobility, must have lived in these rooms. The rooms located 1 km. from Intiwatana are of lesser quality, but despite this it shows signs of importance. They were originally built from stone and later topped by mud-brick.

4. Cusco´s Mirador

In the northern part of the archaeological complex lies an important site which was once an observatory and a place for sending signals.

It has been called Cruz Moqo which means "hill where there is a cross" and at the same time, Qosqo Qhawarina, which means "from where one sees Cusco" It was called that way because one can see the western part of Cusco. It was a heavily-populated spot, and the home of powerful figures.

5. The Wall

It is possible that the area of Tipon was occupied by lords who won wars, and to assure their position, they built huge defensive walls. Later, this wall lacked a purpose since all the regional towns were part of the Tahuantisuyo empire.

There are also jutting steps that appear in the platform walls as huge stone stairs, built to avoid taking up the space with the usual staircases.
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6. Agricultural Genius

The incas reached an impressive development in their architecture, especially in their hydraulic constructions. Every archaeological complex featured well-built canals which channeled the water perfectly. This was why the lack of water was no a problem. In fact, some of the canals are still used to provide the inhabitants of the area with water.

The inhabitants of Tipon built a long, tall wall just to install a unique aqueduct. This huge wall has in its middle and lower section a drain to evacuate rainwater under the canal. The creativity of the ancient settlers had no limits.

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