We are in the Hayu Marca mountain region of Southern Peru near Lake Titicaca.
Peru boasts its fair share of notable ancient ruins, including Machu Pichu, the Nazca Lines, Pisac, and Cusco, all popular destinations for curious tourists.
But there is also the pink marble door know as Puerta de Hayu Marca, or the Gate of the Gods, that has been at some time in the distant past carved out of a natural rock face.
In all measures exactly seven meters in height by seven meters in width with a smaller alcove in the centre at the base, which measures in at just under two meters in height.
This huge mysterious door-like structure, lies 35 kilometres from the city of Puno, in an area which has long been revered by local indians as the “City of the Gods.”
Although no actual city has ever been discovered here, the area is known as a Spirit Forest, or Stone Forest, made of strange rock formations that resemble buildings, people, and other artificial structures.
Jose Luis Delgado Mamani, a guide for mountaineering tourists, stumbled across the structure in 1996 while trekking through the surrounding foothills trying to familiarize himself with the area. “When I saw the structure for the first time, I almost passed out,” he said in an interview with the local press.
Historically, for the Incans, Lake Titicaca was where the world was born, and It was also the place their souls would return to after death. Basically, the lake was the Garden of Eden and Heaven all rolled-up in one.
According to Incan belief, the universe began when Con Tiqui Viracocha emerged from Lake Titicaca’s still waters. He was considered the creator god he was the father of all other Inca gods and it was he who formed the earth, heavens, sun, moon and all living beings. When he finished his work he was believed to have traveled far and wide teaching humanity and bringing the civilized arts before he headed west across the Pacific, never to be seen again but promising one day to return.”
The Incan Empire crumbled in upon itself in 1592.
Spanish conquistadors had decided to take as much Incan gold and natural resources as they could carry, and they spread smallpox along the way. After years of sieges, captures, and Incan in-fighting, the Spanish Empire claimed Peru and Chile.
The last Incan Emperor was swiftly executed by the Spanish, bringing a bloody end to the already dying empire. And yet, the rather advanced civilization left behind substantial evidence of their culture and beliefs, ensuring that they would not be forgotten.
The native Indians of the region had a legend that spoke of a gateway to the lands of the Gods.
It was said that in times long past great heroes had gone to join their gods, and passed through the gate for a glorious new life of immortality, and on rare occasions those men returned for a short time with their gods to inspect all the lands in the kingdom through the same gate.
The small circular depression in the centre is said to be the place where a golden disk was placed.
Another legend tells of the time when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Peru and looted gold and precious stones from the ancient Inca tribes. The Spanish conquest of South America was a messy, bloody affair. Several million people lost their lives due to smallpox, brutal violence, and displacement.
But it seems an Incan priest of the Temple of the Seven Rays named Amaru Meru (or Aramu Muru) fled from his temple with a sacred golden disk, and hid in the mountains of Hayu Marca.
With the help of several fellow priests, and by using the golden disc known as the Key of the Gods of the Seven Rays, Aramu Muru opened the small door in the face of the rock. According to the legend, the stone door transformed into a tunnel that was lit with an unearthly blue light. Aramu Muru passed through the barrier and entered the tunnel, upon which the door closed. Many people believe that he is now living in the Land of the Gods.
Archeologists have observed a small hand sized circular depression on the right hand side of the small entranceway, and have theorized that this is where a small disk could be placed and held by the rock.
It has been observed that the structure superficially resembles the Gate of the Sun at Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco), but It is also said to be aligned by five other archaeological sites which together form an imaginary cross with straight lines crossing each other exactly at the point where the plateau and Lake Titicaca are located.
There is evidence that human beings have been inhabiting the area around the lake for the last 4,000 years, and it most likely these ancient peoples who are responsible for many of the monoliths we see today. These unnamed peoples are also likely responsible for the creation of a sunken city and temple that now sits at the bottom of the lake…