On Tuesday evening, the Sedunia Travel team were invited by the Peruvian Embassy to the launch of a photo exhibition at Taylor’s University, celebrating 100 years since the rediscovery of Machu Picchu.
On the 24th of June, 1911, the American Professor, Hiram Bingham, climbed up the dizzyingly high mountains above the Urubamba River and confirmed the indigenous farmers’ comments: a lost Inca citadel truly did exist, nestled in the mountains. It took several more expeditions until the ruins were completely cleared in 1916 and the true grandeur of the site was revealed.
Machu Picchu was built around 1450, when the Inca Empire was at its greatest, but was abandoned a mere 100 years later, in 1572. This was in part due to the Spanish Conquest, although the conquistadors never found the site, which is why it remains so well preserved. It is likely that the inhabitants died from smallpox, introduced by other travellers to the area. Over the years, the jungle covered the citadel and it was hidden until Bingham brought it to the attention of the scholarly world in 1911.
The photos at the exhibition covers the site’s recent history, with Bingham’s photos from the exhibition in 1912 right through to geographical maps from the Peruvian Historical Archive of National Borders and modern photos of the site as it is now.
His Excellency, the Peruvian Ambassador, opened the exhibition with an explanation of Machu Picchu’s long lasting endurance in three words, “Strength, symmetry and simplicity”. Strength in that the monument has lasted through the centuries. Symmetry in the perfect alignment of the site with the natural elements and astral systems, and simplicity in the design of the citadel.
The exhibition’s aim is to create the same wonderment that the explorers had when they rediscovered the Machu Picchu site and it certainly manages to do so: by the time we left, we were all dreaming of Machu Picchu, Cusco and Peru, along with when we could visit.
The photo exhibition, “Machu Picchu: 100 Years of Global Revelation” is on at the Design School at Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, until the 31st of July. If you are fascinated by South America, a visit to the exhibition to learn some more about this mystical place is surely worth your while.
Feeling inspired to see Machu Picchu in person? Check out our tours to Peru.