Chichen Itza: A Visit to Mexico’s Most Visited Site

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is the world’s oldest civilization and has been said to have originated in 900 AD and occupied an area of 10 Square km (4 square miles) and located in Yucatan State, Mexico.

This popular pyramid with stairs around it is located 90 miles north-east of Uxmal and has a distance of 120km from the east-southeast of the city of Merida.

Moving further around Chichen Itza, we noticed that the only source of water in the area actually come from a well that is formed by Sinkholes in a Limestone kind of formation.


The two large water bodies are also known as Cenotes is said to have given the city its name, Chi, meaning mouths, Chen – meaning Wells, and Itza, which is the native name for the original Mayan tribe that originally occupied the area.

The site as we were told was made a World Heritage Site in 1988 and has attracted quite a reasonable number of tourists over the years.

According to another source we met, the Chichen Itza was founded in the 6th century CE by the Mayan tribe who were domicile at the Yucatan Peninsula and has been occupying the area since 1500 BCE.


A closer look at the building around the Chichen looked a bit different, but according to experts the Chichen pattern of a building is called Puuc method I found a bit funny, a look at that pattern of the building make you want to ask “does everything here evolve around a pyramid”? Their building patterns do look like the Chichen Itza itself.

Some of the houses that adorn this style of architecture include Akbar Zib meaning – house of the dark writing, Iglesias meaning Church, Casa De Las Monjas meaning Nanny and the El Caracol meaning The Sail, all tell one story; the Chichen Itza Mystery.

Major Event in Chichen Itza

Our Chichen Itza tours can never be complete without having a look at some events that took place in the city of Chichen, some histories can never be complete without some sort of wars one of which is the invasion Maya.

Though it wasn’t clear who they were, reports show that they are the original occupants of Maya town; this is assumed so because of their ability to speak Mayan.


It is also believed that the invaders are the ones responsible for building those edifying buildings like the El Castilo – meaning castle, and the popular pyramids that have stares on it.

Coming closer, the pyramid measures 79 feet high approximately 24 meters (if am correct), while the El Castilo is four-sided with each of the sides having 91 staircases facing a specific direction.

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A Little Observation About the Pyramid

While at the pyramid, I noticed that apart from the 91 staircases facing a particular direction, the total number of stairs is actually 365 which is coincidentally the number of days in the solar system, this only means one thing, the ancient Mayans are good at astronomy.


During spring periods just when the sun starts to set there is this shadow snake that appears, gradually filling the staircase with emerging feathered-snake shadow symbols.

This experience only happens once a day and also explains the fact that the ancient Mayans are Tech genius, and according to our tour guide the snake is a symbol for one of Mayan Major Deities that originated from Mesoamerican Pantheon.

In one of the numerous studies carried out in the inner chamber of the Pyramid revealed an ancient throne with an incurving of a red Jaguar, one other interesting thing about the pyramid is that it has a ball court used by the residents for playing games known as Tlachtu in their local language or Pok-ta-Pok in Mayan language. 


This court (from my measurement) is 166 meters long and 68 meters wide, clear evidence that these guys really know how to catch fun and not always about sun worship.

Does other noticeable structure include the grave of the high priest colonnade which existed around 900-1200 CE, a situation which will make anyone want to ask how old is Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza Mexico happens to have been at one time included in the Mayapan political confederacy popularly known as League of Mayapan.

But it appears that the Chichen Itza Mayan ruins into the political league didn’t last for long, because in the year 1450 the league was dissolved. 


The Religious Significance of the Chichen Itza So many sacrifices have been performed at the Chichen Itza most of them from the story we gathered are rather scary, though I have seen most of them on movies they are too gruesome to be true.

But surprisingly those stories in the movies were actually true, the ancient Mayans actually perform human sacrifices to the rain god and it was done at the pyramid.

This sacrifice was done by the Cenote cult, victims are thrown into the Cenote at the north side of the pyramid and they are thrown alongside some jade ornaments gold, pieces of jewellery and other precious valuables.


Historically, it was said that sometime in 1904 when the site was sold off to an American businessman Edward Thompson, on developing the land he made quite a number of discoveries inside the Cenote which includes some sacrificial items and human skeletons which is actually a clear evidence that indeed there was some kind of human sacrifice that actually went in that area. 

Going Round the Building

Since the building was abandoned in the 15th century, the Chinchen Itza underwent some level deterioration at some point, but not until the first excavation was done some 100 years ago where some valuable sculptures were recovered and preserved.

We also the site is always open to tourist 365 days a year but from the records, the site receives not less than 3500 tourists a day (including my humble self), but there times visitor get up to 8000 people a day.


The structure is currently maintained by the Mexican government and we heard that law was even created to protect the structure in 1972 the law is called the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historic zone but was finally declared a national archaeological monument in 1986.

Going inside the temple is the remnant of the Chac Mool statue just close to the red Jaguar throne, though we started for the triangular shadows that they say usually appear against the western wing of the pyramid just by the north side I work with time, I couldn’t wait.

Form what is said, Chichen Itza weather creates a shadow of a serpent which usually appears during the late afternoon a situation scholars believed that it is a representation of the ancient feathered serpent god Kukulcan; it could have been the most interesting experience you know. 


Before my visit to Chichen Itza, all the stories I have had about the place has boarded around spiritual practices which includes human sacrifices to either the sun god, rain god e.t.c.

But this visit changes everything, it said about the political, social, and even the love life the Mayans and other tribes who once occupied the territory once lived; I mean before now I never knew these guys can actually play games, create a strong political groups e.t.c, it is not really about the weird tattoos, piercing and all.

Though there are more to the Chichen Itza I noticed that there are things in the Chichen that are not meant to be revealed, like locales will always “the secrets of Chichen Itza lay within”.

That sounds a bit weird though, but whatever that means it still stuck around the unseen (untold) mysteries of the place.


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