Teotihuacan (City of Gods) – Ancient Site Where The Circumstances Of Its Destruction Are Not Entirely Clear.
If you are making a list for visiting all the best pre-Columbian pyramids, then Teotihuacan is one of the must visit places. Teotihuacan was an old Mesoamerican city located 25 miles northeast of the present-day Mexico City. This ancient city was built around 100 BC and is now a famous tourist site, known mainly for its massive pyramids built in the pre-Columbian era in America. Apart from these structures, the city is also known for its complex residential compounds, well-preserved murals and the famous Avenue of the Dead.
The actual founders of the city are not known till date. However, some historians argue that some of the inhabitants of the Teotihuacan city came from the southern valley of Mexico as refugees and settled here. The civilization was at its highest point from 350 to 650 AD. The name was given by the Aztecs which meant “Place of the Gods.”
Places of Attractions
The main avenue of the city is called the ‘Avenue of the Dead’ and it connects all the major attractions of the area.
- The Citadel (La Ciudadela) is located at the southernmost point of this site. The area is square in shape containing several structures and pyramids with the Templo de Quetzalcoatl as the main attraction of this place. It is believed that the citadel was perhaps the residence of the main ruler of Teotihuacan as well as served as the administrative center of the city.
- The third largest pyramid in the world is located here in Teotihuacan. It is called ‘The Pyramid of the Sun’ (Pirámide del Sol) and is the largest building of this ancient city. Its height is above 233 feet with a large base of around 3,000 feet. One should climb at its top to get some awesome views.
- At the northern end of this site lies what is called ‘The Pyramid of the Moon’ (La Pirámide de la Luna). It has a height of about 140 feet. Since it is built on a higher ground, so when you climb over it, you might feel that it is almost of the same height as the Pyramid of the Sun, which is however not the case.
- Several smaller courtyards, plazas and other places of visit are scattered around this archaeological site. Some of them include the Palace of the Quetzal Butterfly (Palacio de Quetzalpapalotl), the Palacio de Tepantitla and Palace of Jaguars (El Palacio de Los Jaguares).
- When you enter the site, on the left side of the entrance, one can find a group of men in Indian costume near the tall pole. They are called Papantla Flyers. These men climb the top of the pole – one man sits at the top and plays flute, the others “fly down the pole in an anti-clockwise direction, supported by a rope connected to their ankle.” (http://www.mexperience.com/travel/pyramids/teotihuacan/). It is shown several times in a day and later they pass a hat for tips from the visitors.
The place is open for the visitors from 09:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Tuesday-Sunday). The admission charges are modest and concessions are available for the children, students and seniors. There is free admission on Sundays for the Mexican citizens and the foreign residents (with valid ID proof).
This is especially for the visitors who are planning to visit Teotihuacan on the weekends. The mornings (try getting there by 8 am) are the best time to visit the ruins to avoid the heavy rush of traffic and scorching heat. Also, remember to wear comfortable, light clothes and shoes with ‘no-slip’ sole. The visit to this ancient site takes around 4-5 hours for moderately challenging walks.