Tiwanaku Ruins Bolivia

From Plaza 14 de Septiembre, walking to Tiwanaku Ruins. The Gate “Welcome to Tiwanaku Ruins.” Closed railway station. The entrance of the Tiwanaku archaeological site.

Tiwanaku is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia. The area around Tiwanaku may have been inhabited as early as 1500 BC as a small agricultural village.

Arrived at Tiwanaku Ruins

Gate of Tiwanaku archaeological site

During the time period between 300 BC and AD 300, Tiwanaku is thought to have been a moral and cosmological center for the Tiwanaku Empire, and one to which many people made pilgrimages. Tiwanaku, capital of a powerful pre-Hispanic empire, dominated a large area of the southern Andes and create prosperity between 500 and 900 AD.

Tiwanaku Archaeological Area

1 Kantatallita (Temple) 2 Akapana (Pyramid) 3 Templete (Semi-subterranean temple) 4 Kalasasaya (Temple) 5 Putuni (Palace of the Sarcophagi) 6 Kerikala (Quarter for Priests) 7 Puerta de Laluna (Gate of Moon) and Piramide de Puma Punku (Pyramid of Puma Punku)

The name by which Tiwanaku was known to its inhabitants may have been lost as they had no written language. The ancient inhabitants of Tiwanaku are believed to have spoken the Puquina language.

Kantatallita (Temple);  Kantatallita had a semi-underground structure, the central part was low.

Kantatallita Temple Tiwanaku

Explanation board says, Kantatallita; Surface vestiges of a semi-underground temple, stands a curved lintel with iconography of the classic time of Tiwanaku and a model in andesite.

Remains of Kantatallita Temple Tiwanaku; This is a trace that was completely destroyed and looted by the Spaniard.

According to the Spanish conquistador record, originally the stone gate of stood and there was a splendid lintel. Currently the stone gate collapses and the lintel falls down on the ground. 

Large blocks of gray andesite, showing works with curved contours.

Akapana (Pyramid); Akapana is a pyramidal structure located at the archaeological site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia. It is 194 meters long and 182 wide, with a perimeter of 800 m and a height of 18 meters.

Akapana (cross-shaped pyramidal) Tiwanaku

It consists of 7 stepped terraces supported by different retaining walls for each level. These terraces are separated by walls of carved sandstone that were filled with sediment and then compacted. 

We are going up the Akapana Pyramid, and arrived at the summit.

It is believed that the Thiuanak people used it as a place of worship, because at its top there was a semi-underground temple in the shape of a cross. It is believed to have been a temple dedicated to the sun or other astral deities.

According to a recent study, a complex waterway was running inside the pyramid.

The pyramid remains are destroyed terribly, and there is no longer the feature of ancient times.

Templete ; The Templete Semi Subterraneo (Semi Subterranean Temple) is a sunken rectangle area some two meters deep. The walls of the temple are studded with 200 stone carved heads.

Templete (Semi-subterranean temple), it has a central sunken court.

Three carved stone pillars are in the center. The carved stone heads are studded on the wall.

Kalasasaya (Temple) on the left, Templete (Semi-subterranean temple) on the right, photo taken from Akapana (Pyramid)

Kalasasaya (Temple) ; The Kalasasaya is a low platform mound with a large courtyard, which is surrounded by high stone walls.

Main gate of Kalasasaya (It was closed.) Side wall of Kalasasaya (We are walking along the wall to the sanctuary.)

The Kalasasaya is about 120 by 130 meters in dimension and aligned to the cardinal directions. 

Heavy solid stone wall surrounds the sanctuary.

The sanctuary of Kalasasaya Temple

Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun, the front and back of the gate.)

The Gate of the Sun is a megalithic solid stone arch, gateway constructed by the ancient Tiwanaku culture more than 1500 years ago. The object is approximately 3.0 m tall and 4.0 m wide, and is constructed from a single piece of stone. The weight is estimated to be 10 tons.

Monolito (Monolith) Ponce and El Fraile

 Megalithic statue called Monolito Ponce, the whole body has beautiful sculptural decorations. Gigantic stone statue called El Fraile, it is regarded as a symbol of water faith because the whole carved patterns are fish and crab.

They are still excavating and restoring in the Kalasasaya temple.

Putuni (Palace of the Sarcophagi) ; The Putuni is adjoined by the Kalasasaya, also known as the Palace of the Sarcophagus. It is surrounded by massive stone walls. 

Putuni (Palace of the Sarcophagi),View from the Akapana (Pyramid)

Putuni is a rectangular platform with a 1.20 m height, its inner walls contain burial chambers.

The inside of Putuni, the burial chambers are along the walls.

The excavations have revealed that the floors were covered with carefully dressed stone flags.


It is possible that this site has been a mausoleum for the burial of important people of Tiwanaku State.

Putuni, the Palace of the Sarcophagus. Row of Sarcophagi. Trace of the illegal dig. Large headless monolith.

We were walking slowly, so time has run out. Let’s go and take pictures of the moon gate hurriedly and go back to La Paz.

Walking to the moon gate

Puerta de la Luna (Gateway of the Moon) is near the western end of Kalasasaya.

Monolithic gate, the Puerta de la Luna (Gateway of the Moon)

The moon gate, carved with animal designs, is a similar but smaller than the Puerta del Sol.

After the Puerta de la Luna (Gateway of the Moon), we are leaving the archaeological site in a hurry.

Monument of the unique Tiwanaku deities. This little lizard is an inhabitant of this ruins.

Since I am old, I will never visit this place again. Sayonara, Tiwanaku deities and a little lizard. It was a lot of fun, Gracias.

Walking to the parking lot. Everyone looks fun.


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