Killarumiyoq will be the last post in this series of seldom visited sites, and this site is located almost 48 km to the West of Cusco, just above the town of Ancahuasi. Killarumiyoq roughly translates to “the moon stone” and one of the main features here is a large stone that contains a semi-circular and stepped (1/2 moon shaped) cutout.
This site is believed to have been a location where the moon was celebrated (which would explain the moon shaped cutout) and as such is considered to be a feminine location, so much so that some local women still come to this site to give birth ubder one of the sites small fountains.
Aside from the large and impressive “moon stone” there are many terraces and some ruins, as well as a variety of carved stones that one can spend time walking around and enjoying, and there is one additional unique feature at this site. Above the terraces and built into the side of the cliff you will find a small cave, inside of this cave you can see some old stone carvings of faces, which I have been told are pre-Inka in origin.
Killarumiyoq is also a good place to experience an interesting and true local festival, one that mainly just gets locals and not tourists. On the last Sunday in August the Killa Raymi (or Killarumiyoq Raymi) is held at this site, this is a festival honoring the moon and is the counterpart to the much larger, and heavily tourist-ed, Inti Raymi that is held in Cusco on June 25th of each year.
Like the Inti Raymi, the Killa Raymi starts with a parade of characters in colorful costumes and ceremonies before the Inka appears, to preform the rituals to pay homage to the moon. One of the things that I really enjoyed about the Killa Raymi, aside from the smaller crowds, was the fact that it was shorter and felt much more authentic and less theatrical than the Inti Raymi. Once the ceremony is complete everyone heads down just below the site where there is live music, food and of course beer and chicha.
Well I hope that you have enjoyed this series of seldom visited sites in the Cusco region, and I hope at least one of these posts has inspired you to spend at least a little of your time outside of the normal tourist routes when visiting the Cusco region.