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Pachacuti (reign: 1438–1471/1472)

Pachacuti was the son of Viracocha Inca, ruler of the Kingdom of Cusco (in modern Peru). His full name was Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, also known as Pachacutec or Pachakutiq Inka Yupanki (in the Quechua language spoken by the Incas). The Kingdom of Cusco was a relatively small kingdom; it was Pachacuti that helped build an empire...

Prowess in battle brings leadership

Pachacuti was a fierce commander and he led his people to a victory against the Chanka (rivals of the Inca). Because of his leadership skills, his father made him his acknowledged successor. Pachacuti became the ninth Sapa Inca (ruler) in 1438. He was going to lead the Inca people into a new era...

Incredible expansion

Through his conquering and campaigning, Pachacuti managed to expand a kingdom into an empire. With Cusco as the spiritual center, the Incas spread outwards, integrating (or defeating) any tribes they encountered. Pachacuti has been compared with Philip II of Macedon. He set in motion empire-building that would be greatly expanded upon by his son, just like Philip did for his son, Alexander the Great. Pachacuti's reign now needed a symbol...

A royal estate like no other

It is widely believed that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for Pachacuti. It was founded around 1450, when Pachacuti was emperor. The site, high in the Peruvian Andes mountains, would have been appropriate for a man whose name meant "he who overturns space and time." Pachacuti was a man of many talents: politician, strategist, poet and even a project manager! Cusco flourished under his reign...

Best Pictures of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a famous Inca citadel in Peru. It attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year looking to gaze upo...

Best Pictures of Machu Picchu

Growth of a major city

Cusco grew from a small kingdom into the capital and beating heart of a huge empire. It has been estimated by the year 1500, it had a population of 300,000 (much bigger than Rome and London at that time)! Pachacuti had laid the foundations for his successor...

Dan the Info-man
This is an image of Qurikancha, the temple of the Sun in Cusco. It was rebuilt during Pachacuti's reign.

Topa Inca Yupanqui continues his father's work

Pachacuti died in 1471 from an illness. His son, Topa Inca Yupanqui (or Túpac Inca Yupanqui) became emperor and continued the expansion of the empire. It eventually covered 772,204 square miles at its peak (1527 - death of Huayna Capac). This would make it similar in size to the modern state of Mexico - an incredible achievement for a 15th century civilization!

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