Calakmul: The Ancient Mayan Town of Snakes
Do you have an extreme adventurous habit?
And, do you like historical ruins at the same time? If the answers to the questions are yes, you must visit Calakmul on your next tour in Campeche.
Calakmul is one of the most ancient powerful Mayan cities discovered and excavated by the archaeologists. Though the popularity of this lowland ruin is not as much as Chichen Itza or Coba, the place has been able to attract a lot of tourists in the recent years.
What is the story behind Calakmul?
The city was built in the classic Mayan period. It was a staying for fifty thousand people. However, the place saw a plenty of battles. More than eighteen rulers ruled the place according to the research of the excavators.
Why is the City named as Snake-town?
The most common symbol you will find on most of the temples, pyramids and buildings of Calakmul is snakehead. It is assumed that the ancient citizens of Calakmul worshipped snakes. And, for your information, there is no risk of real snakes while walking in here.
What will you see in Calakmul?
If you have already visited Chichen Itza or Coba, Calakmul can open a new door of understanding an advanced ancient civilization. Chichen Itza is known as the capital of that ancient age.
But, Calakmul had more buildings, people, and resources than the capital.
Till now, the infrastructures of the site are not named properly. That is why you will have to wander without marking anything by name. While the central building of the city is the biggest structure found in any Mayan city.
The highest pyramid of the city is 50 feet higher than the El Castillo of Chichen Itza. So, there was some dominance by the locals for sure. Most of the pyramids were built from pre-classic to late classic period. Don’t miss the chance of taking pictures in front of them.
Climbing on some of the pyramids is strictly prohibited for safety. So, beware of the restriction signs.
If you want to take a walk on an ancient Mayan street, this city will give you the opportunity. There are eight causeways connecting other allies. Archaeologists believe that these were used mostly for trading purposes and war aids.
Each sacbe has a different pathway. Pass some time and enjoy the landscape!
To calculate the advancement of a civilization, it requires gathering knowledge on how they earned the bread. The irrigation system of Calakmul is way too advanced to imagine. Rulers built 5 reservoirs to save and allocate the water during droughts.
Therefore that innovative infrastructure is unable to imagine in today’s scenario. And, you can simply preserve a memory in front of these reservoirs.
When Calakmul was discovered for the first time in 1930, the discovered 60 stelaes became the center of attraction for the archaeologists. Later on more were discovered. You can see the extremely beautiful stelae and murals created by ancient Mayan artists.
Their ceramic pottery and paintings are truly surprising. It shows the proof of a developed generation. The anthropologists are trying to recover the storytelling of the murals and stelaes.
Tomb of Kings
Mayans believed that a king in this life would also be a king in the afterlife. To empower the king, they created tombs for royals and decorated with offerings. Before discovering the city, some of the royal tombs were damaged due to natural calamity.
And, the remaining tombs are worth watching for an archaeological lover.
Most of the kings in Calakmul did not die while fighting. They died in the palace and buried in these tombs.
Adjacent to the ruins, another place to visit is the biosphere reserve of the Campeche. It is inhabited with plenty of rare and extinct species.