Teotihuacán-Transforming Men Into Gods

Posted On December 3, 2009 


Teotihuacán  is a huge archaeological place located at the Basin of Mexico. Teotihuacán contains few of the biggest pyramid constructions ever built by the pre-Columbian Americas. The place is also known for the housing complexes, various well-preserved as well as colorful murals and also for the Avenue of the dead.

The archaeological site as well as the till date city are situated in today’s date San Juan Teotihuacán municipality which is in  México. The site is positioned at a distance of approximate 24 miles in the northeast direction of the Mexico City. The site of Teotihuacan has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1987. The total area covered by the site is around 83 square kilometers. The site has the honor of being the largest archeological site that attracts almost all the tourists that comes to Mexico.


At the first half of the first millennium when the Teotihuacán city was at its peak it was supposed to be the biggest city for the pre-Columbian  Americas. During that time the city had around 100,000 people living in the city, thus making it one of the densely populated cities in the world. The culture and enlightening multifaceted which are connected with this location is many times stated as Teotihuacano and also Teotihuacán.


The declaration of Teotihuacan that whether it was the capital of a state empire was always a debatable topic. The impression the city has all-over the city is well-recorded. Also it had a huge influence across the Mesoamerica. There are many evidences that are found that describes the presence of Teotihuacan as a place which had economical as well as a political influence across the region. This region included Maya as well as Veracruz region. The traditions of the people of Teotihuacan have always been a subject to be discussed and thought about. Few ethnic groups belonging to the region are the Totonac, Otomi as well as Nahua. Many researchers have also told that Teotihuacan did play a role of being a multiethnic place.

The actual name of the city is till date unknown. It has been stated that the original name of the place was puh, which means “Place of Reeds” as found in many hieroglyphic manuscript that belonged to the Maya region. This provided a view that the Maya region during the Classic period knew Teotihuacan as a Place of Reeds. Also during the different Postclassic Central Mexican people that settled in the region took the name Tollan for the region. This is derived Tula-Hidalgo as well as Cholula.

The originally six-tier uncovered pyramids have left four-tier till the date. It has various overhanging monument of serpents irregular with pretense of Tlaloc, who is worshipped as a god of maize and rain. The serpents have feathers or clouds across their necks also their bodies have a curve which starts from the left side of their head and ends in the rattle. The Tlaloc masks are made up of the corn-cob faces which has huge circular eyes as well as two fangs. The Carvings of snails as well as shells are made across the masks. Both shell and snail symbolise earth as well as water. Initially they were being painted with various bright colors; the plumes were colored in green also obsidian eyes were made for the serpent, fangs white color and jaws were painted in red for the Tlaloc. Few traces of the different as also visible till date.

After you will leave the citadel and walk in the upwards direction, here you will come across  the Calle de los Muertos later that helps you to make your way towards the direction of the Pyramid of the Moon. On the left side you can see the “Edificios Superpuestos” which is many times stated as the superimposed buildings. The excavations have discovered the living quarters underneath the current level, also it was filled with the debris as to construct the next stage.

Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the SunThe actual shape and size of the pyramid of the sun is unknown because o the reconstruction work which was started very early Leopoldo Batres. The construction of the pyramid of the sun was started again in the 20th century. The height of the pyramid of the sun today after the reconstruction is about 65 meters. Originally there were four tiers which were evenly located. Today there are five tiers. The fifth tier is divide by Batres from the forth tier.

Do not forget climb up the steps and go to the pinnacle of the pyramid it is one of the spectacular view and also is worth the climb. Almost all of the tiers have quite smaller steps. They are quite easy to climb. On the top of the pyramid there was a temple whose traces are not found today.

It is believed that the location of the pyramid was been determined by a cave which is present beneath the pyramid. Later an entrance was been found out in the year 1971.It is located at the edge of the pyramid. There are vertical stone steps cuts which are placed in the walls of the pyramid. They are around 7 meters deep. In the bottom you will come across a way through the tunnel which takes you to the four rooms which are constructed in the pyramid. A number of artifacts are found near the pyramid which is supposed to be used for various religious reasons.

Palaces of the Jaguar and Quetzal-butterfly

Quetzal ButterflyWhile you are about to Approach the Pyramid of the Moon while returning from the Pyramid of the Sun, you will come across an impressive piazza which has an opening which is located at the pedestal of the pyramid. Many platforms as well as small pyramids enclose the plaza. Every pyramid has a staircase at the center which originally head to a temple.

The remains of palaces can be seen at the left side. Few of the murals as well as the carvings are still noticeable. The murals of jaguars are placed in the Palace of the Jaguar. In the Palace of the Quetzal, numerous butterflies are been engraved on the pillars which depicts a butterfly. The creature’s eyes were made with the help of the obsidian. You will find few pieces are till date present as well as are unbroken.

The palaces which are present here were highly ornamented and are supposed to be the residence of the various high priests that belonged to the era. Other murals are been witnessed in the housing areas located just outside the foremost complex, which is situated at Tepantitla, directly at the back the Palace of the Sun and also at Atetelco and Tetila which are in the west of the most important place.

Pyramid of the MoonPyramid of the Moon

Even though this pyramid is very much smaller when compared to that of the Pyramid of Sun, it was build on high level ground and thus the peaks of both the pyramid are approximately at the similar height. The Pyramid of the Moon has only four tiers. Few of the steps of the pyramid are so huge that it takes very much effort from you if you are willing to climb up the pyramid. At least climb the first tier you will definitely find it worth of the efforts you had. From the first tier you will have a direct view of the Calle de los Muertos which is very much outstanding.


A number of Tour agencies in Mexico City organize a half day and also full day tours to Teotihuacán. The tour to Teotihuacán is most of the timed combined with the Basilica of Guadalupe as well as the Plaza de la Tres Culturas. The cost of these tours is around 500 pesos per person. All the tours have a guide with it who mostly speaks English as well as the local languages.

How to reach

Mexico City International Airport is the nearest located airport. You can hail a cab or hire a car and drive down the highway 85D in the northwest direction leaving the Mexico City. It will take you around an hour to arrive at Teotihuacán. You use the bus service from Mexico City’s north bus terminal. The frequency of the bus is quite good and they ply every 30-60 minutes.

When to visit

If you are planning to visit Teotihuacán make you trip around the month of October to May. This is the best time to visit the place as the climate here during these months is quite pleasant. The popular months when people holiday in the city are from July till August. It is suggested that avoid going to the city from May up till September as during this period the climate is quite hot as well as humid.


You can easy get a comfortable place to spend your night in and around the city. Accommodation for every budget is available. There are many hotels that provides you with the option of online booking thus making it easy for you to find as well as book the place before being in the city.

Opening timings

The Teotihuacán Archaeology Park is open all days of the week except Sunday. The park opens at 9 in the morning and is closed down by 5 in the evening. The non Permanent Residents as well as the non Mexico citizens are required to pay the entrance costs. You are required to have a permit if you want to use a tripod or a hand-held video camera inside the site equipment. Avoid going to Teotihuacán on the weekends as this time it is very much crowded.

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