What are the Mayan Ruins

Mayan civilization was one of the oldest in the world and it covered a vast area from the new age Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras etc. This Meso-american civilization was very advanced in the fields of engineering, architecture, astrology, art, mathematics. Especially the Mayan calendars were very precise and accurate. How such a great civilization declined is still a mystery and it was only in the 19th century, that explorers discovered the Mayan ruins hidden in the dense rainforests. Their palaces, observatories, pyramids, ceremonial sites have survived over thousands of years and most of them are huge, imposing structures hidden in thick, dense rainforests. Mayans were a powerful and advanced civilization and their magnificent structures look beautiful even today, though they are badly eroded.

Most Mayan ruins are in Mexico except Tikal, which is in Guatemala. Ruins at Tikal are one of the most impressive. The ruins here are different from others because it is surrounded on all sides by thick jungle. There are many pyramids found in the Tikal ruins surrounded by dense rainforests. Chichen Itza near Cancun is also very famous Mayan ruin and is well restored. There are hundreds of structures here, of which few have been restored while others are still covered by vegetation. El Castillo, which means The Castle, is the most familiar of all the Mayan ruins. This 75 foot high pyramid is an evidence of Mayan’s superiority in fields of architecture and engineering. Tulum, situated along the east coast of Yucatan Peninsula is another popular Mayan ruins frequent by tourists, because it is the only coastal site overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Tulum in Mayan means ‘wall’ and was one of the last places to be built by Mayans.

El Castillo, the Temple of Descending God, the Temple of Frescoes are three important structures at Tulum. Lamanai and Xunantunich are two places with Mayan ruins in Belize. Xunantunich means stone woman and the place was discovered in 19th century. El Castillo is the tallest structure in Xunantunich and is about 130 feet tall. In Maya language, Lamanai means submerged crocodile. Evidences suggest that Lamanai, situated in north of Belize, was one of the longest inhabited sites of all Mayan civilization. It is surrounded by thick rainforests. A lot of ruins at Lamanai are still un-excavated; Jaguar temple, Mask temple and High temple are three of the temples which are very impressive. Calakmul, meaning city of two adjacent pyramids, in Mexico is another famous site of Mayan ruins. Till date more than 6000 structures have discovered in Calakmul and it is believed to have been a major superpower in ancient times. There are numerous other sites dating back to thousands of years and some sites are still waiting to be excavated.

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