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Residents glimpse Machu Picchu at Katara.

CATHERINE W GICHUKI DOHA EXQUISITE photographs celebrating the centenary anniversary of Machu Picchu -- an ancient Inca settlement -- is on display at the Qatar Photographic Society (QPS) exhibition hall in Katara.

The exhibition has continued to attract a large number of visitors since its opening on June 26.

The exhibition called, '100 years of Machu Picchu World Revelation (1911-2011)', captures the beauty and splendour of the pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site in Machu Picchu, Peru.

The exhibition is being organised by the Peruvian embassy and is supported by the QPS, Katara and Digital Print Center.

It will continue till July 30.

Many residents want to know more about this historic place situated on a mountain ridge which had remained unknown to the outside world until early 1900s.

The secretive ancient site was brought to international attention in 1911 by US explorer Hiram Bingham.

This site has since become an important tourist attraction in South America.

The photographs on display showcase stone architectural complex located in the region of Cuzco, thought to date back to the 1450s when Bingham arrived there in July 1911 during a scientific expedition.

They showed different landscapes of almost 911 sites within Machu Picchu, which were built in the classical Inca style and with polished dry-stone walls.

Its three primary buildings are the 'Intihuatana', the 'Temple of the Sun' and the 'Room of the Three Windows'.

Among the photographs showcased include Bingham's works during his expedition to this ancient wonder.

Other exclusive photographs include pyramid stones of Intihuatana which is close to the sacred mountains, the east urban sector of Machu Picchu, the citadel of Machu Picchu, the mystical temple, llamas grazing beneath the barn, the workers' barracks, orchid in Machu Picchu, a sacred rock carved with Mount Yanatin in the background, among other rare pieces captured through the lens.

The exhibition aims to contribute a better understanding of how Bingham introduced Machu Picchu to the world, and hence, achieve the historical, human and social enhancement of the ancient sanctuary.

According to the visitors, the Machu Picchu settlement is a tale of how the people of that era used only stones to build the 'Lost City of the Incas'.

Chris Lomas, a visitor from Manchester, said that he had always wished to know more about Machu Pichu.

"I have friends from Peru and they talk a lot about Machu Picchu.

I am happy to see the grass, mountains and pyramids.

This gives me a real picture of the place.

I am even thinking of visiting the place, so that, I can see Machu Picchu in my lifetime," he said.

Another visitor, Mohamed Abubakar from Egypt, said, "The place is a mixture of natural beauty and ancient settlement.

I did not know about this before and I am glad that I got this opportunity.

I am sure many people would like to know how the pyramids were built as well," he said.

Some of the photographs on display were taken by a couple named Kenneth and Ruth Wright and by Carlos Sala from Peru.

The UNESCO declared the ancient settlement a World Heritage Site in 1983.

In 2007, the site was named as one of the 'New Seven Wonders of the World' in an Internet poll conducted worldwide.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Jul 12, 2011
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