5 Unique Facts about Temples of the Mayan Tribes in Central America

There are hundreds of ceremonial cites that are spread across the large swath of southern Mexico, most of them lie hidden in centuries of jungle outgrowth as only a few have been restored and researched on extensively. For visitors it’s recommended they visit the restored sites as they are quite accessible an easy to explore. These sites will give you different scopes of the Mayan world; here are some unique facts about the temples of the Mayan tribes of Central America.


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Mayan ruins are found in three southern states of Mexico that comprise of Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatan Peninsula away from the south you will also get them in Tabasco and Chiapas states. There hundreds of Mayan sites some which are excavated, explored or overgrown. Kohunlinch region has the least visited sites, its located 25 miles west of Chetamul and is near Mexico belize border. Here there still exist several restored temples that have large carvings and more than 500 mounds that await exploration.(image by Raul Macias).

Major sites

There are three major sites that are well known for their easy to explore nature, size and degree of restoration. They are also the most accessible to tourists; these are the Palenque in Chiapas, Chichen Itza and Uxmal in Yucatan. These sites are believed to have reached their peaks between the years 250 and 900 AD. These places of rituals included structures like ball courts, pyramids and temples which were used as ceremonial centers. The three sites are well networked by major highways and have great hotels adjacent to them.

Mayan Expression

Mayan temples featured many artistic designs and varied from site to site. Places like Palenque feature expressive carvings of kings, priests and warriors. Uxmal is often characterized by its intricate and lattice like stonework.  Chichen Itza used to draw its inspiration from some of the fiercest Toltec cultures of Central Mexico and its designs included serpents, skulls and other gruesome carvings. These were mostly used for rituals.


Mayans had a highly developed but complex language that used glyphs; these languages can still be seen inscribed on the temple’s stone columns, steale and walls among others. Scholars still find it hard to interpret these signs and even after coming up with translations of many panels, it’s still had to know what they meant, however its evident they used numbers, a dot used to symbolize one while a bar was five and a shell implied a zero, three was written as three dots while seven was two dots over a bar.

Mayan calendar

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Mayan people had a calendar that controlled their life, it comprised of several interlocking cycles which included a 52 day year cycle, 200 day year cycle and a 365 days solar calendar. All these are factual and are represented in carvings and designs of major buildings. Pyramids of Kukulclan at Chichen Itza had four staircases and each of them had 91 steps, added up together plus the top platform, you would get to 365. The sun also casts its shadows only twice a year on the staircases that seems to resemble a snake getting its way up to the top.(image by Ellen Macdonald).

Mayan community was a very sophisticated community and at those early days, they had some good and fine brains that in the world today would be considered as great intellectuals. Their idea of calculation was also a milestone. You should consider visiting the Mayan temples and witnessing these accounts with your eyes.


Related post:You Must Know About Malaysian Culture Before You Visit In Malaysia

Feature image by Great British

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