Qhapaq Ñan otherwise known as the Main Andean Road was the backbone of the Inca Empire's political and economic power. The whole network of roads over 30,000 km in length connected various production, administrative and ceremonial centers constructed over more than 2,000 years of pre-Inca Andean culture.
The Main axis of the route, also known as the Royal Road runs along the peaks of the Andes (more then 6,000 m) which is at it's most discernable between Quito (Ecuador) and Mendoza (Argentina). In addition to this backbone over the highest peaks, other roads also run in a north-south direction along the Pacific coast.
The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu, "the four suyu". In Quechua, tawa is four and -ntin is a suffix naming a group, so that a tawantin is a quartet, a group of four things taken together. The empire was divided into four suyu ("regions" or "provinces") whose corners met at the capital, Cusco (Qosqo). The four suyu were: Chinchaysuyu (north), Antisuyu (east; the Amazon jungle), Qullasuyu (south) and Kuntisuyu (west).
The name Tawantinsuyu was, therefore, a descriptive term indicating a union of provinces. The Spanish transliterated the name as Tahuatinsuyo or Tahuatinsuyu.
In thais days, Qapac Ñan runs over six South American countries, from north to south: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. (See the Map below).
The Inca Empire organized its network on a continent-wide scale; its roads are an invaluable expression of the organizing and planning spirit of the available labour force and constituted a key instrument in unifying the Empire physically and organizationally.
The Incas of Cuzco achieved this unique infrastructure with a unitary character in less than a century, making it functionally coherent and establishing additional centers for commerce, exchange, production and worship, adapting production sectors to topography and climate, in each ecological area to be found along the Road.
The Road also expressed these peoples' harmonious relation and their adaptation to the complex Andean natural setting. Today, the cultural landscapes of Qhapaq Ñan form an exceptional backdrop on which living Andean cultures continue to convey a universal message: the human ability to turn one of the harshest geographical contexts of the American continent into an environment for life.
In June 2014, Qapac Ñan added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO, during the 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee held in Doha;
The Embassy of Peru in the State of Qatar would like to present a Photographic Exhibition of Qapac Ñan, celebrating two years on joining the World Heritage List.