The Story of Pachacuti Inca

The story of Pachacuti Inca starts in Cusco where he was a ruler and the founder of what would become the great Incan Empire. Although in his early life, he was never meant to succeed the crown of Cusco from his father. Pachacuti had a brother named Urco and succession of the throne was to go to him.  However, Pachacuti earned the right to rule and showed his father that he deserved to rule over the kingdom by fending off an invasion by a rival tribe called the Chankas.

The Story of Pachacuti Inca

The Merit of Pachacuti’s Rule

The Chanka had long since been an enemy of Cusco and the story goes that they decided to invade the kingdom with a massive army.  Pachacuti’s brother and father, fearing death fled the city but Pachacuti stayed behind and saw the invasion as an opportunity to show his father that the kingdom would not only be safe, but flourish under his rule.  Pachacuti acted swiftly and gathered an army to fend off the Chanka.  Not only did they quell the would be invasion but they beat the Chanka so soundly that legends emerged from that battle.

The Earth Shaker

The people could not believe how badly the Chanka had been beaten by the military intelligence and stratagems of Pachacuti that they created a story about it.  They said that the rocks themselves rose up from the earth to assist Pachacuti in battle and that is how he earned the name “The Earth Shaker.”

Coming Into Power

Of course, Pachacuti’s father eventually died but before he did, Pachacuti earned his father’s blessing as the successive ruler of Cusco.  This was to be the birth of the Incan Empire.  At that time, Cusco was just a small hamlet but Pachacuti had a grand vision for his kingdom and saw it stretching much further than its humble borders at the time of his succession.  He went to work launching military campaigns to conquer neighboring lands and was very successful.

The Story of Pachacuti Inca

The Story of Pachacuti Inca

Organizing An Empire

With the aid of his son, Pachacuti built Cusco into a might capitol city that was the center of the Incan Empire. He was a very skilled warrior and military strategist.  He also had a mind for politics.  When Pachacuti would conquer a new land and add it to his empire, he was not overtly cruel to the defeated people.  Instead he offered them membership into the empire in exchange for their subservience.  He did not lay cultures to waste but assimilated them.

He also used nonmilitary methods of broadening his borders.  Pachacuti Inca was known to dispatch spies into other territories and kingdoms in order to find out how they might be coaxed into ceding their land to him.  These spies found out about military weaknesses, economic needs and other vital pieces of information.

Pachacuti then came to the leaders of these lands and offered them what he knew they needed and enticed them with wealth, peace and protection under the Incan Empire.  Most took him up on this offer and in exchange, Pachacuti allowed them to continue to rule in their land as sub-governors of the Incan Empire.


The Incan Empire was born and flourished during and after the life of Pachacuti Inca.  He died in 1471 but not before he absorbed into his kingdom much of South America.  His kingdom included what we now know as Chile, the south of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and the northern half of Argentina making it one of the largest empires in South American history.

Pachacuti was considered the Napoleon of South America and there are many statues of him in Cusco that still stand today. The story of Pachacuti Inca tells that he was in incredible ruler who organized a sophisticated and massive empire that would last until the Spanish conquest.

Speak Your Mind