19 Tikal Facts: Learn More About This Ancient Mayan Temple

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Oct 14, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Apr 12, 2022
Edited by Pete Anderson
Fact-checked by Prakriti Sinha
19 Tikal Facts: Learn More About This Ancient Mayan Temple

When the history of ancient cities is discussed, the city of Tical or Yax Mutal is a must-talk, as it is one of the largest civilizations that existed. Tikal is a city of the great Mayas that existed in 1000 BC.

The ruins of the empire are found in the north of Guatemala. More than 3000 ruins of the great kingdom of Mayans of the lost empires are found, including seven temples of the Mayan city.

Tikal was bestowed with the honor of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1979 and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Guatemala, covered by thick forests on four sides.

Has this intrigued you to learn more about this ancient ruin? If yes, then let's get further into its facts.

History And Origin Of Temple Tikal

The History and Origin of the Temple of Tikla range back to some 1000 BC years ago. It is considered to be the monument of one of the greatest empires of ancient times.

An empire is known to be the conquest state of that time. If you are searching for the powerful kingdoms of old times, then you must not forget to mention the Great Mayan Empire.

Built around 732 AD as a funerary architecture Tikal Temple also known as Jaguar Temple, is one the finest structures built by an empire at the time.

The Temple is often dubbed 'Ah Cacao' after the discovery of the burial of King Chan K'awiil I. The famous king of the historic Mayan Empire.

The city of Tikal was the center of economic, political, and military power. It was because it was located in the Mesoamerican region now commonly known as Central Mexican.

Today it is located in the modern city of Guatemala, given a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination around the world.

The city and Temple of Tikals were later on covered in huge forests after the abandonment by its people. When a Spanish conquistador passed through the area, he thought of them as mere hills and never mentioned them in his journals.

'The Temple of Tikal' or 'The Historic Temple I' was dedicated to the ruler Jasaw Chan K'awil who died in 734 AD.

Spiritual Significance Of Temple Tikal

The architectural significance of Tikal has a long connection with spirituality. All the six temples of Tikal were discovered to be burial sites for kings and queens.

The people of Tikal were found to be hard on themselves in terms of religion. They had strict values and conditions in terms of religion, and they devoted themselves to their temples.

The people of the Tikal were very strict with their religion. Whenever they had to make a sacrifice to their god, they did not make the sacrifice of bad blood; instead, they thought the pureblood was only blood to be sacrificed in their god's way.

They had a ball game to choose which pureblood would be sacrificed, and whoever was chosen was considered to have the purest blood.

Only the royals were considered to have pureblood.

They had made long steps in their six temples to make them feel closer to god.

Kings and queens mainly used these temples to worship their gods.

They often offered sacrifices on top of the Temple to please their god.

They symbolized themselves with jaguars to showcase their power, and they mainly used jaguars' skin for their thrones.

Whenever they suffered drought or little rain, they used to perform rituals on the top of the Temple.

Tikal was abandoned around 900 AD.

Structural Features Of Temple Tikal

The Mayan empire is known to be the strongest and most efficiently built empire all across history. It was built in between the forest. The protected area has the best architecture, with major construction in the middle of the city; likewise ancient Egypt, the ancient Mayans also had a craze for the tallest structures.

All the six temples were high, trying to reach the sky so kings and queens could feel closer to god.

The Tikal temple is built in a pyramid style and has long stairs as they thought the more effort they put into reaching god, the more their god would be pleased by them.

All the temples were big, straight, accurate, and had unique designs.

At the top of the Temple, there was a seat for either the king or queen to be seated upon.

Tikal, the Temple of the great jaguar, is enclaved at the top of the Temple, and it is the most famous and still standing tallest structure of all time.

The top of the Tikal temple was made of sapodilla wood and had the jaguar throne for the king.

There was the striking crown that rose from the roof. The Tikal Temple was built in such a way that it had walls leaning against each other and then covered with plaster to give it firm support.

The Mayan city was founded and discovered many times later as it was covered in forests. They had great agriculture and water support system. The Mayan city supported almost 60,000 people.

They were extremely religious and pious people and made sacrifices for their gods. Above all of this, it remains a mystery how such an efficient city and tall buildings were built thousands of years ago. How did they manage to invent such things and manage to keep them in use?


When was Tikal built?

Tikal was built around 723 AD.

How many people lived in the ancient city of Tikal.

Around 60,000 people lived in Tikal.

What airport is closest to Tikal, Guatemala?

Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS / MGMM) is the closest to Tikal.

What is Tikal National Park?

Tikal National Park is where the ruins of Tikal Temple remain and is a tourist site.

What to do in Tikal?

Visit and look around the grand structure.

Where is Tikal located?

Tikal is located in the archaeological region of the Peten basin.

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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Fact-checked by Prakriti Sinha

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Business Mangement

Prakriti Sinha picture

Prakriti SinhaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Business Mangement

Prakriti is a content fact checker at Kidadl while completing her Bachelor's in Business Administration from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. She has achieved impressive feats, such as ranking 155 in her state with a 95% in the 11th International Commerce Olympiad by Commerce Teachers Foundation (2020) and securing second place in the Inter-school Bizgeist competition held by Cambridge. Prakriti has previously worked as a content writer, researching and writing articles on various topics.

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