Ek Balam: Hindu Gods in Maya territory?

This post is part of my Mexico travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery

Mayan ruins of Ek’ Balam and the presence of some peculiar statues.


↑ Ek’ Ba’lam ruins, in the middle of a forest, viewed from top of the acropolis.

Dating back to the glorious period of Maya civilization, around 600-800 CE, Ek Balam is a relatively unvisited archeological site in the middle of thick vegetation. About 45 structures have been excavated and partially restored in this site and the place feels like a perfect location to shoot an Indiana Jones movie because it looks quite abandoned and overgrown.


↑ The great Acropolis with few rooms covered with a roof for protection

A gigantic Acrópolis sits at the northern end of the site and visitors are allowed to climb to the top (unlike Chichen Itza) where a temple once stood. From the top at a height of 32m (105ft), the vista looks beautiful and expansive – very green and no trace of human presence for miles.

↑ Yogic postures?

In addition to the fact that the Acropolis is a structure with 108 steps (108 is a spiritually significant number for eastern religions) and a temple at the top, the surfaces of the acropolis has a number of rooms with stucco statues that look like winged gods. There are some more statues showing divine figures standing or sitting in mudras that are commonly seen in Hindu/Buddhist temples.

I wonder if there was any contact between these ancient civilizations. Historians say its unlikely based the information currently available. However, there have been numerous similarities between cultures and it is professed that an ancient seafaring civilization once existed. Snake deities, for example, known as Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent, to the Mesoamericans, were worshiped in various forms throughout central America, Polynesia, India and Egypt.

There is no public transport

But worry not, there are infrequent shared taxis from Valladolid bus station that leave when full. Plus, after previously failed attempts at hitchhiking, I grew wiser and travelled with a female companion from my hostel this time. As a result it took us less than five minutes to get a ride in a pickup truck. 😉

This post is part of my Mexico travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery