Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple
We were docked in Luxor and went to explore the temples in the east side of the Luxor city - Karnak temple and Luxor temple.
Temple of Karnak is also known as the temple for Amon Ra. It’s a huge temple complex and has a many ruined temples, chapels, pylons, columns, obelisks and other buildings. More than thirty pharaohs have contributed to building different kind of structures. And it has been developed since the Middle Kingdom period (around 2055 BC) period all the way through Ptolemaic period (around 30 BC), hence it is such a huge temple complex. The deities represented range from some of the earliest worshiped to those worshiped much later in the history of the Ancient Egyptian culture. Many of the features of Karnak are unique, but sheer size of the complex is overwhelming and takes more than a day to really understand and appreciate. We had a half day tour of the temple complex.
Photograph of aerial view of the Karnak Temple - the scale and size is huge.
Karnak Temple in Luxor
Grand entrance of the temple with 20 ram-headed avenue of Sphinxes on each side
Forecourts and open courts inside the temple complex
Pharaoh statues all over the temple complex and ruins of interiors of a temple
One famous aspect of Karnak is the Hypostyle Hall, which has 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows. 122 of these columns are 10 meters tall, and the other 12 are 21 meters tall with a diameter of over three meters.
Great Hypostyle Hall of Karnak temple
Obelisk erected in the temple complex and the sacred lake of the temple
Next we went to visit the Luxor Temple,, which is another massive temple, located about 3 kms away from the Karnak temple. It was dedicated to the cult of Amun and was built by Amenhotep III (around 2055 BC) and there on many additions were made by various Pharaohs to the temple complex. During the Christian era, Alexander the Great rebuilt the Sanctuary and the inner section was converted to a church. And around 10th century the Mosque of Abou El-Hagag was built over the runis of the temple complex.
At the entrance of the first pylon, there are two seated colossi representing King Ramses II, seated on his throne.
Open court with rows of papyrus bud columns
This is one of few temples which probably has had three different religions worshipped in the same place – the ruined Egyptian temple, Christian chapel and Muslim mosque.
We were docked in Luxor and it was to be our last day in Egypt with visits to the temples on the east side of the Luxor city. However after a whole of day of sightseeing we got to know that our flight from Luxor to Dubai was cancelled and so we ended up staying for another day in Luxor city. we chose to relax during the day and sailed on the feluca (wooden boats) to watch a beautiful sunset by the nile.
Sailing by the Nile River during sunset!
Feluca ride... I was lost in the history and mystery of Egypt.. an evening .. perhaps a trip to remember!
• Please read the travel and tourism advise on any country you plan to visit and research every city you plan to visit.
• The two days we were in Luxor we stayed on cruise, as per our itinerary we were supposed to fly out on the third day but our flight was cancelled and so on the third night we stayed at a hotel close by the Nile.
• The stay on cruise was comfortable with variety of food and entertainment every evening. It is customary to tip the crew on board.
• The temples in Luxor are not to be missed and I think are integral part of understanding ancient Egyptian history. The size and architecture of these temples take you to a different world.