After a overnight journey in the famous “sleeper train” from Cairo to Luxor we reached Luxor.Our program had shown that we would be checked into our 5* ship an dthen after freshening up we would go to see Karnak and Luxor temples. So we decided to do all our morning rituals on board the ship.
Imagine our dismay when we were met by our guide and driven straight to Karnak, because the ship’s check in time was still 3 hours away. So here were we grumpy and dirty but all that dissappeared as soon as we came face to face with the temple complex!
The Temple of Karnak comprises of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about three kilometers north of Luxor, Egypt situated on 247 acres of land. Karnak is actually the site’s modern name, after the modern village of el-Karnak, some 2.5 km north of Luxor. Its ancient name was Ipet-isut, meaning “The Most Select (or Sacred) of Places”.
The Karnak group of temples is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the biggest temple complex in the world .It is said to be the largest open air museum in the world and once you reach there you realise why.
You are greeted by rows ram-headed sphinx symblosing god Amun.
This huge temple complex was built and enlarged over a period of 1300 years and approximately thirty pharaohs contributed to the buildings.
The Hypostyle Hall in the Precinct of Amun-Re is one of the most spectacular sights I have seen .One can only wonder its effect (when in its pristne glory)on ordinary people who came there?
And you also realise that Ramses II was very fond of his own images.There are rows of his statues .
Queen Hatshepsut,the only female Pharoah had monuments constructed and also restored the original Precinct of Mut, the ancient great goddess of Egypt, that had been ravaged by the foreign rulers during the Hyksos occupation. She had erected twin obelisks, at the entrance to the temple.They were tallest in the world at that time, now however, only one stands, as the tallest surviving ancient obelisk on Earth,while the other toppled and broke in two.
Seeing the obelisks, while reminding you of man’s genius also kept reminding me Obelisk and Asterisk comics!
There is also a sacred lake in the premise and near it a giant Scarab beetle on a pedastal and the guides were telling tourists to circumbulate it 7 tims for granting of wishes.Believe it or not many were going it!!