Take a half-day private tour with a qualified Egyptologist guide exploring the East Bank of Luxor. You'll see two of the most impressive temples in Upper Egypt - Karnak and Luxor, while learning about ancient Egyptian history from your own personal guide.
Start your day with a visit to the Temples of Karnak. Walk along the Avenue of Sphinx to enter the complex as your guide explains how the massive facade was constructed. On entering the Temples of Karnak you will see each legacy left by the various pharaohs as the complex grew even larger. The deeper you go into the complex, the further back in time you will travel, with the oldest ruins dating back over 3,000 years.
Walking through the Great Court into the Great Hypostyle Hall, it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the 134 columns towering above you like an ancient forest. At the rear of the complex you will find the sacred lake where centuries ago pharaohs and their offerings to the gods were purified. After a tour of the complex, you will have additional free time to explore at leisure.
On left side of the Hypostyle Hall, there is an exit that will lead to the Open-air Museum. There is also an exit point at the Great Court where you can access this site.
This museum requires a separate ticket costing EGP50 which surprised me as I thought it is included in the Karnak Temple entry fee of EGP60 that I already paid for. There are more things to see around the Karnak so I skipped this open-air museum.
The last section of the Temple of Amun on the main axis - if I remember it right, the last portion of the temple - the Festival Temple of Tuthmosis III which is in really good condition. Tuthmosis III is said to have built this structure on the site of the brick enclosure of an older sanctuary for Nun. It is one of the more interesting, as well as one of the more unusual features at Karnak. He built it as a sort of memorial to himself and his ancestral cult and named it the "Most Splendid of Monuments". The entrance was originally flanked by two statues of the king wearing a festival costume.
Read the complete info here: Festival Temple of Tuthmosis III
This is almost the last part of the Karnak Complex that I went to..or is it? I think so. I remember this is the most silent part of the complex.
When I say, this area of the Karnak Temple is easily the best part - probably in all of the sights I've seen in EGypt (incl. the Great Pyramids), I mean it. That's why I'm posting more photos - though it does not justify seeing the real thing in person - to see what I mean.
The Great Hypostyle Hall measures 7,200 square yards of 134 massive and tall columns with several inscriptions around each. Looks to me like feet or legs of giant mammoths (that sounds like the same...is it? which is which?).
After the huge open court, you'll be getting in the most spectacular part of the Karnal Temple -- the Great Hyspostyle Hall -- left and right.
This is the part where I got the most goosebumps I have ever had everytime I see a historical site. This is world's largest hypostyle hall, no equal anywhere else in the world. It has 134 papyrus flower-shaped columns. This impressive hall is built by Seti I between 1313 - 1292BC and finished by his son Ramses II during the new kingdom in 1292 - 1225BC.
I'm lost with words here, seeing this area of the temple is unbelievably amazing.
There's a romantic feeling to it. If this area of the temple is empty, you could play hide and seek and will find it really hard to find each other.
Easily my favorite part of Karnak Temple --- maybe my fave in whole of Luxor -- or even Egypt. I'm serious..really. (See pics, so you'll appreciate what I'm saying, though of course the pics won't justify the real thing.)
On the left side of the huge open court or the Great Court is a rectangular hypostyle hall with 8 columns, a vestibule with 4 columns, and an open court. This hall is called the Temple of Ramses II with several statues of Ramses III.
After entering the main gate or the first pylon, you'll be ushered into a huge open space called the Great Court, in the middle you'll see a huge 21 meter tall column with bud papyrus capital. This portion of the temple is the kiosk of Taharqa who ruled during the 25th Dynasty. This tall single column is the only one left from a colonnade which used to be of 10 columns. There are 3 chapels on the left side of the court built during the reign of King Seti II for the Triad of Thebes.
The Temple is the most important place of worship during the new kingdom.
Similar to the avenue of the sphinxes in the temple of Luxor, the Karnak Temple has it's own line of sphinxes, the difference is in Karnak - it's a ram-headed sphinxes (in Luxor it's Necatanebo's head). The main gate of Karnak has on both sides have several ram-headed sphinxes and it used to be linked up all the way to Luxor Temple -- for the procession.
I finished wandering around the Luxor Temple at noontime so I have enough time to visit the other temple -- Karnak. I started walking when I found out from a local that the temple is far from Luxor temple, so when a caleche stopped on my side, I haggled for EGP5 to the temple, didn't take really that hard. I just don't feel good riding in a horse-drawn carriage, something about the animal and the beating.
Like the Luxor Temple, the Karnak Temple is also a part of the monumental ancient city of Thebes.
Karnak Temple is considered to be the largest ancient religious site in the world, and seconding the Pyramids of Giza as the most visited tourist sight in Egypt.
This I found out late, the Karnak Temple that tourists normally see is actually the Temple of Amun-Re only, and that consist only one of the 4 parts of the whole Karnak Temple, the other 3 are closed to the general public (the Precinct of Mut, the Precinct of Montu, and the dismantled Temple of Amenhotep IV)
That was very interesting because I thought I already saw the full Karnak Temple when in fact I just saw a fraction of it. Well, everyone of us who went there just saw the same thing anyway.
Entry is EGP60
......and available at the small ticket window (partly hidden) amongst the bazaar shops that I missed it and walk to the gate cuz I thought the ticket booth is there, already sweating and the sun is really at it's angst, I walked back to the ticket booth. So learn a lesson from this: PLEASE FIND THE TICKET BOOTH AT THE BAZAAR before you even walk the long way to the main gate.
A must see for any traveller to Egypt - Egyptophile or not. The complex is amazing in that not only is so much of it still standing but the colours of the heiroglyphs and paintings is still bright.
It is a temple to Amun Ra and has been added to by each pharaoh who succeeded the throne - Rameses II & III, Tutankamun and Queen Hatshepsut are some. It was linked to the temple at Luxor by an avenue of sphinxes.
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