Barkal Travel Guide

  • Jebel Barkal
    Jebel Barkal
    by sachara
  • Column with Hator at the temple of Mut
    Column with Hator at the temple of Mut
    by sachara
  • Temple of Amun
    Temple of Amun
    by sachara

Barkal Things to Do

  • enter the Temple of Amun

    The temple is cut into the rock of the mointain. If there are a lot of tourists, as there were on our first visit, going into the temple can be unpleasant as it is small, hot and smells strongly of bats droppings. Plus it becomes difficult to see anything clearly.However when we went in December 2008 and were the only visitors, we could see clearly...

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  • don't miss the rams

    The first time I went to Barkal, there was a coach party there too, so the site was busy. In December 2008 we were the only visitors and the guide was able to give us a lot of information. So, we walked away from the mountain and the clister of ruins to what would have been the entrance to the original site. There we found 6 rams in place leading...

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  • Barkal Village and others affected by...

    The village lies behind the mountain, and like others faced the floods of 1988, which caused destruction in the area. Houses were destroyed and abandoned, the owners moving to higher ground, building on rocks and outcrops. Driving through is like visiting a ghost town. Originally I thought people may have left to work in the Gulf, or migrated to...

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  • Visit the Museum

    The museum at Jebel Barkal is quite small with a few statues and artefacts found at the site.We arrived just after a bus party, so decided to visit the ruins and temple first, but were told we had to begin with the visit to the Museum . The reason for this was that the same man [guide] has the key to both . A young backpacker, red in the face ,...

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  • Jebel Barkal

    This table top mountain was revered by the Ancient Egyptians as the main residence of the god Amun. The pinnacle that looks like [ depending on the viewer] the uraeus [cobra] of kingship, or the shape of a king gave rise to this belief. The locals also believe it is a special place.It is a sandstone massif dominating the plain around it. Although...

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  • visit the Barkal Pyramids

    The Barkal pyramids are in much better condition than those of Nuri.They are in front of Barkal mountain. There were over40 belonging to Kings and queens. The pyramids are from 6 -30 m high, tall and narrow with an incline of about 70 degrees. There occupants were mummified and had jewellery , and were in wooden mummy cases, as shown on wall...

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  • visit the temples

    The temples have been described elsewhere. There may not be much to see now, but there must have been quite a complex at some time. Now only a few columns remain standing, and sarcophagus or stones inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics.

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  • The Museum

    The museum is quite small but has many posters giving information on the history of Sudan, as well as a few artifacts from nearby sites. The guard or guide has the key to the museum and the Amun temple, and forced us another bus party to enter the museum first, so that he could then lock it, and take us to the temple.I don't remember seeing any...

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  • see the ruins of the Royal Palace and...

    At the pinnacle end of the Jebel Barkal are the remains of what would have been a palace and temples , possibly as many as 13 temples and 2 palaces. Though nowadays it is difficult to imagine this mass of stones and columns as being such. Alongside there are inscribed blocks of stones from the Egyptian era, including 159 lines of hieroglyphics...

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  • The ascent

    The climb to the top of the mountain - and getting back down again - is one of the best bits. On the Barkal village side there's a very steep sand bank that you climb up and down. The mountain is so small that if there were steps it'd take about a minute to walk up - ploughing your way through the sliding sand can take a few minutes longer. Coming...

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  • Barkal village

    If you come here it's probably to see the mountain and ruins so the village itself usually gets forgotten about. With Karima so close there's no reason to stay here but it's still worth a walk through. A good walk is from Karima, around the back of the mountain and through the edge of the desert, entering the village from behind - there's some...

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  • The tooth

    On the edge of the mountain is this strange tooth-like rock jutting up towards the sky. The locals have literally dozens of stories about how it got there and what it signifies - ask and ye shall be told!

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Barkal Warnings and Dangers

  • inside the temple of Amun and Mut

    This sanctuary cut into the mountain itself has two chambers. It is small and dark, with only the guide's torch to point out the decorated walls. The outer chamber has pillars and all walls are carved with scenes. Unfortunately if there are a number of tourists the tomb becomes horribly crowded, and add to that the stench of bat droppings, it is...

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  • care with the monuments

    I'm sure no VT-er would deliberately want to damage an ancient monument. However, I must say I was horrified when I saw some of the locals trying to climb on the pyramids. Since so many are already in a fragile condition, it seems so inconsiderate to take the risk of causing damage. There were no security guards around either when we first arrived,...

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