Egypt Travel Guide – Karnak Temple

Karnak Temple

Karnak in Egypt is an area where the ruined, ancient temples of Egyptian history can be seen. The temples belong to the time of Pharaoh Ramesses II. During this time the place was very important to worship. A prominent temple here is the Great Temple of Amun which is colossal in size and can be still seen. The Karnak Temple complex is located very near Luxor to the south of Cairo. The place is said to be the largest ancient religious perseveration on the planet and is most visited historical place in the world, following the Giza Pyramids.

karnak-temple

karnak-temple

Some more about Karnak Temple:

Karnak temple is said to be the largest temple on earth which includes a number of temples in the complex like the Great Temple of Amon Ra, The Temple of Khonso, The Ipt Temple, The Temple of Ptah, the Temple of Montho and the Temple of the God Osiris. The entire complex is surrounded by a mud brick wall which is 20m in height. The name Al-Karnak in Arabic was derived from Karnak, which means fortified village, probably because the Arabs found many Temples and buildings in the area when they entered it for first time.

The Temple plan:

The entrance of the temple has avenue of Sphinxes which are ram-headed and are intended to protect the temple. There are 20 rams located on each side. After the first pylon lays an open court which is 100m by 80 m in dimensions and contains rows of bud papyrus columns. The middle of the 1st open court is referred as the Kiosk of Taharqa which can be seen today as well. The left side of the court has 3 chapels while the right has the temple of Rameses III.

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Then start the 2nd pylon which in today’s time is very badly damaged, after the 2nd pylon is the Great Hypostyle Hall containing 134 papyrus columns. The hall ends into the 3rd pylon which has stones from previous periods that were found incrusted in that Pylon. Next is an open courtyard known as the Court of Tuthmosis I, which is followed by the 4th pylon, after this is a rectangular colonnade and then the 5th pylon.

Next is the 6th pylon which is followed by the famous ancestral room of Tuthmosis III. The sanctuary is dedicated to the sacred boat of Amun Ra. After this sanctuary is a court and a site where an old temple seems to have been located and is the place which is considered to be the origin of the Karnak Temple.

King Thutmoses

King Thutmoses

The bottom line:

There are four main temples in the complex, and the Precinct of Amun-Re is the largest. Today many tour companies in Egypt offer a tour of the temple complex. Entering the temple requires purchasing a ticket and different areas have different tickets. Thus, when visiting Egypt the Karnak Temple is a place which must never be missed on the itinerary, as it’s just one of its kinds on earth.