- Best Time to Visit: All over the year
- Admission fee:: EUR20
- How to reach: You can easily go to the Abu Simbel Temple. It is just an hour’s drive from Aswan. The capital city of Cairo is close by. Regular bus services are available to Aswan from major cities in Egypt. From Aswan, you can take buses, taxis or cars to reach the temple. A camel ride is also an enjoyable experience.
- Nearest International Airport:Cairo International Airport
- Nearest railway station:Station: Aswan Railway Station
- Time required for sightseeing:2-3 hours
The Abu Simbel is perhaps one of the fascinating ancient monuments of Egypt. You will simply be awe inspired by the majestic structure of the temples by making a tour to the Abu Simbel. Witnessing the beautiful sculptures in the temples will surely provide you with a learning experience about the rich ancient culture and tradition of Egypt.
The Abu Simbel Temples are listed among the World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. They fall among the “Nubian Monuments” and are located on the western part of Lake Nasser around 290 kms from Aswan. In the ancient times, the place was known as Meha and rose to prominence in the 18th Dynasty during the reign of Ay and Horemheb.
It was Pharaoh Ramesses II who erected the Abu Simbel in the 13th century BC as a lasting symbol of his love for wife Nefertari. The temple was discovered in the year 1813 by J.J. Burckhardt. The complex was conserved and relocated on an artificial hill near the Aswan dam in the 1960s.
Abu Simbel, also known as Hwt Ramesses Meryamun or the “Temple of Ramesses”, was constructed in the honor of Gods like Amun Ra, Ra-Horakhty and Ptah and also Ramesses himself. It is one of the most majestic temples made by the Pharaohs.
Standing in front of this colossal temple will simply mesmerize you with wonder. The temple has a huge faí§ade which consists of four huge seated statues of Ramesses. Each statue rises up to a height of around 67 feet and is adorned with double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. The thrones are wonderfully decorated and consist of sculptures of the Nile Gods in the process of uniting Egypt.
One of the most famous parts of the Abu Simbel Temples is the hypostyle hall which is 18 meters in length and 16.7 meters in width. There are 8 huge Osirid pillars which support the hall. The pillars consist of sculptures which depict the union of Ramesses with the God Osiris.
The second temple is comparatively smaller and is dedicated to Hathor and Nefertari. Hathor was a prominent Egyptian Goddess while Nefertari was the chief queen of Ramesses. The temple consists of beautiful statues which rise to a height of around 10 meters. There are two statues of the king, adorned with the white crown of Upper Egypt and the double crown. The unique thing about the temple is that the statues of the king and the queen were equal in size. This was the first of its kind in the Egyptian art.
The temples of Abu Simbel have featured in a number of popular films, serials and other forms of audio visual art. The temple was the setting of the 1978 film based on Agatha Christie’s book ‘Death on the Nile’. The temples also featured in the popular James Bond movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’. Recently the temples were shown in the blockbuster movie ‘The Mummy Returns’.
You can easily go to the Abu Simbel Temple. It is just an hour’s drive from Aswan. The capital city of Cairo is close by. Regular bus services are available to Aswan from major cities in Egypt. From Aswan, you can take buses, taxis or cars to reach the temple. A camel ride is also an enjoyable experience. Lodging facilities are easily available in Aswan.
Related Links :
http://www.travelblog.org/Africa/Egypt/Upper-Egypt/Aswan/blog-358780.html: Click on this link for a great first-hand travel account and lots of wonderful photographs from the Abu Simbel.
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=uQyRSCfR4Ws: To see the greatest attractions of Abu Simbel, including all the chief landmarks, watch this video!