Karnak Temple Is Where you Find Pharaohs Alive
You can directly keep in touch with pharaohs, put your hands in their fingerprints that they had kept for you in the largest religious complex in the world as the place still the same when they had just built. When you put your hands in their fingerprints on the walls, you will feel their souls that surround you everywhere in Karnak Temple.
Karnak Temple is where you feel that pharaohs are alive to welcome you and help you get to know more secrets about how did they worship and what were their gods, in this small city, where the ancient Egyptians took it as a place of worship for hundreds of years and surrounded it by mud-brick enclosure wall in the form of a rectangle of 550 meters in length, 480 meters in width, 12 meters in thickness and 20 meters in height, it includes eight gates to surround an area of more than 60 acres.
How amazing you will feel while walking through this pharaonic city inside a wall built more than 2000 years ago by the pharaohs themselves.
Karnak as the Greatest Human Heritage
It began with a small place and turned to include the most important religious complex in the ancient era, described by UNESCO in 1979 AD, as the greatest human heritage, since Karnak Temple is where you find a group of temples that dozens of pharaohs had built, including 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, and unlock the secret that the pharaohs leave for you in the huge walls and columns.
The construction began in this complex with a small monastery established during the reign of King Senusret, the First in the Middle Kingdom, and continued until the Ptolemaic era.
That long period witnessed the rule of 30 pharaohs who contributed to its expansions until its area reached 30 hectares, each piece distinguished by its own features that follow the rule. Can you imagine now the eras that decorate this place with history and leave a lot of artifacts?
Just go with the time machine that will take you back in time around 2055 BC to around 100 AD and arrive at Thebes.
On the eastern bank of the Nile River, where Thebes is located, which is Luxor City now, follow your steps to enter The Temple of Karnak; you will find the protectors of the Karnak Temple that the pharaohs had set are waiting for you to say hello to you, which are ram-heads.
The Avenue of Sphinxes
Actually, the pharaohs had set a ram-headed avenue of Sphinxes that include 20 rams on each side, extending from the small harbor to the 1st Pylon, which was set during the time of King Nektanebo I (30th Dynasty). Still these guards work hard as they look down upon those who traverse the space they guard.
Follow our Egyptologist tour guide, and be ready to be amazed by the massive walls and columns. It will be a great time when reading the inscriptions that the pharaohs had drilled on these walls and columns and knowing the meaning of the secrets they leave for you as a message.
Visiting the center of the ancient faith during the New Kingdom, which is the Karnak Temple Complex that had built-in Thebes, which was the capital of the country at those days, which reflects its enormous size, will help you be close to the gods of the ancient Egyptians, which are the Theban triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu.
The Karnak complex is divided into three compounds; the first one is the precinct of Amun, and it is the largest precinct, then the precinct of Mut, and finally, the precinct of Montu.
Temple of Amun at Karnak
Amun Ra was the Egyptian god of the sun and air; Amun’s precinct contains the most famous sections of the Karnak complex, including the dizzying Great Hypostyle Hall that contains 134 massive columns. There are a lot of inscriptions that are waiting for you with your Egyptologist tour guide to know endless details from the god of the Ancient Egyptians.
You will feel amazing when these inscriptions that the ancient Egyptians had set from thousands of years to be explained for you these days. The temple of Amun was known during the Middle Kingdom era as Ipt-Swt, which means the Selected Spot. It was also called Pr-Imn, and the House of Amon.
Temple of Maut at Karnak
When entering the precinct of Mute, you will be in the presence of the Amun wife, that was called Maut and Mout, Mut. It was the goddess that was known as the mother of everything in the world. The ancient Egyptians were considered Mute is the mother of the moon god, khonsu.
Temple of Khonsu At Karnak
When arriving at the precinct of Khonsu, you will say hello to the god of the moon, as per the ancient Egyptians believes, seeing how they worshipped the god of traveler, which is the meaning of Khonsu.
Your Tour Inside Temple
After the entrance, you will find the first pylon that is located at the front of the temple from the west side. It is 113 meters long, 40 meters high, and 15 meters thick. Its construction dates back to the Thirtieth Dynasty.
It is a huge building with two towers with a rectangular base, between them is an entrance made of granite stone, but it is lower than them, and it has a door of wood covered with precious metal, and the edifice symbolizes the horizon; That is, the Egyptian portrayed the two towers as two mountains through which the sun shines; Thus, the temple became the beginning of the universe.
In the middle of this open court, there is a huge column, 21m high, with a bud papyrus capital. This part is called the kiosk of Taharqa, who ruled during the 25th Dynasty. And on the left, there are chapels that were built by King Seti II for the “Triad of Thebes.”
On the right side, you will find the Temple of Ramses III, consisting of a small pylon, an open court, and a Hypostyle hall that leads to the sanctuary.
The first pylon is followed by the 2nd pylon that Horemheb built during the 18th Dynasty, and Ramses I, the founder of the 19th Dynasty, had completed it.
The Great Hypostyle Hall
You will find an open courtyard, dating back to the Twenty-Second Dynasty, its length is 80 meters, and its width is 100 meters, and dates back to the era of King Shashenq I, and on either side of it are two rows of arches, preceded by two rows of rams that were erected by King Ramses II.
Passing the 2nd Pylon, you will enter the Great Hypostyle Hall, which measures 103m in length and 52m in width; to see 134 papyrus columns; each column is about 22m in height and 3.5m in diameter. Amenhotep III built it, and Ramses I, Seti I, and Ramses II decorated it, while King Seti I erected the other 122 columns in 14 rows.
The roof in the center is higher than the sides, allowing light to enter this spot, which is why it was used as a parade route for the Trinity during the Opet Festival. The scenes of the Hypostyle Hall represent King Seti I, in front of various gods, making offerings.
The south wall is decorated with scenes of Ramses II when offerings to different gods or worshiping the Theban Triad.
The Hypostyle Hall will lead you to The third Pylon that was built by Amenhotep III. There you can see the stones that Amenhotep III left for you from previous periods, such as the marble alabaster of Amenhotep I.
Follow your steps to find an open, rectangular court, which is known as the Court of Tuthmosis I, where you find an obelisk with 19m high and around 310 tons in weight. There you will be in the heart of the main entrance of the Temple during Tuthmosis I reign.
Tothmoses III Acheivments in Karnak
Tuthmosis III had left his fingerprint by building a high, long wall around the two obelisks that Tuthmosis I had built. Leave this wall to complete your tours in the 5th Pylon, that was built by Tuthmosis I and Tuthmosis III built two small rooms there, and he completed his artifacts at this geat temple by building the 6th Pylon.
Do not miss to attend the court of the gods, which is located behind the sanctuary; it was designed as a sacred boat of Amon Ra and dates back to the time of the Middle Kingdom.
Info You Need To Know About Karnak Temple
Karnak Temple has a sound and light show that is offered in the English language. The show takes place three times a night, but you ask your tour guide about the exact time of the English show.
The enterance fee for Karnak Temple + Karnak “Open air Museum” is 200 L.E.