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  • Abu Simbel temples in Nubia, Africa

    Tue, Jul 20, 2010


    The Abu Simbel temples are two huge rock temples that are located in Nubia in southern Egypt. This complex is a UNESCO world heritage site. The site is popularly also known as the “Nubian monuments”

    The Aswan high dam reservoir is an artificial hill which has a dome structure.

    This monument was built for the pharaoh Ramesses and his wife queen Nefertari. After the victory at the battle of Kadesh, the pharaoh built this temple as a temple to himself and also to intimidate his enemies.

    The construction of the temple was started in 1244 BCE and took about twenty years. This place was the temple of Ramesses who is beloved by Amun.

    This is one amongst the six other rocks built temples during the reign of emperor Ramesses.

    These temples have a side agenda of impressing the southern neighboring countries and to enforce Egyptian religion around the country of Egypt.

    The temple was dedicated to Amun, Ra- horakhty and ptah and of course it was dedicated to Ramesses himself.

    The entrance of the temples has about twenty two carved baboons that flank the entrance. Baboons were carved as they were believed to be worshippers of the sun.

    The statue that lies to the left of the entrance of the temple was damaged during the earthquake that took place here. Although the lower part of the statue is fully in tact.

    The temple has about twenty meter statues of the pharaoh with a double crown of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt

    The temple of Abu Simbel has great historical value. Pharaoh Ramesses the second ordered for the very colossal sun temple of Abu Simbel to be carved into the side of a cliff.  The exterior side of the temple has a huge monument of the pharaoh and the interior of the temple is also built in Grande style. This work took approximately about thirty six years to complete. A UNESCO operation that was carried out in the nineteen sixties reformed and remaintained this and another two temples. Also these temples were facing the danger of being submerged and hence a dam was built to save them from being submerged entirely. The cost of the project was about forty million dollars and it involved relocated the temples entirely and placing them on elevated grounds. The temples were built in such a way that the first rays of the sun travel about one hundred and eighty feet deep into the temples sanctuary and the sun rays falls on the tombs of the pharos and the statues of him and his gods.

    The temple is engineered in such a way that the semi annual phenomenon that takes place on February the twenty second and October twenty second. These two days were believed to be Ramesses birth and coronation dates respectively.

    Lake Nasser is the largest man made lake in the world. This came to be because of the UNESCO dam project.  The M.S Eugene was the first cruise ship to bring its wealthy passengers to this land after it lost its fame through the years.  A lot of cruise ships head north on the Nile from Aswan to Luxor , however these are some cruises available that sail towards the south all the way to lake Nasser. Hence when this place is visited, the tourists here have the privacy of the entire place to themselves as they are very little people around.

    The place has lovely patches of desert that gives you spectacle of moonlight once the sun sets. The long and beautifully dotted shores have the lakes temples on them and the environment here is just amazing. The pyramids located here are scenic and have strong cool winds that blow around the area most of the time. The steam boat Eugene which came here first was named after the French empress who opened the Suez Canal in eighteen sixty-nine. The empress had a suite reserved on the ship which was the designated imperial suite and it was about six times the size of the average cabin.

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