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Visit The Valley Of The Kings And Queens

Fri, Nov 27, 2009

Northern Africa




The Valley of The Kings-Biban el-Melouk

Biban el-Muluk is a 500 years old valley in Egypt, it is also known as “Gates of the King”. It is constructed as tombs of kings and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. It is situated on the west bank of the river Nile across from Thebes within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. The area is consisting of two valleys East valley and West valley. The east valley consists of majority of the royal tombs. The valley became famous for the for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and is one of he most famous archaeological sites in the world and in the year 1979 along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis it became the World Heritage. There is a huge focus on the concentrated archaeological and Egypt logical exploration since the end of eighteenth century and people gained more interest and research because of the tombs and burials. It is situated in the Theban hills where the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs were interred. It is the famous area in the ancient Egyptian history which was used by pharaohs to preserve the mummies in limestone. Tutankhamun is the most famous tomb discovered in pristine condition by Howard Carter in 1922. The paintings and treasures are exhibited in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo. You can also see the amazing antiquates in the tombs of Valley of the Queens and Valley of the Nodharavi slum factsallbles. Tomb of Queen Nefertari is the most famous tomb she was the wife of Ramses II, this tomb was opened for public in 1995.

Valley of Kings

The Valley of Queens – Biban el-Harem

It is the place where the wives of the Pharaohs were buried in ancient times. It is also know as Ta-Set Neferu which means the place of Children of the Pharaoh. These tombs were maintained by mortuary priests, to increase nobility these priests use to perform daily rituals. It is located on the west bank of Nile. The kings of the 18th dynasty choose to burry the bodies in rock-cut tombs to avoid the traditional building of pyramids as burial chambers because that was more vulnerable to tomb robbers.

In the year 2006 a new chamber was discovered and in the year 2008 more two more tomb entrances were observed by the researchers. At present the valley is occupied with 63 tombs and chambers which includes simple pit to complex tomb with all over 120 chambers. It is treated as a big place for most of the royal Kings and Queens of the ancient Egypt Kingdom. Egyptian mythology can be seen on these royal decorated tombs which show the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. Most of the tombs were robbed but the history still can be seen.

The climate of the valley is cool with infrequent violent thunder storms which cause flash floods in the valley. There are at least seven active flood stream beds which lead down into the central area of the valley, therefore the central area has been flooded in the Eighteenth Dynasty and buried several tombs.

Decorations in most of royal tombs are images of religious texts, scenes and images of Amduat (resting in underworld) which shows the journey of sun-god about twelve hours of the night. Earlier they were decorated with the images that show the passage of the tomb’s owner. The old tombs which were not of royal nature were not at all totally decorated.

Valley of Queens

The Vally of Kings Tourism

Tourism in Egypt mainly starts in the month of May. The tombs in the valley mainly not open for the public. The officials open them occasionally for the purpose of reconstruction. While if you want to visit the KV62 tomb you have to pay extra charges. Visitors have to visit the tomb peacefully and guides are not allowed to give lectures inside the tomb. These precautions are taken to minimize time and photography is not allowed in the tomb. The tourism in the valley got affected because of 1997 massacre of 58 tourists and 4 Egyptians Islamist militants from Al-Gama’a al Islamiyya. Four to five thousand tourists visit the valley in a week. On the other hand when the Nile Cruises pass the number get increase to nine thousand tourists every week. However there will be rise to be expected up to 25,000 by 2015. The West Valley is less in demand of visitors as they open one tomb for the public.

Get the Experience of Cruise with Nile cruises available in three, four or seven nights. You can also get shorter tours between Luxor and Aswan. The longer tours are available from north Egypt to Dendera. It is the usual cruse which is also known as floating hotel and includes swimming pools, clubs, restaurants, and even book stores. You can also enjoy the delightful night shows in the Nile cruise, cocktail parties, Nubin shows, belly dancers and plays are also very pleasing. Nile Cruises can also arrange the abroad feluccas in the traditional Nile sailboat. Most of them are of several hours. While multi day felucca cruises are also available. The Nile River closes down in April because of water levels.

The weather is very cool in mid April and October. The hotels in Egypt are fairly reasonable. There are large hotels in which pre booking is needed in peak months of the year. Accommodation is easy in Egypt and the tour operators also arrange for your accommodation and transport.  The Egyptian pound is the local currency of Egypt which is divided into 100 piaster. It is called as Genaeh in Arabic language. You will find 25 to 50 piaster notes and coins. At present $1 is equal to 6.2 Egyptian Pounds. There is no limit to the currency for the visitors to bring in Egypt, however you must show the bank receipts if you are carrying Egyptian currency and should not exceed to EGP 5000. Passport and Visa are required for foreigners expect from some Middle Eastern countries.

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