Abu Simbel Temples are a fascinating destination for tourists. Constructed over 3,000 years ago by Ramesses II, the temples were forgotten and slowly covered with sand. They were rediscovered in the early 19th century, and later moved to higher ground due to the rising waters caused by the Aswan High Dam. The Great Temple of Abu Simbel is dedicated to the gods Amon-Ra, Ra-Harakhti, and Ptah, while the Small Temple is dedicated to Queen Nefertari. Tourists can visit the temples on a day trip from Aswan or when flying between Cairo and Aswan.
Abu Simbel Temples are two individual rock-cut temples built during the reign of King Ramses II in the 1200 B.C. period, located in AswÄn muá¸¥Äfaáº“ah, southern Egypt.
The construction of the temple started in 1264 BC and lasted for 20 years. The main temple is dedicated to King Ramses II, while the smaller one is dedicated to his wife, Queen Nefertari, for the worship of the goddess Hathor.
The four colossal statues of Ramses in front of the main temple are examples of ancient Egyptian art, while the temple itself is dedicated to the sun gods Amon-Re and Re-Horakhte.
In the mid-20th century, the temples were at risk of being submerged by the reservoir created by the construction of the nearby Aswan High Dam. UNESCO and the Egyptian government sponsored a project to save the site, which involved completely disassembling and reconstructing both temples on higher ground.
Abu Simbel, Philae, and other nearby monuments were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
Abu Simbel Temples, located in the southernmost part of Egypt, are known for their stunning architecture and rich history. If you want to have the best experience while visiting this beautiful temple complex, then timing your visit is crucial.
The best time to visit Abu Simbel Temples is in the morning, between 4 am to 10:30 am. During this time, the sun is at an angle that illuminates the interiors of the temples, creating a spectacular sight. This is especially true for the Great Temple of Ramses II, which features a special solar alignment on February 22 and October 22 every year, when the sun shines directly into the inner sanctum of the temple, illuminating the statues of Ramses II, Ra, and Amun.
Aside from the spectacular lighting effects, visiting during the morning hours also allows you to avoid the scorching heat of the afternoon. The temperature can rise to as high as 40°C during summer, which can make exploring the temple complex uncomfortable.
Here are some additional tips to help you plan your visit to Abu Simbel Temples:
In conclusion, timing your visit to Abu Simbel Temples is crucial to ensure the best possible experience. Visiting in the morning hours not only allows you to witness the stunning lighting effects, but also helps you avoid the scorching heat of the afternoon. Remember to plan ahead, dress appropriately, and respect the local customs to make the most out of your visit.
Abu Simbel is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Egypt and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are 10 must-do activities at Abu Simbel Temples:
Exploring the entire temple complex is highly recommended once you arrive at Abu Simbel. Within the complex, you'll discover exquisite sculptures and statues that are definitely worth taking the time to appreciate. Strolling around the temple complex is highly encouraged as there are also fascinating ancient ruins to discover. Understanding the purpose behind the construction of Abu Simbel is also crucial to fully appreciate the significance of this ancient marvel.
After exploring the temple complex, you may want to unwind by the beautiful Lake Nassar before flying back to Aswan. If you have time, you could also consider taking a short trip to Aswan Governorate. By referring to the Abu Simbel temples map, you can easily find your way to the site.
Embark on an exhilarating journey by taking a road trip from Aswan to Abu Simbel temples via Luxor. Along the way, make a pit stop at the Philae temple and marvel at the impressive High Dam in the vicinity of Aswan. The scenic drive is sure to be a rejuvenating experience. Should you feel the need to take a breather, feel free to pause your journey and rest. The fascinating Abu Simbel temple facts are sure to captivate you along the way.
Regular tours to the Abu Simbel temples from Aswan are available on air-conditioned buses. These buses typically depart early in the morning and take you to two rock temples situated on the banks of Lake Nassar. During the journey, free distilled water is provided to the passengers. Visiting the Abu Simbel temple in Egypt is a must-see landmark of the region.
In Aswan, renting a bike is also an option for those who are interested. By doing so, you have complete freedom to go wherever you please, though it may take a bit longer. This bike ride to Abu Simbel is sure to be an enjoyable experience. Additionally, the relocation of the Abu Simbel temple is a significant historical event that continues to play a vital role to this day.
Make sure to catch the stunning light and sound show that narrates the complete story of the temple, including that of Ramesses II. As the show begins, the entire atmosphere transforms, making you feel as though you have been transported to that era. You'll witness a plethora of intriguing hidden facts being unveiled in a beautiful manner. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. The laser show runs regularly and is highly regarded by visitors. The show requires a minimum of 10 people to commence. Rest assured, the experience is absolutely phenomenal and not to be missed.
The temple's interior houses a plethora of sculptures and ancient statues that are worth exploring, not to mention the UNESCO-listed complex. Historians often visit this place to gather valuable information about the temples. The Abu Simbel airport is well connected to the temple via various means of transportation, making it easily accessible to tourists and history enthusiasts alike.
To learn about the history of the two temples and their creator, Ramesses II, it is recommended to hire a guide. The temple walls are engraved with writings, which can also be explored, although it may take some time to read through them.
For a delightful breakfast experience, Tuya Café is a highly recommended option. Set in a beautiful garden, this café serves delicious local cuisine and offers a serene atmosphere that is perfect for tourists. In addition, the café allows smoking for those who desire it. Many travelers choose to stop at this popular spot to unwind and savor the delectable food.
The Temple of Hathor is a must-see attraction at Abu Simbel, located adjacent to the Temple of Ramesses. It features statues of Ramesses and Nefertari, with the latter depicted in the guise of Hathor. The temple is renowned for its intricate depictions of queens offering dedications to the gods, showcased on the walls. The artistry is exceptionally graceful, making it a popular draw for visitors.
Abu Simbel Temples are a must-visit destination in Egypt. Here is a travel guide to help you plan your trip to Abu Simbel: