Egypt - Tales of the two cities of the Ancient Wonders !!
Egypt is one of those countries which contains one of the age -old civilizations in the world. it is a delight, for the history buffs as well as for the others, to contemplate the ancient architecture and get woven into the ancient tales of the kings & queens & pharaohs & sphinx. Luxor and Aswan are the two cities which consist of the ancient temples and give a major part toward understanding the ancient Egypt civilization. Let’s start our journey..
Luxor, which was once known as Thebes (the capital of Ancient Egypt) is located in Southern Egypt- 670 km South of Cairo. Luxor today is a city of around 150, 000 people. This city is prominent for being an “open air museum” because of its unique archaeological monuments.Luxor is the second most visited tourist city in Egypt after Cairo. Extravagant monuments such as Karnak Temple, The Luxor Temple, Valley of Kings, Valley of Queens and many more are the reason for this.
The Karnak Temple Complex (which was known as Ipet-isut during the time of the Pharaohs) is the most famous temple in Luxor. It was built by the pharaohs for over 2000 years and was dedicated to the Pharaoh Amun. What makes this temple unique is the fact that around 30 Pharaohs contributed to it, which made it reach a size and diversity not seen in any other temple in the world. The Karnak consists of four main parts, but only one of them is accessible to tourists. It entails some of the most luxurious examples of Ancient Egyptian design and architecture. In addition, there are also several performances of the sound and light shows at night, which is simply a show which platforms the monument using audio and visual effects.
The Luxor Temple is amongst one of the beauties of Luxor. It is a large ancient temple complex located on the East bank of the Nile River. Amanhotep II and Ramses II built it in 14000 B.C. Built with sandstone, this temple’s main purpose was to celebrate the Festival of Opet. This festival was by far the largest and most important celebration by the Pharaohs. It was held in honor of the great Pharaoh Amun in the season of flood.
The Valley of Kings (also known as Biban El Melouk) is situated in the ancient site of Thebes. It was the burial place of Egypt’s New Kingdom Rulers. The tomb of Tutankhamun (King Tut) that was discovered in the 1920’s is located there. In addition there is also a Valley of Queens, which is the place where the wives of the Pharaohs were buried. It was originally called Ta-Set-Neferu, which means “the place of the children of the pharaohs” because along with the Queens there were also princes and princesses buried there.
The legendary Queen Nefertiti’s tomb lies in The Valley of Queens.One of the must-do activities in Luxor is going on a hot air balloon ride and discovering the city ‘s most prominent monuments from up above.Another activity carried by most tourists visiting the city of Luxor is going on a Nile boat cruise from Luxor to Aswan. Enjoy a lavish Nile River cruise and discover some of Egypt’s most enchanting natural beauty.
Aswan, (previously known as Syene during Ancient Egypt) is located about 81 KM south of Luxor. This small modern city has a population of about 230, 000 people who are mostly Nubians. (People of an ancient region of Northeastern Africa).Aswan is distinctively embellished for having a beautiful setting on the Nile.You can begin your day in Aswan by going on a relaxing tour on a Felluca (which is a wooden sail boat) on the Nile River.The two islands you must visit are the Elephantine Island and the Botanical Garden Island. Elephantine Island is the biggest island there and its history goes all the way back to the pre-dynastic period. It was the place where ancient Egyptians first resided when they first settled in the area. There are many attractions in this Island Such as The Nilometer, the Philae Museum and the Temple of Khunum.The Botanical Garden is by far considered a natural treasure by the people of Aswan. The history of this Garden goes all the way back to the 1890s. The island was given to Lord Horatio Kitchener when he was commander of the Egyptian army. Kitchener had a tremendous passion for plants and palm trees so he turned this island into a botanical garden.In this garden you can find a vast variety of plantations and trees that were found naturally on the island. In addition, there are also a wide number of extremely rare trees such as the Royal Palm Tree, The Sabal Palm Tree and the Pam tree. Located near Aswan is the famous High Dam of Egypt. Built in around the 1960’s this dam is considered to be an engineering miracle as it provides electricity and irrigation for the entire nation of Egypt.
Take a walk through Egypt’s major historical monuments and make your visit to Luxor and Aswan an unforgettable history lesson on Egypt’s most ancient cities. The best time to visit these two cities would be during the winter as the weather during that time is extremely awesome.