Alya Qistina

Monday, February 24, 2014

Winter break - Abu Simbel Temple


*This is a long entry*
**Get a coffee please. This is a history post**

Abu Simbel Temple, Aswan, Egypt.

Awhhhh! What I love the most about our trip. Oh btw, I was joining a 6 days 5 nights trip to south Egypt part.

Aswan is about 12 hours road journey from Cairo. I took Metoclopromide/Maxolon (originally for motion sickness) but I took it to its drowsiness. I love Pharmacy, mwah.

Abu Simbel was beautiful! It was really unique, intelligently designed, every part of the temple were always brought the meanings, though the drawings were confusing to me; all Pharaohs/Gods looked the same to me. Hahaha.

Well, I wasn't really good in explaining history (though I love it so much) and yes, I'm not a travel blogger. So some points are absolutely going to be missed.

Okay, since my lovely friend, Rab (hello Rab, my loyal reader haha), asking me to blog about these historical places, so I would give it a try.


This huge temple was built about thousand years ago (Year 1264 BC) as an order from King Ramses II to celebrate the greatness of some gods, like, God of Sun (Ra), God of All Gods (Amun), God of Darkness (Ptah) as well as the greatness of himself (King Ramses II) during ancient times.

They had a lot of Ramseses (nicknames for the ancient Egypt kings), but King Ramses II was believed to be the greatest.

They also had God of Sun, God of Death, God of Fertility, God of Darkness and so on. Basically, everything had their own gods, not sure if they had God of Food also. Lol.

Original look of the temple (Pic from Google)


It was abandoned and no one noticed about this. Until 1813, an Italian found it buried under the sand. And it's called Abu Simbel, means a little boy, who are believed to be a boy who used to bring people to the temple for visiting purposes.

Moving The Temple

(Pictures from Google)

The exciting part! When Aswan High Dam was about to be builded, it was quite chaos debates went around about how water rising from the dam might destroy the temple. So as a conservation effort to preserve this historical piece, UNESCO decided to move it.

Amazing, how the workers cut the temple precisely into 1050 pieces and rebuild the same exact temple about 60 meters higher from the original place.

It took a few months to completely moved it with the help of archeologists, experts and workers, with USD80 million (some said 60M or 40M, so I don't know).

When I was following the trip, I heard the tourist guide was talking something about the artificial mountain or something, so I did a little reading, and it said, they built two rock mountain around the temple for the purpose of strength and to make it looked as original one.

*Aswan High Dam is said to be one of the largest dam in the world, supplies about all Aswan areas with electricity and water needs.


King Ramses had about 200 wives and 100+ children, I'm not sure the exact numbers. But for King Ramses II, his favourite wife was Nefertari.

At the entrance of Abu Simbel Temple, all Gods were accompanied by their favourite wives at their right side and their lovable sons at the centre.

Inside The Temple

We were not allowed to take pictures inside the temple. We did try to do, but the Pakcik was following around, as if knowing our intentions hahaha.

So, the pictures inside the temple were taken from google. Thanks Mr Google.

Every inches of the walls were carved with drawings that showed some actions doing by the King and it always brought some meaning. I was interested to the ancient Egyptian alphabet hieroglypics. It was fun, yet funny. Sorry, no offense, but when you look at something drew as comb, it actually means men! Hahaha. Okay, not that funny.

There were several small rooms inside the temple, the place for the people to pray or meditate.

Two Special Days

Interesting also. People at the old times were pretty good in predicting the future, making the other people sick/die/rebirth or something. They're also good in pharmacy, medicine, architecture, astronomy, and so on. Actually, they'd done better than people on our generations.

So, what I'm trying to say is, I was amazed when I was told that the sunlight couldn't get through the temple, except for these two special days. On 22 October (birthday of Ramses II) and on 20 February (coronation day of Ramses II as a King). Of course, they're doing a good job on predicting the sun progress; usually 61 days before and 61 days after the winter solctice.

Wait. We're coming to the most interesting part.

Can you see that small door? That's where the Gods' sculptures were being placed. When that 2 days arrived, the sun would be able to penetrate inside the temple but only illuminated these 3 Gods; Ra (Sun), Amun (God of All Gods) and King Ramses II, but not Ptah (God of Darkness). Why? Because of 'darkness' tittle that he held. Awhh, sorry, no sun for you.

**Ptah - God of Darkness, a God that was believed to be connected with the underworld, who always remained in the dark.

Well, I'm not really sure which God was which. Sorry.

Nefertari Temple

Since King Ramses II loooooved Nefertari so much, he build her one temple just beside Abu Simbel Temple. I don't really know much about this temple, but we can always google-ing. Basically, inside the temple there're a lot of drawings on wall, showing the scene like, when King Ramses doing something with another God. Or when Nefertari was doing something sweet with her husband, King Ramses II.

You know, things like that.

And also, a lot of small rooms also. For meditations.

**Sleepy, guys? Yeah, me too! Hahaha. **

 Nefertari Temple during day and night

In front of Nefertari Temple.

 Till then. Bye! :)

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