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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Stunning Deir el-Bahari (Temple of Hatshepsut) in Egypt

The Deir el-Bahari is a complex of mortuary temples located on the west bank of the Nile. It is near the very famous Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Most tourist guides will combine these two places in one trip. The scenery near the Deir el-Bahari is stunning, so I would advise that you do visit it.

The very first monument to be built in the complex was that of the Pharaoh Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II, a ruler of the 11th dynasty. Subsequently Pharaoh Hatshepsut also built on the same site. The most important temple at the complex today is that of Hatshepsut. The temple is colonnaded i.e. there are lots of columns joined placed at regular intervals and support the roof. The temple was designed by Senemut who was the royal architect during the reign of Hatshepsut. Built into the cliff face and standing tall at around 97 feet, this temple is one of the extraordinary monuments to be built in ancient Egypt. It is much more spectacular than what it looks in these photos.

There are three terraces and each terrace has reliefs that tell the tale of the birth of the first female Pharaoh of Egypt. Most of the statues have either been stolen or damaged, but whatever remains gives an idea of the grandeur and architectural beauty of the temple.
Overall, the location of the temple is what I feel is its major attraction. The gigantic rock wall behind the temple complex makes it a fantastic place to visit. Though there is nothing much to be seen inside, the fa├žade itself is worth the visit. Do note that the temple faces the sun and as such the midday sun will be directed at you with no place to take shelter. So do carry lot of water and use sun protection. There is lot of walking involved too, so wear comfortable walking shoes.














Final word - It is a very beautiful temple with an interesting history. Recommended also because of the breath-taking location.

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