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Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Great Sphinx of Giza

A mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human, Sphinx has always been a fascination to me. And on our recent visit to Egypt, had the chance to see the Great Sphinx of Giza. Although there are many sphinxes in Egypt, the most famous and most visited I think is the Great Sphinx of Giza.


Located on the Giza Plateau near the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx is a limestone statue standing tall at almost 64 ft high and 241 ft long. It is said to have been built during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra. But this fact is still debated by many. Numerous theories have been proposed pertaining to the time the Sphinx was built or as to during whose reign it was built.


The Sphinx remained buried under the sand for a long period and it was only in 1930s that it was excavated completely. The Sphinx is missing its nose and its beard. Again various theories have been proposed each claiming the loss of the nose to a different reason.


Well, whatever may be its date of construction or the reasons behind the missing parts, the Great Sphinx is a wonder. Don't miss it if you are in Cairo. To see the Sphinx in person does not compare with seeing it on television or in movies. Up close it is amazing and an unforgettable experience.


Note: as with most tourist sites in Egypt, beware of the vendors. It tends to become annoying to be solicited so aggressively and persistently. Lot of peddlers around, so keep an eye out.

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