Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel is a small village to the south of Egypt, renowned for a pair of temples that sit on the bank of Lake Nasser. The stunning monument was constructed by Ramesses II over 3,000 years ago and has indeed stood the test of time. Even more fascinating is the fact that, after the Aswan High Dam was built, the entire Abu Simbel complex had to be pulled apart and shifted to higher ground – a process that took almost five years. The process was successful, and, as a result, flocks of tourists visit to witness this awestriking structure.

Apart from the temples, Abu Simbel has numerous other activities and places of interest. Even though the village is not the most accessible place, the awaiting sites make the hassle worthwhile. To understand the best travel routes and other gripping facts about Abu Simbel, use our Tripety travel itinerary planner app.

  • The construction of the temples took almost two decades.
  • The temples were positioned to allow sunlight to reach the sanctuary on two specific dates: February 22nd and October 22nd. It is believed that the two dates are associated with the king’s coronation and birthday, respectively.
  • Abu Simbel temples form part of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
  • Tour guides say that ‘Abu Simbel’ was a local boy who helped find the temples after being buried in sand from centuries of ignorance. Hence, the temples were renamed after him (they were previously called ‘Temple of Ramesses, beloved by Aman’.  
  • The larger of the two temples was constructed for the gods Amun, Ptah, and Ra-Harakhty. The smaller one was for the goddess Hathor – Ramesses’ favorite wife.

The Temples of Abu Simbel: Quite naturally, this was going to be the first item in this series. This jaw-dropping place will make almost every ‘top 5 human-made sites in the world’ list. The distance from the parking lot to Lake Nasser is around half-a-mile, from where you can witness the temples in their magnificence. If you can take your eyes off the stunning exteriors, step inside because the interiors are just as spectacular. Do note that you cannot take pictures inside the temple, even though the temptation shall be irresistible.

Felucca Sunset Tour: You cannot visit the Nile and not have a Felucca trip. A highly soothing experience, the felucca tour is the most enjoyable way to watch Aswan. The felucca team generally comprises of a steerer and a cook. Watching Aswan in slomo allows you to savor the town’s beauty and click a handful of pictures – if you can keep yourself from falling into a restful sleep.

The Nobles’ Tomb: This is another cool historical place to explore. Moreover, you can catch a local ferry from the Corniche and explore the village of Nubia. Climb to the top of the tomb, and you can view the entire Aswan and Nile. If you are hiking your way to the tomb, do start early, because the temperatures get incredibly high by noon. Also, keep plenty of water.

Abu Simbel is the perfect place for tourists looking to immerse themselves in history and nature. Plan your trip to Egypt with help from Tripety’s travel planner app.

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