Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit Egypt for the first time. It is a country so rich in history it was difficult to take it all in. I was able to visit Cairo, Giza and Alexander, which I will share in a separate post. Today I want to talk about Karnak Temple in Luxor. A lot of people will only go to Cairo being the capital city and also where the great Pyramids are located, but my favorite ruin in Egypt was Karnak Temple. It has such a rich history and also is the largest religious building ever constructed. The Karnak Temple is located in Luxor which is actually the old capital of Egypt during the ancient times. That is why when you visit Luxor you will see the city is covered in temples, tombs, and the center for the god of the sun, Amun.
Luxor was my first stop on my Egyptian adventure. This city, known as the land of the palace due to its several ruins and temples. I didn’t get to visit them all, but of what I did see, Karnak was the most stunning temple I have ever seen. I really loved going to Luxor and highly recommend anyone traveling to Egypt to make a stop in this glorious city. Luxor bursts with history, friendly people, and great food.
I visited Karnak Temple during my first day in Luxor. The visit was part of my guided tour. I would highly recommend you join a guided tour when visiting Luxor as there is so much history and so many ruins to see it is much easier when someone guides you and explains everything to you.
Karnak Temple is located right in the city of Luxor, only 3.3km north from Luxor temple. The temple can be easily reachable by foot or taxi from most hotels. There is an entrance fee of 150 Egyptian pounds (approx. £7). The temple is more expensive than most other temples in or around Luxor. Considering the size of the complex, it is actually very worth it and the fee helps with the upkeep. You cannot leave Egypt without visiting it’s largest temple!
Why visit Karnak Temple?
Karnak Temple is Really Old
It’s one of the oldest ruins (in the world) still standing today. Karnak Temple construction started 4000 years ago and continued until the Romans conquered Egypt – 2000 years ago. Yep, you read that right; this place was built over 2000 years! And it is still mostly standing today after 4000 years! Every ruler of Egypt left its mark on it. Which you can see from the engravings on the pillars and walls.
The Preservation is Impressive
Avenue of Sphinxes Entrance – The entrance to Karnak Temple is decorated with an avenue of human-headed sphinxes, which used to connect both Karnak and Luxor Temples. It is impressive to see so many sphinxes still in such good condition. I found that the sphinxes and pavement in Karnak Temple were much better preserved than in Luxor, making it more spectacular.
The Detail is Astonishing
The Karnak Temple Hypostyle Hall – If ever there was an Instagramable spot in the temple this would be the place. The room contains over 134 columns in the form of papyrus stalks. Twelve great columns in its center stretch over 70 feet tall, capped by huge open papyrus blossom tops. It’s incredible to think that each pillar is hand-carved to look identical. The massive columns in the hypostyle hall dwarfed me. I know I am short but I felt like a midget in this great hall.
Overall, this is by far my favorite ruin in Luxor. I would recommend getting a good tour guide. Also get to the ruins early to avoid the crowds and the heat. It’s hottest at midday in Egypt and tours are not as enjoyable when you are dying from heatstroke. The entrance fee might be expensive, but well worth it as Karnak temple stretches on for ages! I think you would enjoy the most recent post on my top 3 reasons to visit the Gold Coast, Australia.