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 is called the land of the palace because there are 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. This place is filled 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 and has an entrance fee of 150 Egyptian pounds (approx. £7). The temple is slightly most expensive than most other temples in or around Luxor, but considering the huge size of the complex, it is actually very worth it. You cannot leave Egypt without visiting its largest temple!
Why you should visit Karnak Temple?
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.
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 Karnak Temple Hypostyle Hall – If ever there was an Instagramable spot in the temple this would be the place. It is a room filled with over 134 columns in the form of papyrus stalks. Twelve great columns in its center are over 70 feet in height and are capped by huge open papyrus blossom tops. It amazes me how they were able to carbon copied each pillar to look exactly the same with a very limited technology they had back then. 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 was by far my favorite ruin in Luxor. I would recommend getting a good tour guide and getting there early so you can avoid the crowds and the heat. It gets super hot midday in Egypt and tours are not as enjoyable when you are dying from heatstroke. The temple entrance might be the most expensive in Luxor, but well worth it as the temple stretches on for ages! If you enjoy reading my travel posts I think you would enjoy the most recent post on my top 3 reasons to visit the Gold Coast, Australia.