Abu Simbel - An Ancient Love Story retold over the
Trip Start Nov 24, 2010
6Trip End Dec 02, 2010
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In midst of the barren desert stretches of Nubia stands immensely tall an unbelievable piece of master craftsmanship. Cut out of mountain, it has withstood the destructive forces of nature and mankind for past 3500 years.
I had heard and read so much about Abu Simbel and was so eager to see this manmade marvel, that it wont be an exaggeration to say that the high point of my Egypt trip was ABU SIMBEL.
We flew down to Abu Simbel from Egypt on a very early flight from Cairo
On reaching the temple site, the temple is not visible all at once…there is short hike from the entrance gate around the hillock on the other side of which is the carved temple of Abu Simbel. This short walk adds more to the dramatic effect coz, on climbing down the hillock, the huge temple suddenly appears and leaves one mesmerized.
For me the first few moments were as if time had stood still as stood before the radiant huge statues of Ramses, feeling utterly minuscule. The rays of the glowing morning sun was basking the great King in all its glory. Though the statues have marks of the centuries of erosion, their magnificence is still very much evident. The four statues of Ramses depicted him in his four different stages of life from a young Pharaoh to a mature Emperor of the known world.
In midst of hundreds of other tourists and their cacophony, I was trying to connect with the place with my thought and soul. I wanted to feel what the ancient Egyptians would have felt when they would have seen this monument of their most loved Pharaoh, who had dared to dream and build the impossible. Awed and humbled like me, they would have knelt before him as they would before Amun perhaps. And this was exactly what Ramses had in mind when he built Abu Simbel.
Before Ramses, Pharaohs of Egypt had built temples of themselves but these were all mortuary temples where they were worshipped and offerings made for their Ka in their afterlife. However never was any Pharaoh placed along with any of the Gods and worshiped along with them. Ramses was the first one and possibly the only one who dared to do that.
More on Ramses and Abu Simbel in my next post.