Kom Ombo and Edfu Temple are both temples people visit along the classic Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor or Vice Versa.
Kom Ombo is the most beautiful at sunset and is the only temple apart from Luxor Temple which stays open until 8.30pm. Our cruise MS Opera was scheduled to arrive in Kom Ombo before sunset but our cruise sailed late as we have a big group of passengers coming back late to the boat. Hence we only reached Kom Ombo after sunset. Kom Ombo temple is situated in the bank of Nile River and can be reached within 5 minutes walking from where the boat docks. We also arranged to have private guide (Hassan) for both Kom Ombo and Edfu Temple thru Waleed.
Hassan turned out to be the most exceptional guide we met throughout our trip. He was widely known among other guides and knows his stuff well. He has depth knowledge in history and hyeroglyph. He would be showing us the important details in some of the carving inside the temple and tell us where to look.
About Kom Ombo temple
One of the Nile Valley’s most beautifully sited temples. Unique in Egypt, it is dedicated to two gods; the local crocodile god Sobek, and Horus.
The temple’s twin dedication is reflected in its plan: perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple, there are twin entrances, two linked hypostyle halls with carvings of the two gods on either side, and twin sanctuaries. It is assumed that there were also two priesthoods. The left (western) side of the temple was dedicated to the god Horus, and the right (eastern) half to Sobek.
We got back to our boat around 8.30pm to have dinner and our boat start sailing again.
We visit Edfu Temple the next day. We gathered at the lobby as our boat docks in Edfu. Hassan was already waiting for us and guided us to one of the horse carriage which took to Edfu Temple. it took us around 10 minute to reach Edfu Temple.
Edfu Temple is located 60km north of Aswan. It was the 2nd Nome of Upper Egypt and the center of the cult of a triad of gods, which consisted of Horus of Behdet, Hathor, and their son, Hor-Sama-Tawy. In the old Greek documents, Edfu was known as “Apollopolis Magna” because the Greeks identified Horus with their god Apollo.
Edfu flourished in ancient times. Today, the most important monument in the city of Edfu is the Temple of Horus, one of the most beautiful and preserved Temples in Egypt. Its origins likely date back to the Second Intermediate Period, but the actual Temple only dates back to Ptolemaic times. The work of construction began during the reign of Ptolemy III (about 237 BC) and was finished during the reign of Ptolemy IV. Some other additions were made by other Ptolemaic Kings and the Roman Emperor Augustus. The temple’s construction, in addition to its additions, inscriptions, and relief’s took about 180 years!!!
Edfu Temple consists of traditional elements of Egyptian Temples of the New Kingdom, together with a few Greek elements, such as the mamisi (house of divine birth), which is situated to the west of the main entrance of the Temple. It consists of an entrance, a court, and chapel. The walls of the mamisi are decorated with scenes showing the story of the divine birth of Horus the child, in the presence of the goddess Hathor, the god Khenoum and other deities who were concerned with pregnancy and birth.
This temple has one of the best surviving pylons among temples in Egypt today. It is 37m high and decorated with battle scenes, representing King Ptolemy VIII smiting his enemies before the god Horus.
Temple of Horus at Edfu is also widely considered to be the most impressive of all of the Nile-side temples along the journey between Luxor and Aswan. It is a required stop by all of the cruise ships that make the trip, also stopping at Esna and Kom Ombo.
Like at Esna, the temple at Edfu is a late construction. It was built during the Greco-Roman Period, but the builders painstakingly preserved the form of Egypt’s true pharaohs. As a result, a visit to Edfu allows you to see what all of the other ruined temples around Egypt might have looked like had they been built 2000 years later
We spent almost 3 hours in Edfu before walking back to our horse carriage which took us back to our boat.