Saturday, June 15, 2013

What I did on my holidays (By QM Twoflower) #4

When we'd finished at Edfu we travelled again upriver to Kom Ombo to see the temple there. The river trip itself was fairly spectacular, with numerous villages and farms to be seen on the banks of the Nile including also other river traffic.

Most common were the Nile felucca boats which are used for a variety of purposes including transport, fishing and cargo.

The red and the green

Everywhere you looked there was a fringe of green and behind it, hills of red sand and rock, sometimes with the occasional tomb cut into them.
Kom Ombo has an impressive temple where they used to keep and breed the sacred Nile crocodiles.

Kom Ombo temple
Like Edfu it's of more recent build than the Luxor temples having been extensively modified and rebuilt by the later Greeks and Romans who adopted the local gods as their own. What is unusual about it is that it's a double built temple its 'double' design means that there are courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The Southern entrance was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek hence the crocodiles in the temple well. The northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder.

Evening descends
 As it was evening the sun went down on us whilst we were viewing the site which produced some spectacular lighting effects.

The crocodile breeding well
We also saw the well where the sacred crocodiles were bred, not a job for the faint of heart I suspect. Though there are no crocodiles on the lower Nile below the Aswan dam any more.
What Kom Ombo does have is a crocodile museum where they have several mummified crocodiles. The Egyptians were apparently hot on mummifying anything that dropped dead.

Mummified crocodiles

Kom Ombo was a fascinating place to visit although our time was a bit limited after viewing Edfu the same day. Still we retired to the boat knowing we'd have another trip up the Nile the following day to Aswan. So it was an evening of beer and gin and tonics for our hardy if luxuriously looked after fellow travellers.

1 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, enjoyed the pics and history. I find the idea of mummified crocs quite fascinating.