Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kodak Agfa Presents : Karnak Temples Complex

Last month, Luxor’s Karnak Temples Complex “It is not just one ancient Egyptian temple, but rather several ones” was back to the headlines around the globe in a very sad way unfortunately when an explosive device detonated outside it. Three men including a suicide bomber attempted to unleash attack in the temple but their attempt was foiled at the parking zone outside the temple thankfully to a taxi driver who suspected their behaviour. 

Now this unfortunate incident reminded me that I got a bunch of photos I took at Egypt’s oldest and biggest religious temples complex since ancient Egypt during a visit to Luxor governorate in 2012.
I uploaded the photos to Flickr but I did not share them during then because I was outside the country. When I returned back, it was Ramadan and we had its special posts about lanterns, Zeinab Khatoun, Al-Azhar and Buying Eid Al-Fitr clothes.

And I think now it is the best time to share those photos I took at the Karnak temples complex during my visit to Aswan and Luxor in winter 2012
Now It is never too late to share the photos and video from Karnak.
Warning: They are not the best. In fact, they are another lifeless boring Kodak Agfa shots.
Karnak Temple of Luxor

During then there were not many foreign tourists then in the temple. Nevertheless, the tourists in Luxor were more than in Aswan during then at least from what I see. Most of the tourists already I saw there were Egyptians. Already it was the Midterm vacation.
This was in 2012. I hope that what happened in June won’t affect tourism there. Of course, luckily the attack was in June not in winter during tourism’s prime time in the Upper Egyptian city.
The place is more than marvellous with its great ram sphinxes welcoming you.
The avenue of Ram sphinxes in Egypt Karnak temple
That 2.7 km ram sphinxes corridor used to connect between the Karnak temple and Luxor temple. Wait for another post about the  Luxor temple.
It is enough to see some of the inscriptions on the walls and pylons still keeping their colours after all those centuries.
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics in Karnak
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics in Karnak 

The hypostyle hall in the Precinct of Amun Re is breathtaking.
The hypostyle hall of Karnak
The hypostyle hall of Karnak 

The hypostyle hall of Karnak
The hypostyle hall of Karnak 

Of course, modern-day Egyptians must leave their trace or as it is called in Egypt now –their-touch.
R&A love each other sign left at Karnak
R&A love each other sign left at Karnak
What would be better than declaring your eternal-love to the whole world in one of the world’s oldest religious temples !?
I believe 75% that that couple did not continue their relation thanks to the Pharaohs' curse.

Just like Modern Egypt , politics and religion had that tango in ancient Egypt. 
Already by reading in the history of temple complex and how it evolved century after century as well dynasty and dynasty, you will see how the pharaohs of ancient Egypt used this place not only to get closer to Ancient Egyptian deities but also to brag their achievements and military victories over its walls.

Needless to say, our ancestors used to erase the old pharaohs and inscribe the new pharaohs’ achievement in a ritual that is similar to what we do now.
Photographing headless statue at Karnak of Egypt
Photographing headless statue at Karnak of Egypt
One of the pharaohs whose achievements are shown to the whole world in Karnak is King Ramses III whose temple inside the complex shows him slaughtering his captives from enemies while ancient deity Amun-Re watched him 

Another pharaoh whose achievements are still standing high and proud against the whole world after a millennium is the Obelisk of Thutmose I
The Obelisk of Thutmose I
The Obelisk of Thutmose I
The sacred Lake where the priests used to purify themselves is there.
The sacred lake inside Egypt's Karnak
The sacred lake inside Egypt's Karnak
In front of the lake, there is Amenhotep I “I think” monumental Scarab. 
From what I understand this was not the original place of the Scarab but after restoration works it was transferred to this location.
Amenhotep I Scarab at Egypt's Karnak
Amenhotep I Scarab at Egypt's Karnak

Popular myth  says that if you go around that scarab for seven times , all your love problems will be solved. I do not know what the relation between love problems and Scarab beetle in ancient Egypt as Scarab beetle was seen as a symbol of regeneration
Now outside the temple , at its entrance, I found that interesting building that looked like a Sufi shrine to me.
A Sufi shrine at Egypt's Karnak
A Sufi shrine at Egypt's Karnak 
Already Upper Egypt is rich when it comes to Sufism and only in 19th-century people began to realize that there was a huge temple complex underneath huge mountains of sands.
Egyptian army at Karnak in the early 20th century
A photo for the Egyptian army at Karnak
in the early 20th century 
the famous Karnak gate in 1875
A Photo for the famous Karnak gate in 1875
Here is the gate now.
Famous Karnak Gate 
And here is the Karnak now
Here is the full photo album on Flickr with more photos from Karnak.
Unfortunately, I did not spend more time in the Karnak because we had to leave.
 I did not see the Festival Hall of Thutmose III or how it turned into a Christian Church by early Christians in Egypt.
Here is a video I shot in Karnak temple. It is not the best video at all as you will see as my hands were shaky while trying to catch up with the group I was with. 
The music I used in the video is the famous Karnak Twist by legendary Music composer Ali Ismael in 1960s if I am not mistaken.

You can see my old posts about my Chronicles in Aswan in 2012 including my visits to the Temple of Edfu and Temple of Kom Ombo. You can also check my pictorial posts about Kitchener Island and Aswan High Dam in Aswan. 


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