Cruise vacation on the Nile Egypt: the temple of Kom Ombo
Take a cruise vacation on the river Nile Egypt
The temple of Kom Ombo
The Temple of Kom Ombo is located 50 kilometers from Luxor which is the main tourist center in the this part of Egypt. It can be reached by taxi, a local bus or the tourist train from Cairo to Aswan. For a real authentic Egyptian experience it is also possible to reach the temple via the river Nile, and you can choose to charter a felucca or small river boat for the day.
Most people do choose to visit the temple on a day trip for Luxor or Aswan, and a visit is also included on most Nile cruises.
The temple of Kom Ombo Egypt
A brief history of the temple of Kom Ombo
The temple can be seen from the Nile and it perched majestically on a small hill. The word Kom in Arabic means hill and Ombo in the ancient Egyptian language means gold. This wonderful temple is dedicated to the ancient Egyptian Gods Sobek, Hathor and Horus.
The temple which stands today was constructed during the Greco Roman period but a much more ancient temple dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek previously stood where the Greco Roman temple stands today. The older temple was called "Ber Sobek" and was solely dedicated to the crocodile god. It was built during the ruling periods of King Tuthomisis III and Queen Hatshepsut. The more recent temple was built during the reign of King Ptolemy V but the construction carried after his life time.
Two different priesthoods served the temple and the crocodile god Sobek was worshiped alongside Horus the falcon headed god.
The crocodile pit
Nile crocodiles were always kept at the Kom Ombo temple and the crocodile pit can still be seen today. The crocodiles which were kept at the temple were fed and looked after. After their death they were mummified, and buried in beautiful tombs.
The crocodile pit is set in the middle of the hall next to priests' seating place. Some of the crocodiles which were kept at the temple were huge and if you wander down to the Crocodile museum you will be able to see them.
The carvings at Kom Ombo temple
Many of the carvings at Kom Ombo temple are dedicated to healing and medicine. This was one of ancient Egypt's main sacred sites for healing and this is very prominent in what remains of the carvings.
Unfortunately some parts of the temple have been very badly damaged but what remains of temple is beautiful.
The best time to visit the temple
Most tours from Luxor visit the temple early in the morning but one of the best times to visit the temple is in the evening.
In the early apart of the evening the temple really seems to come alive in the moonlight and the view from the Nile up to temple is amazing. Most Nile cruise boats do actually stop in the evening which is great for first time visitors to the temple.
I would recommend you visit the temple in the evening as it is such a beautiful experience.
Sobek the Crocodile god of ancient Egypt
Sobek the crocodile god
I love Sobek the crocodile god and he was must have been really important to the ancient Egyptians as the Nile at the time was full of crocodiles.
Sobek was also known by many other names such as Sebek, Sebek-Ra, Sobeq, Suchos and Soknopais. Some of the ancient religious sects in Egypt believed that Sobek was the creator of the world when the world rose from the waters after the flood. Sobek was responsible for creating chaos and as "Lord of the Waters" he created the world and the Nile was made from drops of his sweat.
There were many different creation myths in ancient Egypt and there is one myth which states that Sobek laid eggs on the bank of the river and this was the beginning of the world.
The god Sobek first appeared in the Old Kingdom and according to one myth his father was Set but he has always been closely associated with Horus. Horus is the falcon headed God and this is probably why they share Kom Ombo temple.
He was also paired off with various goddesses and you may find him Hathor. Interestingly Sobek was the patron of the army.
Meet a Nile crocodile
Location of Kom Ombo
Kom Ombo temple is located about one hour's drive from Luxor