Where is the Temple of Hatshepsut?
Temple of Hatshepsut is located on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Once we were done with our hot-air balloon ride, we visited the Temple of Hatshepsut.
Who is Hatshepsut?
You don’t get many female Pharoah in Egypt but Hatshepsut was a famous female Pharoah that came to the throne of Eygpt in 1478BC. She ruled for a long time, about 20 years and considered one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs.
How do you pronounce “Hatshepsut”?
Break ‘Hatshepsut’ down into sounds: [HAT] + [SHEP] + [SOOT]
Some background of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut wasn’t born Pharoah. Since she is a female how did she become a Pharoah of Egypt?
Well, Hatshepsut was from a royal family, a daughter of King Thutmose I, Hatshepsut became queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother, Thutmose II, around the age of 12. After her husband died, she began acting as regent for her stepson, the infant Thutmose III (son of Thutmose II with another concubine), but later she took on the full powers of a Pharoah. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had no son but a daughter.
Should you walk up to the top?
The Hatshepsut temple was grand and was carved in a mountain. The view of the temple from a far distance is quite astonishing. This place is always busy and full of tourists. It was very hot even in the month of December since it was surrounded by deserts. The heat is unbearable so carrying an umbrella is a good idea.
There are a lot of steps and a long distance to walk up to the temple. Ramped access is also available on both sides of the steps. The temple looks very impressive from the outside but not when you are inside. Only several imposing statues and some paintings still exist, but most were damaged. Nothing really left inside the temple.
If you can’t afford to walk the steps, just look at the temple from outside. The building itself, viewed from a distance is stunning but not when you are up close.
Why did Hatshepsut wear a fake beard?
In order for people to accept her as pharaoh, Hatshepsut began to dress like a pharaoh. She wore the pharaoh’s headdress with a cobra. She even wore a fake beard and a short kilt like the men wore.
Alabaster factory tour
Alabaster is a type of stone found in Luxor. Our guide brought us to a local Alabaster factory near the Valley of the Kings. Alabaster comes in three colors, dark green, tannish-yellow, and white. One of the reasons that alabaster is prized is due to its translucence and the effect of the light passing through the soft stone.
Before we enter the shop, there are workers demonstrated the tools and how they drilling into the alabaster. It doesn’t seem very complicated but looks tiring. You can see the workers’ faces also cover with sand dust as they spend the whole day shaping the alabaster.
The Alabaster Green looks interesting, the staff turns off the lights of the shop to let us see the glow of the green color stones in the dark. A big “wow” from all of us.
I usually do not buy anything from the shop that a guide brings us. Places like this are usually set up for tourists so it should be a tourist trap. However, there is no hassle even if we don’t buy anything from the shop. I still think it is worth to pay a visit to the alabaster stone factory and learn about them.
If you are planning to visit Egypt, please study some of the histories of this country before you come. This will make your trip a lot more meaningful and you will enjoy more of the journey. Hatshepsut temple viewed from a distance is stunning but not when you are up close. That means you could skip the steps and walking up if you are less mobile or having bad knees. I would suggest you save your energy for other sites in the Valley of the Kings and Queens. There are so many sites here.
You can still view the beautiful architecture of Hatshepsut Temple from the bottom. To be honest, there is nothing much left inside the temple when you are up there. You will be disappointed when you make it to the top. Trust me. As I said, it is nicer to look from a distance.
However, If you are fit and strong, then by all mean to go up, walk all the steps up with other tourists crowds and soak in the atmosphere of Hatshepsut Temple. It is hot, be prepared but you will love the atmosphere.