An hour and a half’s drive from Luxor, Dandara is ground to the best preserved temple complexes in Egypt. The first of the temples within the complex dates back to 1500 BC, while the currently standing oldest temple is believed to be constructed between 360-343 BC. Surrounded by a hefty mud brick wall enclosing 40,000 square meters of area, Temples Of Dandara was a site for chapels and shrines since the earliest of history of the country.
Built in the 1st century BC by Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra II, the temple is dedicated to Hathor, goddess of maternity, love and music. The walls are decorated with images of the depiction and life of the beautiful Cleopatra and the Ptolemy dynasty. It also contains a relief known as the Dandara Zodiac bearing the earliest known forms of Zodiac signs.
Careful removal of dust from the ceiling has revealed some of the most beautiful ancient paintings underneath. The ceiling of the main hall contains the most vibrant and colourful paintings.
The second hall is featured with 6 columns decorated with rich capitals and granite pedestals. The sides of the hall were used as store rooms that stored jars coming as gifts or from other kingdoms.
There also exists a central chapel that has two aisles. One of the aisles was used for the sacrifices that were offered to Goddess Hathor and the other for the sacred boat. The walls are beautifully decorated with reliefs depicting Ptolemy and other rulers and their way of life.
There is also a small corridor on the right side of the temple which leads to a small room containing the crypt. The stairs inside the temple are in sets of twelve, each depicting a month of the year.
The other main attractions here include the Temple of the birth of Isis, Sacred Lake, Sanatorium, Roman Mammisi, a Barque shrine, Gateways of Domitian and Trajan, among others.
The Dandara Temple complex is helped from the fact that it is one of the most tourist-accessible places of worship from ancient Egypt. Due to safety measures, tourists are not allowed on the topmost places. Still one can totally enjoy the visuals in front of the main entrance.
Get yourself a camera, extra storage and batteries because you find are too many things to capture. The paints, the reliefs, the carvings, all add up to give Dandara the stroke of beauty that leads straight into the heart without any condition. Visit our website @ Nile Holiday to book your tour to the Temples of Dandara.