What do you need to know before visiting the Temple of Kom Ombo?
Welcome to my blog post on the Temple of Kom Ombo! If you’re planning a visit to this breathtaking ancient Egyptian temple, you’ve come to the right place. Steeped in rich history and nestled on the banks of the Nile River, the Temple of Kom Ombo is a remarkable testament to the marvels of ancient architecture.
In this blog post, I will provide you with interesting facts about this dual temple and all the necessary information you need to know before its visit.
Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, this comprehensive guide will equip you with everything you need to know before embarking on your journey to the Temple of Kom Ombo.
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Visiting Temple of Kom Ombo: Overview
The Temple of Kom Ombo is a mesmerizing ancient Egyptian temple known for its unique dual design, the temple stands as a remarkable testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of the ancient Egyptians.
This amazing structure is dedicated to two deities: Sobek, the crocodile-headed god associated with fertility and protection, and Horus the Elder, the falcon-headed god associated with healing and wisdom.
The Temple has a rectangular shape with a symmetrical layout where each side is dedicated to one of these deities. Visiting the Temple of Kom Ombo is a truly immersive experience that takes you back in time.
Where is the Temple of Kom Ombo?
The Temple of Kom Ombo is located on the east side of the River Nile, in the small town of the same name Kom Ombo, about 45 km from Aswan in Egypt.
Town Kom Ombo used to be a desert and sandy hills but now it is an agricultural town with sugar cane plantations, schools, hospitals, and sugar refineries.
Due to its great location on the hill of the River Nile, most of the cruises are stopping here for tourists to visit Kom Ombo.
Why is the Temple of Kom Ombo important?
The Temple of Kom Ombo is a fascinating temple and one of its kind because it is dedicated to two Gods, rather than one, which is very unusual in Egypt.
The name Kom Ombo means hill of gold, where Kom is hill in Arabic and Ombo is gold. The name was probably given due to the sandy hills that it used to be here.
This temple was built during the Ptolemaic dynasty from 180 – 47 BCE with some additions during the Roman era. As it was dedicated to two Gods, it is like two identical temples next to each other. There are two entrances, two courts, two hypostyle halls, and two sanctuaries each dedicated to one God.
The facade of the Temple of Kom Ombo has magnificent wall carvings showcasing a captivating depiction of the Ptolemaic kings triumphing over their adversaries and making offerings to the gods.
Stepping into the first inner hall, you’ll be greeted by the mesmerizing sight of the Ptolemies receiving purification from the revered deities Sobek and Horus. This scene can be also found in other temples like Edfu and Philae.
On one of the walls, you can also see a representation of the first surgical instruments.
Adding to the temple’s allure, the stone heads of the columns within the inner hall have the shape of the lotus flower. As one of the most revered and sacred plants in ancient Egypt, the lotus flower holds deep symbolic meaning and lends an air of profound spirituality to the temple’s interior.
In the past, there were many crocodiles on the bank of the River Nile and people were scared to enter the temple. However, they believed that if they worship the animals, they will be safe. Inside the temple used to be a pool where they raised crocodiles.
Today the only crocodiles you can see are the mummified ones in the museum located here.
The second reason is the amazing crafting on the walls and all facades of the temple. The third reason is the stunning view of the Nile River from the hill where the temple is standing.
Another reason is that except for the temple, you can also visit the crocodile museum. Last but not least it is easy to reach. Whether you take the Nile cruise or go by car, you are passing by.
Even though a big part of Kom Ombo Temple has been destroyed by flood, earthquake, and builders, it is still an amazing temple worth visiting.
How to get to the Temple of Kom Ombo
There are several ways to get to the Temple of Kom Ombo. Whether you are coming from Aswan, Luxor, or even from Cairo and Hurghada, you have several options to choose from that will suit your needs and preferences.
The three most convenient ways to get to the Temple of Kom Ombo are by tour, driving yourself, or taking public transportation. Let’s see them all in more detail.
Option 1: Visit By Tour
Taking a tour to visit temples and any other sights in Egypt is the best way. Everything is organized for you, you get a pickup and drop off and usually entrance fees are included. Here are the top three tours recommended.
Private Sightseeing Tour To Kom Ombo And Edfu Temples From Aswan – This tour is for those staying in Aswan. You will be picked up from your hotel or any other place in Aswan by air-conditioned vehicle and accompanied by a guide will visit Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples.
What is included: All transfers, pick up and drop off by AC vehicle, private tour, professional guide, entrance fees, and a bottle of water.
Not included: Lunch (optional), optional tours, and personal items.
Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples Tour from Luxor – This tour is for those staying in Luxor. You will be picked up from your hotel or any place in Luxor by air-conditioned vehicle and accompanied by a guide will visit Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples.
What is included: All transfers, pick up and drop off by AC vehicle, professional guide, entrance fees, a bottle of water, and all taxes and service charges.
Not included: Any extras not mentioned above, tipping.
5 Days Nile River Cruise from Luxor to Aswan with Private Tour Guide – This option is for someone who would like to experience the Nile River cruise and see more temples on the way, like Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple, Hatshepsut Temple, and more. You can get a similar tour even if you are staying in Hurghada.
What is included: 4 nights accommodation on board 5* standard Nile cruise, meet and assist by English speaking representative, private Egyptology English speaking tour guide, complimentary 1 bottle of water per day per person, all transfers by AC vehicle, all local taxes and services, bottled water, breakfast (4) lunch (4), dinner (4).
Not included: any extra not mentioned above, all personal expenses, tipping.
Option 2: Drive To The Temple
If you are staying in Aswan or Luxor, you can also drive to the Temple as it is not that far away, especially from Aswan. However, you must be a very confident and patient driver. Driving in Egypt is one big chaos and adrenalin.
There are no rules on the roads here. Cars are driving as they want and where they want. They are overtaking as they like, not following the speed limit. On some parts of the journey, there are tractors, motorbikes, and even donkey pull carts on the road, and people cross the roads wherever they want.
If you don’t feel like driving, you can also hire a driver. Check this option with your hotel. You can also take a taxi, but you need to negotiate the price.
Option 3: Go By Public Transportation
To get to the Temple of Kom Ombo by public transportation is the cheapest way, but not the fastest and smoothest. There are buses and trains going from Aswan to Luxor or vice versa and stop at the station in Kom Ombo.
You can take a bus or train from Luxor or Aswan to Kom Ombo station, which costs around 1 USD. From the station, you need to take a taxi or tuk-tuk, as the temple is about 2km away from the station. Don’t forget to negotiate the price.
The trains seem to be a better and more comfortable option as there are sleeper air-conditioned trains, except the ordinary trains. I would not travel with the ordinary one, by the way.
The AC Sleeper train goes from Cairo as well, so if you want to come all the way from Cairo to Aswan or Luxor, this train is an option. From Cairo to Kom Ombo the journey takes 12 hours and costs 80-120 USD.
Where To Stay Near Temple Of Kom Ombo
Unfortunately, there are no hotels in the town of Kom Ombo as it is a small town, so you will need to stay in Aswan. The closest hotels or guest houses are about 1-hour drive from the temple of Kom Ombo. Here are three recommended places to stay based on your budget.
👉Budget Option: The Mango Guest House – absolutely lovely colorful guest house with a private bathroom and balcony, close to the river. The host is extra helpful with arranging tours or transportation. Prices are around 30- 50 USD depending on the season. Breakfast is not included, but can be arranged for extra cost.
👉Mid-Range Hotel Option: Artika Wadi Kiki Hotel – Authentic hotel located in a Nubian village on the bank of the Nile with a beautiful view. There is a restaurant and a bar and you can enjoy your food and drinks in the garden. In the village, you can find souqs with souvenirs, and there is a possibility of cycling or sandboarding close by the hotel. The hotel staff is very friendly and helpful. Prices are around 80-160 USD depending on the season.
👉Luxury Resort Option: Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan – This luxury hotel located on the bank of the River Nile is full of history. There are four restaurants and four bars, one with a terrace providing a stunning view of the Nile. There is an inside and outside pool for you to relax, as well as a spa, sauna, and gym. The prices go from 300 to 1k USD depending on the season. Breakfast is included and you can also include dinner if you wish.
More Things To Do In Izbat Al Bayyarah
There isn’t really much around the Kom Ombo Temple, however, there are many other activities you can do in Aswan. If you already included Edfu Temple on your tour, which is close by, you can also visit Philae Temple, Unfinished Obelisk, and High Dam.
You can take a tour to the Nubian Village where you will experience the Nubian culture, meet the locals, and have your questions answered by your tour guide.
Moreover, you can take the traditional Felucca boat tour to see Aswan from the Nile, with the option to visit a botanical garden or have a traditional lunch.
Other points of interest in Aswan are the Aswan Museum, Nubian Museum, and Aswan Old Souq.
Here are some recommended tours for you.
Best Time to Visit Temple Of Kom Ombo
The best time to visit the Temple of Kom Ombo is either in the Spring or in Autumn, due to the lower heat than it is during the summer and lower prices than they are in the winter.
Winter is also a good time, however, it is peak season, so there will be a lot of tourists and prices are at their highest. If you decide to come in the winter, bear in mind that the temperatures may be lower, so do bring some jumpers and a jacket.
I do not recommend visiting the temple in the summer, even for some could be convenient due to low prices, but temperatures in Egypt during the summer are above 40 degrees Celsius, and sightseeing and walking in such heat is not very enjoyable.
In any case, visiting Kom Ombo is more beautiful during sunrise and sunset. If you can make it at this time, you will be gifted with a stunning view.
Conclusion: Temple Of Kom Ombo
The Temple of Kom Ombo stands as a testament to the remarkable achievements of ancient Egyptian civilization. With its dual design, intricate carvings, and rich symbolism, this temple offers you a truly immersive experience.
I hope this guide has prepared you for an unforgettable visit to the Temple of Kom Ombo. Whether you’re drawn to its historical significance, architectural marvels, or spiritual ambiance, the Temple of Kom Ombo promises to transport you back in time.