For me the most important of our tours in Luxor is to the Sety I Temple at Abydos and the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. I have been taking guests to these temples since 2003. They are the most perfect, most intact, most colourful, best preserved, most detailed of all the Temples. Moreover, they have more mysteries and unexplained images than any other Temple so far uncovered in Egypt.
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Our tour to Abydos/Dendera leaves Mara House at 7.30 am with Mohamed. Why do Abydos and Dendera with Mara House? Because I am interested in the things that nobody understands and Mohamed will also show you what other guides will not. At Abydos he will show you the Flower of Life which is laser-burned into the granite walls of the Osirion. He will show you the Helicopter, submarine, plane and stealth fighter carving up near the roof of the temple. These are just two of the unusual and unexplained mysteries at Abydos Temple.
For me another important depiction at Abydos is the “Raising of the Djed” depictions. The process takes up the entire central “register” in a room at the back of the temple. There are mostly 3 registers on the walls of the temples – small top one, central one and lower one. There is only one entrance to this long chamber but there are 6 false doors…a lot of symbolism to think about at Abydos, not only what is on the walls but the very layout of the temple itself.
When I first came to Egypt I had not opened a book or done even the tiniest bit of internet research on it. After I moved here I became too busy building. However, bit by bit the sacred sites did take hold of me – Abydos and Dendera the strongest.
It would take forever for one to know and understand everything about the different temples, sites and deities of Egypt. When you come on tour with my guides, they will tell you many, many stories. Hearing so much information about different people and places every day can be overwhelming and too much to take in.
So, I recommend you get some interesting books – not guide books full of dates, places etc, but interesting story books about the places on our tours. Then when you get to the temples and monuments you will already have a “feel” for them and people who lived, worked or walked through these places, in the light of the stories and books you have read.
I highly recommend starting with the amazing reincarnation story of a modern day English woman who lived in Abydos, recording and documenting it’s treasures. Her name was Dorothy Eady, better known as Omm Sety and she died at Abydos in 1981. Her mother was English and her father was Irish. You will find this book and several others based on her story at Amazon “Omm Sety’s Egypt: A Story of Ancient Mysteries, Secret Lives, and the Lost History of the Pharaohs”.
We do Abydos and Dendera the same day because they are on the same road. We arrive at Seti I Abydos Temple at approx. 10am. Our time there is 90 minutes. Then, we travel back towards Luxor and arrive to Dendera Temple around 1.30pm. Having spent another 90 minutes in the Temple of Hathor we arrive back at Mara House around 4.30pm. We aim for this timing because we must be inside Luxor City limits by 6pm, this is required by law and we must allow for possible delays along the way.
On 16 Jan 1895 Lady Layard paid a visit to Dendera Temple. Her journey through the cornfields to the Temple took 20 mins, on a chair carried by four men and she says it was less than comfortable. What I found funny was that over a hundred years later the hassle of tourists still continues – Lady Layard writes they were surrounded by natives calling for baksheesh. Some things never change lol!