My Trip To Egypt

Egypt has one of the most ancient civilizations, as India has. The worship of animals and nature is also common. Looking to the similarities between hieroglyphic texts and Vedic ones, it is believed that both the Egyptians and Indians have drawn legacy from the Vedic civilization. Trade links between the two countries have also been found.

I was curious to see a country that has one of the oldest histories. So we landed at Cairo airport.

The first site we visited was the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. It has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities and artifacts. The Royal Mummies Hall inside the museum is simply marvellous.

Next to museum is the Tahrir Square or Martyr Square, a focal point of the 2011 Egyptian revolution that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Muslim Brotherhood coming to power and subsequent political crisis is a different story altogether.

a view from Tehrir Square

Then we saw an art gallery to see art work on Papyrus . The stem fibres of papyrus plants are used to make paper or canvas through a laborious process. The beautiful drawings and paintings made on Papyrus are unique.

The most awaited visit was of the colossal Pyramids of Giza, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. There are three pyramids, the Great Sphinx and small ‘queens’ pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex. The oldest and largest is the Great Pyramid.

The pyramids were constructed to house the remains of the deceased pharaohs (rulers), with a storage pit for necessary items, with the belief that the death on earth is the start of a journey to the next world.

It is a wonder how these pyramids would have been built by moving huge stones to make perfectly symmetrical shape in those days of around 2570 BC.

We took a sleeping train from Giza in the night to reach Aswan the next morning. The experience was unique. The ticket collector took care of everything from checking tickets to making bed and serving meals, snacks etc. A tip of two US dollars (not Egyptian Pounds) per passenger was fixed informally, that every passenger has to pay.

In Egypt, it is a normal practice to give and expect tips. I saw it everywhere. In fact, travel guides used to remind us every time whether the tip has been given for the services rendered. We gave them too. Amount of tip is immaterial. In fact, tip is treated there as the honour . Not paying tips is unusual, and taken as an insult.

We saw the Aswan High Dam, the world’s largest embankment dam built across the Nile in sixties to control floods, to store water for irrigation and to generate electricity.

Very near to this Dam, a tulip-shaped Friendship Treaty Memorial has been erected as a gesture of thanks to Russia, that helped build the Dam.

Then we visited the Philae Temple , a beautiful island temple located between the high and low dams of Aswan in Lake Nasser.

There are so many temples to honour Egyptian gods and goddesses. All have their own historical importance, that I cannot remember, but of course, all have distinct architecture with beautiful heiroglyphs, drawings and paintings.

We also visited Nubia museum , that displays the history of Nubian people and their monuments. Nubians were the early inhabitants of the central Nile valley, who once even ruled Egypt. Nubian cuisines and herbs and spices date back to 5000 years and were used as a part of barter system.

We enjoyed Felucca ride around Aga Khan Palace before settling down in a cruise cabin.

The Temple of Kom Ombo built during Ptolemaic dynasty is an unusual double temple with a crocodile museum that displays crocodile mummies also.

Then there is Edfu temple , a Ptolemaic Temple of Horus. It has also remains of ancient settlement of Edfu.

Most of the ancient temples stand defaced or eroded due to floods, earthquakes and external aggression and plunders.

The Valley of the Kings was the main burial place of the Egyptian kings. Almost all tombs and chambers have been robbed, but they give an idea how opulent and powerful the pharaohs were.

Being a student of Geology, I had special interest in this valley, whose cliff is made of different qualities of limestone and other sedimentary rocks. The area has a history of frequent floods that dumped debris into the tombs.

Next to the Valley was the mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut , a queen, one of the first female pharaohs, who ordered to construct this temple to tell her story. She was ambitious and used to dress like a man to show her power and strength. But her stepson after ascending the throne, defaced her images. But it also remains one of archeological wonders of Egypt.

The Colossi of Memnon are two monumental massive stone statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III in a seated position. Both statues are damaged and defaced.

We also visited Karnak temple that has a vast mix of decayed structures and a massive Hypostyle Hall with 134 massive columns. It is surprising how these column and architraves might have been lifted there.

The adjoining Luxor temple is not dedicated to any cult god or pharaoh, but many pharaohs, including Alexander the Great are supposed to be crowned there.
Finally we drove to northern part of Egypt, i.e. Alexandria , a Mediterranean port city founded by Alexander the Great. It is famous for an imposing lighthouse and a massive library that was once destroyed. Queen Cleopatra had ruled from here. Once it was the capital of Egypt during the reign of Ptolemaic rulers.

Its sea face gives an appearance of Marine Drive of Mumbai. The Pearl of Mediterranean is a favourite place for its cosmopolitan flavour and breezy climate.

Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria is a triumphal column of red granite erected on a rocky hilltop to honour the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

The must-see is the Citadel of Qaitbay , a fort on the Mediterranean sea coast built by Ashraf Qaitbay as a defensive edifice against the Turks.

Our final destination was Montaza Palace that has a museum and big royal gardens a beautiful place for family. The palace was renovated and used as an official presidential residence, now used to house the president’s visitors.

A galabeya is a loose-fitting Egyptian dress with sleeves and embroidery. Egyptian music is a mixture of indigenous, Mediterranean, African and Western elements.

Egypt is considered the home of belly dance. Kushari , a mixture of rice, lentils and macaroni is considered to be the national dish. Smoking shisha is common.

There are so many aspects of this country that are difficult to cover in one blog. I have touched upon those things that I came across during my visit to this country.

–Kaushal Kishore

(all pics were taken during the trip)


  1. Isn’t it an amazing place for a trip – there is so much to see – such incredible treasure… As for the museum in Cairo – I don’t think I’ve ever been in another to equal it….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, it was an amazing trip I can’t forget, especially when the locals say mehboobi or marhabaan. Most of them were aware of Indian actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. This post pleased me immensely, and your narrative and photographs covered so many interesting places. You were astonished how they were able to move huge blocks some distances, perhaps you know now, but if not, let me tell you that they used to build temporary canals that lead from the Nile up to the pyramid that was being built. Once the work was finished, the canal was filled in,
      I started writing a book about those fascinating times, a fragment is in my blog under the title
      ” The Tale for Mr. Spilberg?”
      Thank you for tonight’s excitement!.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. I read your blog you referred to. I also went through one on the Nile river. Both are insightful, but I was looking for further details of transporting huge blocks for construction of pyramids and temples. Probably you will give in your book, but here also, you have given a fair idea of the process. Thanks, Joanna, for sharing an informative and interesting piece here. Thank you!!


  2. A fabulous post, KK. I studied as an archaeologist originally and I am also a former member of the Egypt Exploration Society (I must do something about renewing my membership). The photos of your trip are so good, your personal experience shines through very strongly. So, I am always up for any stories regarding Egypt and her amazing imprint on this Earth 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I understand that exploration and research go on constantly in Egypt, as a number of historical facts are yet to be found out. There are so many rulers, dynasties, customs, beliefs, monuments spread across thousands of years. Thanks for reading the post and sharing your beautiful thoughts ☺️🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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