Even the sun knows best to leave Ptah. He, who reigns the underworld, sits alone in the darkness.
Deep inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple of Ramses of Abu Simbel, you will face the four Gods, Amun, Ra-Horakhty, Ptah and deified Ramesses II himself.
As your brain tries to understand how the Egyptians could be so geometrically perfect that they built a temple with sunlight passing to illuminate the three Gods yet leave behind just one when all are seated at the same level on the same royal throne, you might miss out on a minor fact that here Gods of heaven, earth and underworld are all ‘equal’ and occupy the same seat.
But before you come to this understanding you will need to chase the starry Nubian night for a little over three hours to reach your destination from Aswan port. The endless dessert will sweep past you in a confused horizontal blurs. The lone road severing through dark dessert will carry you towards an ancient wonder without visiting which your trip to Egypt shall be incomplete.
On reaching your destination you will be greeted with a commercial cacophony, stores trying to sell you souvenirs, vendors from food stalls trying to grab your attention, guides loudly reciting the age-old story by heart.
Leaving behind the commotion as you walk along the touristy path, Lake Nasser and well-maintained succulent shrubs will give you company. And then just as you turn the corner you will come upon a world far removed from yours. Here you shall enter the kingdom of the pharaoh who once held supremacy so great that he was hailed as a god in human form.
Carved out of ochre sandstone cliff to celebrate the victory of Ramesses II in the Battle of Kadesh, these Temples are not only majestic but intimidating as well. It will appear as if they have emerged from the heart of the desert itself. The Great Temple belongs to Ramesses himself while the Small Temple of Hathor is dedicated to his beloved wife Nefertari.
Dominating the very entrance of each Temple are the four colossal iconic statues which will make you halt for sure. Here as you stall to take in the dramatic spectacle before your eyes you will realise each detail bespeak of unrelenting power and furious passion of a king who lives beyond time.
Inside the Temples the imperial pillars and innumerable mystic hieroglyphics will keep you mesmerised, evoking a desire to know more about Ramesses II, a probable incarnation of God himself on earth. You can never have enough of the Temples of Abu Simbel.
However, just before you leave if you happen to be inside or near the holy of holies of the Great Temple, you will see that Ra, the Sun God kissing the forehead of his beloved son Ramesses II, for one last time because it is He who made sure that all Gods are indeed equal and you too must remember that.