Edfu – It is all about reaching the finishing line!

Inch by inch we were getting closer to the carriage in front of us. The air was electrically charged as each one of us sat on the edge of our seats, our eyes were fixed ahead.

Watching the race is one thing and being a part of a race is another. Each one of us was a part of the adrenalin pumping, heart thumping race!

With their noses flaring up and swirling sand clouds with their hooves our horses pushed ahead. Competing against each other to finish the race they had started from near the port where we boarded our respective carriages.

It was a horse carriage race, a unique race with unique competitors, the tourists.

Our destination was the Temple of Edfu, located on the west of River Nile at a distance of about twenty minutes.

Suddenly tension gripped me. Will we be able to win?

Winning has always been an inherent and ultimate desire of man. A primal feeling was running wild amongst all. Everybody wanted to reach the finish line first.

Out of nowhere it felt that we did not belong to 2019. We were somewhere between 237 and 57 BC, an era when names of Ptolemy and Cleopatra were on the lips of every men.

The simultaneous rhythmic clip clop of the horses’ troop from our carriages broke the early morning haze of sleepy Edfu city on the Sunday morning.

On both the sides the shops were yet to open theirs shutters, as we coursed through the narrow lanes. Smell of freshly baked bread wafted in as the elders casually glanced at us from behind their newspapers, sipping tea or taking drags from their hukkas.

Soon we reached our finishing line. To our utter dismay there was no winner. Hordes of tourists were already milling around the ruins, who reached before us.

By now your attention will surely turn towards the ancient monument standing proudly right in the middle. With the bright morning sun glinted off in pure gold against it which was considered to be the home of the Falcon God, Horus, you will forget about the race.

Although built during the reign of Ptolemic kingdom this temple followed the tradition of Paranoiac architecture. The wide open courtyard has witnessed the stream of thousands of patriots. Their dust has settled today but not the memory.

Still obscured from in the fragmented morning light which was yet to enter, some corner lay in cool darkness. The lofty interior with its impressive columns will keep you open mouthed, as you listen or recollect the history that is associated with the place.

It is strange to know that this temple was buried under the mound of sand and rubble of the surrounding village Edfu until discovered. An entire intact temple buried until 1860.

Soaking in the history and grandeur of the Temple of Edfu for few hours is enough to satiate your inquisitive nature.

Once outside you are back on your racing track as hundreds and hundreds of horse carriages waits to take you back to 2019.

Giving a second thought maybe, I did reach my finish line in the end and so shall you.

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