Generally regarded as the longest river in the world, the Nile has played a critical role in Egypt’s history providing essential water to arid lands to allow the agricultural wealth that Egyptians have relied upon throughout antiquity. For visitors to Egypt one of the best ways to experience the Nile River in all its grandeur is aboard a 3/4 night one way cruise. Setting sail from either Luxor or Aswan, Nile cruise ships ply their route from Luxor south to Aswan or Aswan north to Luxor with stops made at a number of impressive archaeological sites along the way including the temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo.
Rising up majestically from the dusty ground of Edfu is the Temple of Horus. Superbly preserved and actually built by the Greeks, it is the largest pharaonic temple in Egypt and is one of the last of its kind to have been built in ancient times. Dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus, its excellent state of structural preservation fills in historical gaps with exquisite reliefs detailing temple rituals and providing insight into the power of the priesthood during these times. The temple houses a colossal statue of Horus as a falcon as well as a granite shrine and the remains of a birth house.
The Temple of Kom Ombo (or more correctly – the Temple of Haroeris and Sobek) is a unique double temple dedicated to both Sobek the crocodile god, and Horus the falcon-headed god. Standing on a low promontory near a bend in the river whose sandbanks were a basking point for crocodiles in ancient times, the complex is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple with two side-by-side sanctuaries and two parallel passageways leading through the outer parts of the temple.