"Dual Temple of Sobek and Horus" Top 5 Page for this destination Kawm Umbu by atufft

Kawm Umbu Travel Guide: 54 reviews and 277 photos

We arrived in the morning...

by land, two of us disembarking off the cramped dirty white Toyota jitney minivan that had brought us from Aswan, just before the first cruise ship full of tourists swarmed the temple. So, we were able in the first few minutes to wander the wide aisled colonnades of the Temple of Sobek pretty much to ourselves, appreciating morning sunlight, which angled to expose ancient chiseled reliefs of Sobek and Horus. Then, a cruise ship pulled against the port. Kwuam Umbu (Kom Ombo) is on a bend in the river and has a nice landing for cruise ships, and this is the way most tourists arrive. As the wonderful meditative aspects of the temple disappeared with a flood of tourists, I appraised just why one of the twin temples still stood, while the latter has more or less washed away with successive Nile floods.

Later, after the cruise ship departed...

we were able to relax again and enjoy more detailed exploration, studying low level reliefs worn repeatedly by sand blown or washed ashore in flooding. In some ceiling areas, exposed to neither sun, wind, nor water, ancient blue and red paint remained visible.

Ironically, we had seen the ship loading passengers in Aswan before we hiked over to the mini-van service across the railroad tracks in Aswan. When we returned to Aswan in the afternoon, soon after the same cruise ship returned. So, I didn't see much advantage to the cruise ship for touring the ruins. Cocktail drinks and party atmosphere provide a platform for appreciation of the river, but our intimate conversations with locals provided a better platform for understanding the mysteries behind ruins, in that every local who could communicate in broken English was eager to share a folk story with us. In any case, our focus were the twin temples, and we found many things very unique about them.

Kwuam Umbo is Devoted to God Sobek (Seth)

On the bend in the river, alligators would bask in the sun, waiting for something to eat. Ancient Egyptians were understandably fearful of them, and so placed a temple of worship to the aligator god Sobek, hoping to placate them and avoid death. Earlier temples were no doubt built on the unstable soil here, but this temple dates from the Ptolemaic period (after 300 BC). The temple was originally a dual temple, but the remains of the temple of Horus, which is closer to the river are scant. It's interesting that the temples of Sobek and Horus (see also Idfu pages), which were built build within the same dynastic period, are so spaced along the river. According to Egyptian legend, Horus, the falcon, defeats Sobek who had Osiris, the father of Horus. Sobek is resurrected though in this wonderful temple. Check out the Things To Do tips for more explanation and images.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great excursion from Aswan, not too far away
  • Cons:Somewhat ruined in appearance due to the location on the river
  • In a nutshell:Kwaum Umbo is a major Temple stop on the Nile River Journey
  • Intro Updated Mar 19, 2011
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