Egypt moblog #5 – Temple at Edfu + Story of sky goddess Nut

Today morning we reached Edfu and the tour started sharp at 9am.

The temple at Edfu is dedicated to Horus, the falcon god. It is one of best preserved temples in all of Egypt. Evidence from the middle kingdom are present but most of the works are from the Greco Roman period during the time of Bartholomew XII (Ptolemy XII). The date is approx 230 BC.

The entrance is marked with 2 big walls on either side of the massively high doorway like in the temple at Philiae. The king making offerings to Horus is depicted on the wall.

We enter the temple and we see a large open space with pillared corridors on either side. When we enter the next hall we see a hypostyle hall with 64 pillars – each pillar ends in a plant motif on top of the local plants – lotus, date palm etc (In India you see pillars ending with a plantain tree motif). The pillars are supposed to symbolize trees that’s why the top of the pillar has these tree motifs.

There were 64 priests at this temple and hence there are 64 pillars. This temple is supposed to commemorate the revenge of Horus on Seth who had killed his father Ossyris earlier.

We see the sanctum sanctorum where a boat (ark) is kept in which Horus travels. The original boat is in France. Behind the boat is a granite structure where statues of the gods were kept.

Take this – every day the priests took the statues on a procession in a circle inside the temple. Also on festival days, the statues are taken out into the city in a procession (aren’t you reminded of the Urchava Murthi, Pradosham concepts in Hinduism?).

We then saw 2 rooms one on either side of the hypostyle hall – one of them was the office of the head priest and the other was a library housing holy papyruses. Possibly one of the earliest libraries.

Then we went to a room called as the oldest perfumery in the world. Here they have written a recipe for making a perfume in Hieroglyphics.

Then we see a relief showing 64 priests carrying the ark (boat) of Horus. All the priests except the head priest are shown with a clean shaven head (where we have seen that before?). The head priest wears a leopard skin (Where we have seen that before?).

During one of the festival days, they celebrate the wedding of Horus and Hathor (does that sound familiar?). Then we see the hall dedciated to Nut, the sky goddess (sort of the Sannidhi of Nut if you like Hindu terminology). The roof of this hall has the picture of Nut with some of the original blue color still retained.

Nut is shown in traditional form – her body arcing over the earth with her legs on one side and her hands on the other both touching earth.

Now the Egyptians believed that the Sun spent 12 hours on earth and the other 12 hours with the after life resurrecting itself magically every morning. This is the circle of life for them.

When the sun sets, it enters Nut’s mouth and at Sunrise, it leaves Nut’s genitals.

It is this circle of life that they symbolize by the daily ritual of taking the statues in a circle within the temple. As always, the temple is awe inspiring with massively high doorways and massively high columns.

We are on our way to Esna where we will see the temple of Khnum – one of the creator gods.

More to come….


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    Interesting. Looking forward to more…

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    Sukumar (subscribed) said November 22, 2007, 2:46 pm:

    Thanks for stopping by April.

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    Wow Sukumar. I have to see these places. I can’t describe what I am feeling right now. I don’t know why no one has spoken about these similarities before.

    You mentioned that cow goddess in your Moblog 2, it reminded me of Kamadhenu, the wish yielding cow is how it is normally translated. If you see, Kama means pleasure. Literally it means, the giver of pleasure.

    It is too much for a coincidence. I really want to know more about their philosophy. I seem to have missed quite a few posts. I thought you were sailing and wouldn’t be able to write!!!!

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    Sukumar (subscribed) said November 23, 2007, 3:49 am:

    Thanks Archana. You are right, we were reminded of Kamadhenu as well. You must definitely travel here. I’m sure you will spot more similarities than we did.

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    senthil (subscribed) said November 23, 2007, 9:21 am:


    I expected that there should be similarities with us, when i was reading your post initially. But, the info that you provided were more informative and enlightening.

    I feel, the age of civilization might be more than what we might get from scientific datas.

    I heard of a term called “Archaeoastronomy”. The following news article states thatn Rama was born in January 10, 5114 BCE. !!!!

    The key point is that, based on the start positions and other astronomical data described at important events in Ramayana, the exact date of that event can be found using relevant softwares.

    Considering the fact, that viswamithrar, vashishtar, kamadenu are present in the ramayana story, i feel, there might be lot unknown about the ancient civilizational history. The age of egyptian civlization might be far older than we have on records. (assuming that the concept of kamadhenu would have gone from any one side to other)

    Sun was one of the important gods of Persian civilization, which resembles egyptian. Many of the paganist cultures worshipped fire, in europe, before christian era. (I heard from a news that some people in germany were trying to practise their pre-christian cultural roots, based on some historical data about their culture)

    So, almost all major civilizations might have been in contact with one another, on those days, and hence, cultural,scientific exchanges would have taken place.

    Nature worship seems to be common among all the people..

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    senthil (subscribed) said November 23, 2007, 9:44 am:


    I got the following news article from my friend. Tamil Brahmi scripts is found in an ancient jar in Egypt. It dates back to around 1st BC.

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    Sukumar (subscribed) said November 24, 2007, 1:34 am:

    Thanks for the news article on tamil brahmi in Egypt. I would have loved to find artefacts from Indus Valley here but there doesn’t seem to be a record. Egyptians have a single hieroglyphic symbol for foreign lands. They didn’t distinguish between them.

    As for Ramayana in 5114 BCE, it flies in the face of human history. Science is not conducted in this manner, it requires evidence not conjecture.

    And herein lies the difference between our civilization and Egyptian – Egyptians had a script and have written it down (carved it in as well). All these can be dated to reasonable accuracy by scientific methods. On our side, all we have is conjecture upon conjecture. Nothing was written down. We didn’t have a script (if you ignore Indus Valley because that culture dissappeared) untill about 500 BC that is a full 2500 years later than the Egyptians.

    You don’t have to doubt so much about whether Kamadhenu went from India to Egypt. It clearly went from Egypt to India or it could simply be an independently developed concept in India. Cows are sacred for us also.

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    Sukumar (subscribed) said November 24, 2007, 1:52 am:

    BTW Senthil, you are right it does appear that ancient cultures were in contact but it appears to have happened in regional groupings – for instance, Aryans, Persians, Tajiks, Kazakhs seem to have similar belief systems. In fact, Rig Veda is the same as the Zend Avesta of the Persians indicating a common origin for both somewhere in Afghanistan. All of them were fire worshippers. Persians were also fire worshippers not Sun worshippers as you say.

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    senthil (subscribed) said November 24, 2007, 2:17 am:

    THanks sukumar.. yes.. persians were fire workers.. the first woman from iran who travelled to space recently told, that the ritual of jumping over the fire is still practiced in Iran, as part of shia ritual.

    Archeoastronomy was relatively new field, and i heard it only in that article. Scientific validation is very important in deciding the historic dates.. but, i felt, that if we also consider other forms of information, there is some reason, to believe, that the history of civilization might be much older than on records.

    Btw, i feel, the following links would be interesting to you.

    An article about submerged cities in Mahapalipuram, that dates back to 5000 years back. (coinciding with egyptian civilization)

    Peru Link to Indian civlization.

    Another BBC link, that dates civilization as 9000 years old.. (which is also submerged under water)

    In the above link, Graham Hancock says “The whole model of the origins of civilisation will have to be remade from scratch”.

    So, as new findings happen day to day, the old findings are proved wrong. i feel, even the egyptian civilization might be much older than what’s believed today.

    Btw, the findings from the link above, also seems to coincide with the information contained in our epics.

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    Sukumar (subscribed) said November 24, 2007, 9:47 am:

    Wonder what you are getting at.

    1. Modern Human kind is approximately 150,000 years old. Just in Harappa we have had cities dating back to 2500 BC (4500 years old). There are neolithic cities like Mehrgarh which are from 4500 BC. Oldest human cities are dated to 6500 BC (Jericho) So the evidence of Hancock is nothing great. Just saying that I found 2 old cities off the coasts of India is like saying I found a tonsured head in Tirupati. I’d like to know what Hancock is smoking if he thinks these 2 finds will rewrite human history.

    2. Let’s assume for a moment that what Hancock found are the world’s most advanced cities of its time. Just imagine, India is a huge country and the only 2 cities which are advanced are under the ocean. How probable is that?

    3. It is quite funny that no one in India wants to admire the work of the Indus Valley which has built some fantastic cities as seen in Harappa. We spend all our time trying to prove that Indus Valley was Vedic which doesn’t have a shred of evidence in its favor.

    4. I don’t know if you’re attempting to show that India was as advanced as Egypt was. If that’s your attempt, it has no evidence in its favor.

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    Interesting to know about the priests and the procession. Are there any priests who still serve at the temple? If so, What kind of rituals do they perform now?

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    senthil (subscribed) said December 1, 2007, 3:52 am:

    /*** “It is quite funny that no one in India wants to admire the work of the Indus Valley which has built some fantastic cities as seen in Harappa” ***/

    Its very true, and enlightening sukumar.. Thanks.

    Most of the time, we failed to learn from our history and literatures.

    I personally feel, that could be effect of bhakthi maargams ..

    Btw.. i am NOT to the argument of indian superiority.. I learned from many historic events, that people from greek & rome were providing scientific counselling to our kings. In one of the historic stories of south indian pandya empire (dating around 100BC), it was mentioned, that the greeks provided fire throwing equipment to the pandyan empire. they were also mentions about the greco romans building beautiful chariots for the kings..

    Historically, our strength lies in manufacturing (due to our population strength) and the westerners were scientific innovators. (as Prior to industrial revolution, the volume of manufacturing depended on the population)

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    senthil (subscribed) said December 1, 2007, 3:57 am:

    /** It is quite funny that no one in India wants to admire the work of the Indus Valley which has built some fantastic cities as seen in Harappa **/

    Its very true and enlightening words sukumar.. Most of the times, we fail to learn from our history and literature..

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    Sukumar (subscribed) said December 1, 2007, 5:01 am:

    Thanks Senthil. not sure i agree with the statement on our strength being in manufacturing. China is probably the one that can lay claim to that. Our strength lies i think in Philosophy. India has produced some of the best philosophical thought in the world.

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    Sukumar (subscribed) said December 1, 2007, 5:05 am:

    As i said in my posts, Egypt is now completely Islamic and Christian. There is no trace of the pharoanic religion left. That leaves us the Hindus the only pagan religion to survive and we should be proud of that.

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    senthil (subscribed) said December 1, 2007, 6:26 am:


    Yes.. our strength lies in spirituality too.. In manufacturing too, prior industrial revolution, we were producing a lot. (ref: .. I dont have any facts to compare with china. But as per dharampal’s book, india and china were accounting for 70% of the world’s GDP.. China might have contribute much more than us..

    (I feel, this is one reason, why many from europe, started in search of India.).. I hope, the following article would interest you.. (The reversal of history)

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