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Kharga Oasis
Arabic: hā 'al-khārija



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Kharga Oasis

Key hole well with an electric pump. Kharga oasis, Egypt.
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Key hole well with an electric pump in Kharga Oasis.

Kharga oasis, Egypt.
The Qasr Ghweita, an Ancient Egyptian temple. Kharga oasis, Egypt.

The Hibis temple, built by Persian rulers. Kharga oasis, Egypt.
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The Hibis temple, built by Persian rulers.

Kharga oasis, Egypt.
Kharga oasis, Egypt.

Necropolis of Bagawat belonging to the era of early Christianity. Kharga oasis, Egypt.
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Necropolis of Bagawat belonging to the era of early Christianity.

Travel information from
LookLex / Egypt
Oasis of temples and castles
Bagawat Necropolis
Interiors of Bagawat
Temple of Hibis
Qasr el-Ghweita
Qasr el-Zayan
Ain Umm Dabadib
Qasr el-Labeka
Ed-Deir

Oasis in the Western Desert in Egypt with about 100,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate). The town Kharga is the capital of al-Wadi al-Jadid, the "New Valley" governorate.
The name is from Arabic, meaning "Outer" or "Departure". Often the Paris Oasis is counted as a part of Kharga Oasis, but there is no continuation between the two, for a long stretch there is only desert with the occasional oasis, often mad. With this definition, the oasis stretches for about 160 km from north to south, and with a width between a few kilometres and 80 km. The area is about 3,600 km².
Kharga's economy is mainly based on agriculture and services and local administration. The agriculture uses mainly motorized pumps, due to reduced level of ground water, and it is distributed by a simple irrigation system. The produce include dates, wheat, rice, olives, clover, and fruits and vegetables. Equal to ancient times, Kharga still serves as a place of exile, now mainly with Islamists in the Kharga prison.
Kharga is about 180 km from the town of Nag Hammadi at the Nile, but there is also a new and direct road to Luxor, but this is closed from most forms of transport. Dakhla Oasis is 190 km west, and Paris Oasis is 90 km south. To Luxor also runs a railroad.
The town of Kharga is a modern Egyptian town, with wide boulevards and many parks. The old town centre has narrower roads and houses of simpler styles.
To the north lies a selection of interesting ruins, of which a Coptic cemetary and the Temple of Hibis are the main points of interest. Around the border between the oasis and the desert lie a selection of fortresses.

History
Archaeological finds show that Kharga has been inhabited since the Old Stone Age.
— During the time of Ancient Egypt, the region was known as Kenem or Hibis, and often serving as a place of exile.
5th century BCE: Darius 1 the Great of Peris builds a temple dedicated to Amon.
1960's CE: The government launches an ambitious plan to aid local agriculture and industries, by drilling for water with deep wells.




By Tore Kjeilen