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Temple of Khnum

1. Exterior

2. Colourful columns

3. Decorated ceiling

4. Wall decorations

5. The little town


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The strange Temple of Khnum

Hypostyle Hall, Temple of Khnum, Esna, Egypt

The temple was started early in the 2nd century BCE, but rulers contributed with additions and new decorations for the following 400 years. It was dedicated to Khnum, the god who had created the entire world and made the first human beings using clay from the Nile.
If you arrange for going to Esna (which involves joining an organized trip or hiring a taxi for the return trip from Luxor or Aswan), people will tell you that there is nothing to see in Esna.
That is completely untrue! Although what remains of the temple is far less than the more famous temples in the region, what you see inside challenges the most beautiful anywhere in Egypt.
The modern setting of the temple is strange, somewhat similar to the temple at Akhmim. It lies 10 metres below the present ground level, with the town of Esna on all sides.

By Tore Kjeilen