Situated in the town of Kom Ombo, 28 miles to the north of Aswan is Temple of Kom Ombo which dates back to Ptolemies and was constructed on high dune, overlooking River Nile. The imposing Greco Roman temple features marvellous setting. A visit to the temple is included within the itinerary of Nile Cruises sailing from Aswan to Luxor. The word ‘Kom’ means ‘hill’ and ‘Ombo’ means ‘gold’. The temple was constructed to worship two Gods- Sobek, the God of crocodiles and Horus, the falcon God. Sacred crocodiles once sunbathed on the river bank here. The temple features two courts, two entrances, two hypostyle halls, two colonnades and two sanctuaries. People of Ombos held crocodiles sacred. The double temple is really unusual where you can find symmetrical two parallel passageways.
Popular stories and folk tales revolve around The Temple of Kom Ombo. The place has acted to be the chief sanctuary of Sobek, the crocodile God. In the Horus myth it is proclaimed that allies of Seth, the wicked God, ran away from Horus in the disguise of crocodiles. People of Kom Ombo generally worship crocodiles out of fear that they might devour humans and animals on the banks of river Nile.
Kom Ombo is called the “land of sugarcane”. The irrigated, fertile cornfields and sugarcane around Kom Ombo is 65km to the south of Edfu which supports not only fellaheen, the original community, but also the Nubian population displaced from their original location due to the creation of Lake Nasser. The place is really pleasant and is easily reachable en route between Luxor and Aswan.
By heading to AL Azhar Parkyou can really escape Cairo’s exhilaration. The green landscaped garden is beautiful where one can relax in the tranquil setting and gaze at the magnificent panoramic views of the city. Visitors can really enjoy the natural surrounding and have some fun moments here.
The interesting museum presents an interesting gallery of mummified crocodile. Situated on the doorsteps of Ptolemaic Kom Ombo temple, it has 22 crocodile mummies variously sized. You will find them arrayed on sand hill inside the large glass showcase which allows the visitors to behold how the crocodiles spent their days. The place is rich with a collection of coffins for crocodiles, wooden sarcophagi, crocodile eggs, foetuses, and statues of the crocodile God Sobek. The statue is very interesting for it has the head of crocodile and body of human being. The significant artefacts that can be found displayed here is ivory and golden teeth along with eyes that has been inserted during the mummification of crocodiles. Suez National Museum is another museum which has been newly opened.
Located to the north of eastern section of Kom Ombo temple is Roman style chapel that was constructed in 3rd century AD. Here you will find the emperor of Caracalla portrayed in two columns which dominates the entrance to the chapel hosting many portraits of God Sobek who was worshipped during Roman periods and Ptolemaic period.
The Chapel of Hathour is situated in North Eastern section of Kom Ombo temple which consists of rectangular shaped chapel made higher than ground level and is reached through by climbing a few steps. It is 3 metres wide and 5 metres long. Inside it you can find three glass galleries that display three crocodile mummies representing God Sobek. The chapel’s facade carries portrait that displays Hartour sitting right in front of entrance.
The intriguing museum is located to the south of Sacred Well which exhibits twenty mummies of crocodiles, effigies and votive tablets found in the cemetery is an interesting spot for kids. It stands on top of 15-metre hillock to the doorway of Ptolemaic temple. Here only, ancient Egyptians worshipped Sobek, the crocodile headed God of fertility.