Khnum temple Luxor Luxor Information
Khnum temple Luxor located at Esna town, 55 kilometer south of Luxor. That is why it called Esna temple. Nile cruises often make this town their first port of call after leaving Luxor. It is to visit the remains of Ptolemaic temple in the center of the town. In fact, the ancient name for Esna was Iunyn or Ta-Senet, classical Latopolis. Khnum temple Luxor dates back to the Ptolemaic and Roman Period and one of the last temples built in Egypt. Moreover, it stands today in its excavation pit, 9 m below the modern ground level. Khnum temple Luxor dedicated to the god Khnum. It also dedicated to several other deities including Neith, Heka, Satet and Menheyet.
Esna Temple (Khnum temple Luxor) would once built to a plan like at Edfu temple and Dendera temple. Now, all remains are the hypo-style hall. It built by the Roman Emperor Claudius who extended earlier buildings. The oldest part of the structure seen today is the west wall which. It would have the facade of the original temple. In fact, it depicts reliefs of Ptolemy VI Philometer and Ptolemy VIII Neos Philopator. The earliest king mentioned here is Ptolemy V, who offered a libation by his son Ptolemy VII. The part of the temple we see today is around a quarter of the size of the original building.
Further details about Esna temple:
The roof of the hypo-style hall of Khnum temple Luxor is still intact. It supported by 24 columns each with varied floral capitals. Moreover, they decorated with texts describing the religious festivals of the town. They also describe several Roman emperors before the gods. One of the columns shows the Emperor Trajan dancing before the goddess Menheyet. Another nearby temple which was also mentioned in the texts, has excavated at Kom Mer, south of Esna. The north wall of the hypo-style shows a traditional scene. The scene is of the king netting wildfowl (representing evil spirits). Just at the corner, on the east wall is a puzzling relief. The relief is on the lower part of a calendar.
It said to be a cryptographic hymn to Khnum. It echoed on the opposite corner of the same wall in hieroglyphs of rams. Also, built into the east wall inside the entrance is a small chamber. It may has been a priest’s robing room. It is like a feature found at Edfu Temple, or a chapel with cartouches of Domitian. Decoration of the south wall carved for Septimus Servus and his sons, Geta and Caracalla. It depicts them before several divinities. There are calendars on the upper parts of the north and south walls. The ceiling of the hypo-style shows Egyptian astronomical figures on the northern half. It also shows Roman signs of the zodiac on the southern half.
Khnum temple Luxor façade constructed in the style of the period. It is with the usual screen walls inset with columns. The reliefs show the Roman Emperors named by their cartouches. They are before many of the Upper Egyptian deities. There is a frieze of Nile gods along the base of the facade. In the courtyard in front of Khnum temple Luxor there is a statue. It is of the goddess Menheyet or Menhyt who was a little known lion-headed goddess. It named as the consort of Khnum at Esna.
Monuments nearby Khnum temple Luxor (Esna temple):
Down by the river Nile is an ancient quay with cartouches of Marcus Aurelius. It would have connected to Khnum temple Luxor by a processional way. This is still in use today. The ancient necropolis associated with Esna contains burials. They are from the Old Kingdom to late Ptolemaic date.
How to get to Khnum temple Luxor (Esna temple):
Esna is around 45 minutes journey from Luxor. It is possible to hire a taxi from Luxor or take one of the small mini-bus tours arranged by travel agents. Both a local bus from Luxor and the Cairo to Aswan train stop at Esna and cost little. The railway station is on the east bank. To get to Khnum temple Luxor you must cross the bridge over the Nile and follow the river as far as the bazaar. Khnum temple Luxor is at the far end of the bazaar. It is where you can also find many bargains at a much better price than in the main towns. Entrance tickets to Khnum temple Luxor costs 20 Egyptian pound.