Hindu Temple Architecture in the Taj Mahal

Traces of Hindu Temple Architecture in Taj Mahal
As mentioned earlier in the previous chapter that many critics have found Urdu traces and Taj building is a symbolical representation of Mughal monument only. But Professor P.N. Oak challenges such ideas and brings out a critique that the Taj Mahal is actually a Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva (Tejo-Mahalaya). As P.N Oak also theorizes that a stone inscription which is known as the Bateshwar inscription is kept in the Lucknow Museum which shows that this monument can be a temple of Lord Shiva.

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It was found that the size of Mumtaz’s cenotaph is not of height of an average Islamic woman of the seventeenth century and the grave is not of appropriate dimensions. It could be said that the Shiva Linga which is considered as very sacred and holy is actually under the grave. The grave is on the first floor so it is not clear if Mumtaz’s body is really buried in Taj Mahal because bodies are usually buried in the earth and not in the flooring. This grave of Mumtaz is of the height of Hindu Shiva linga and if further digging would be allowed the result would come hence forth.
Taj Mahal bears a lot of Hinduism traces and all such marks have been pointed out by P.N. Oak in his book. On the arch of Taj Mahal’s main tomb there is a trident (trishul) which is emblem of all Hindu Temples in India and no mosque or any other Muslim monument has a trident over its tomb. All plants and trees which are present in the gardens of the Taj Mahal are sacred to Hindus like Lotus, Tulsi, Banyan trees, etc. The main patterns are drawn which are found are Bel leaves and Harshringar flowers, these are actually used as an offering to Lord Shiva.
There is a central chamber in between of eight doors which provides us the idea where the emblem of Lord Chandra-manleeshwar was present. The proper flooring of this central passage also gives us an idea that Lord Chandra- manleeshwar used to dance to worship Lord Shiva. The high doom above it is also a common feature is dripped over the Shiva linga from a bowl hanging on a certain height. Even the guides of Taj Mahal tell to all visitors about the tradition of a drop of rain water which is falling from height of the dome on the grave in the central chamber, this is actually a place from where the water used to drop on the Shiva Linga in the older times.
There are silver doors and golden railings which are in the fixtures of the Taj Mahal, clearly give the Indianness to the monument because till date we can find such fixtures in our Hindu Temples. There are some ancient Hindu colored sketches of eight directional pointers, sixteen cobras, thirty two tridents, and sixty four flowers of lotus which are in the multiple of four which is considered auspicious in Hindu religion. This sketch is designed in the Taj Mahal’s central chamber, from the grave of Mumtaz this pattern can be seen very clearly.
Even Tavernier also mentioned that the bazar used to be placed in the six courts of the Taj Mahal and this thing is everyone knows that in the tradition of Hindus fairs and bazars are set up around temples till date. On all four side entrances of the Taj Mahal, there is trident (trishul) is inlaid, which is exclusive weapon of Lord Shiva. It clearly proves that it is a Shiva temple.
Some pointed out that the Taj Mahal dome has the Arabic engraving ‘Allaho Akbar’ meaning ‘God is Great’. These words were engraved on pinnacle ordered by Shah Jahan after he took over the Hindu temple and commandeered to change in Islamic use. But the same replica of the pinnacle inlaid in the red-stone courtyard does not have that Islamic inscription. Then there are spacious decorated chambers and an adjoining long corridor with the entire length of those apartments. These chambers are basically at the lower level than the basement central chamber.
The chambers which are right under the graves of King and Queen on two floors which are sealed in a haphazard way with bricks are likely to have Hindu idols and inscriptions. The corridors which may be running under the red-stone terrace, they all are sealed. Likewise all the ventilator type openings and doors in the apartment row have also been crudely walled up under the red-stone terrace. We will be able to see the beauty of the underground apartments if those fillings are removed. It is very much possible that Taj Mahal has two floors above the river bed and one in the basement which has been sealed by Shah Jahan. ‘Taj Mahal’ is a foul form of Sanskrit ‘Tejo Mahalaya’ meaning ‘Resplendent Shrine’. This name also attach to Lord Shiva because his third eye is said to emit a fit if luster that is ‘Tejo’. Even if we look at the real meaning of the term ‘Taj Mahal’ it means a ‘crown residence’ and not a tomb.
If these graves would have been the real graves, they wouldn’t have been so much decorated because in Muslim culture graves wouldn’t have been so much decorated. The corpse of Mumtaz, if it is buried in the Taj Mahal, it cannot be in the ground floor or in the basement chamber.
There are other a Hindu symbols which are found in the Taj Mahal, like use of the sacred Hindu chant ‘OM’. ‘OM’ is crafted into the marble flower of lotus both lotus and OM are symbolically apart of Hindu culture which are present on the walls of Taj Mahal even on the so called “graves”.
Any student or scholar of architecture can clearly tell that the ‘flower’ drawn on the marbles is a part of ancient Hindu temple drawings and not of any Muslim sepulcher workmanship. There is one important point also that time or rather span of death of Mumtaz is not clear. Some historians says that, she died in 1630 or 1631or 1632 A.D., and in the illustrious sepulcher it is written that she died in 1629 A.D. It is absurdto think nobody knows the correct timing of Mumtaz’s death.
In fact, Taj Mahal has Hindu palace dimensions. Taj Mahal has many doors which are in spiked shape. There are red stone corridors, thorns and rooms all these attributes are just like typical Rajput building. ‘Ghat’ which is very common in temple palace, exists in Taj Mahal. Gateways of the Taj Mahal which are now closed were earlier the place to bathe in the river and go boating.
Many rooms in the Taj Mahal complex are the drum houses. These drum houses are a part of Rajputana architecture. It is obvious that in memorial place no drum houses are planned to make, and there is no music places made in any Islamic buildings, music is actually restricted, hence the drum houses clearly prove the hand of Hinduism in the Taj Mahal.
There are so many rooms for guests, army detachments, waiters, caterers etc for any royal purposes. Such architecture is never used in making any tomb. All the walls and doors are also in Hindu dimension, like silver doors which have been discussed earlier. In the Taj Mahal there are four towers at the each doorway. The top of the tower is made up by brass Kalases. Kalases is a Sanskrit word and this word can never be connected to any tomb and also does not fit the Taj building architecture. ‘Kalas’ signifies a shinning pinnacle made up by brass or gold. This word only comes in a connection of temples or any Hindu palace but Taj Mahal’s top of the tower uses similar material and hence this also gives us the hint of Temple like palace instead of a burial tomb.
Three different scientific tests took place to find out the actualities of Taj Mahal. First one is Donodo chronology, in this test wood sample is taken of respective historic building. Second one is Thermoluminescence, in this test a brick powder or whole brick is taken and find out when this brick was baked. This test is very helpful in finding the age of the historic buildings. Third test is Carbon-14 test; this test is helpful in finding out the actual age of any living organism like wood piece or bone.
Professor Mills from New York took the Carbon-14 test by taking out small wooden piece of one of the Taj Mahal’s wooden door. This report published in the Itihas Patrika. It was found out that the probable age of the sample is from 1448 and 1270 A.D. This test clearly proves that the Taj Mahal existed much before Shah Jahan. But here I would like to tell readers clearly that the age which was proved in the test was of the Northeastern doorway and not of the Taj Mahal’s marble. In this chapter, many examples have been discussed which clearly tell that Taj Mahal is basically a Hindu ancient temple (Tejo Mahalaya) and not a tomb.
 

The Second Destruction of the Jews Temple

The destruction on the Jews temple let to the disruption the Jews religion, culture and politics. The destruction of the temple also led to the dispersion of the Jews within and outside Israel. In addition, it shaped the Jews worship by changing the focus from sacrificial worship to scriptural interpretation. Political development that occurred in the post-temple period also informed the rise of a new political system dominated by the Torah and the Rabbis and reduced the influence of the former priests.
The Impacts of the Destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem
The second destruction of the temple in Jerusalem played a critical role in upsetting the statuesque in the religious and political arena. Separating and sending the Jews into the diaspora interfered with their religious practice and appeared focused at annihilating the Jews population. The Jews people depended on the temple for spiritual and political directions. The destruction of the temple, therefore, apart from causing negative psychological impacts on the Jews, posed a significant threat to their religion.

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The disruption of the Jews priesthood and the priestly class that represented the core of the Judean politics and depicted the face of the Jews’ worship sent the Jews nation into disarray and created a power vacuum. The Jews sacrificial cult and the hereditary priestly class acted as the mediating link between the divine powers and the humans, and the great influential priestly class lost its grip on power and its relevance in the Jews community. Rabbis and torrah scholars then replaced them. The destruction of the temple also brought the sacrificial worship to an end. The gradual recession of the priesthood was indicative of an institution that had lost its relevance. The rabbis and the Torah scholars gained control of power and relegated the former priests into conditions of inactivity. The rabbis sometimes prescribed the duties performed by the Jews.
The Shift in the Jews’ Worship in the Post Temple Period
The powers previously held by the priestly circles had immensely been dissipated under the Torah establishment. The destruction of the temple caused a shift in the authority from the traditional priest controlled system to a system dominated by the Torah scholars and the Rabbis. Some of the duties earlier performed by the priests that had been challenged under the new establishment included serving as judges in religious and civic affairs; acting as inspectors of purity and custodians of the tithes. The priests had also taught the divine law in the previous religious establishment. The law of Mosses had determined the roles of the priest in the Judean system before the second destruction of the Jews temple. All the duties performed by the priests were disrupted when the temple was destroyed. Just as was witnessed in the first destruction of the temple, the Jews met in small groups and in synagogues to discuss the scriptures.
Power Struggles that Plagued Israel in the Post Temple Period
The new establishment dominated by the Torah scholar was characterized by certain forms of power struggles.  Power deprivation angered some priest and as such informed the creation of various groups of people who sought to agitate to have their interests guarded. The rabbinic literature indicates that the struggle to control power existed between the rabbis and the priests. The assertion thereof has been supported by the attempts made by some priests to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem. The Bar Kokhba revolt was mainly inspired by the need to re-establish the temple in Jerusalem and re-enthrone the Jews priesthood.
The revolt painted some priestly circles as determined to promote their priestly agenda. Different circles emerged, drawing their inspirations from the need to restore priesthood to the desire to preserve culture. The Bar Kokhba was quelled with considerable force. Among the factions that emerged were the Sadducees who were formerly in charge of the temple. Other than the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Zealots, and the Essenes also emerged.
The Pharisees were determined to preserve the Hebrew culture and religion by observing its tradition and religious laws to the letter. The zealots, on the other hand, strived to have the priestly rule restored and were bitterly opposed to the roman influence in Israel. Some zealots even resorted to acts of intimidations and protest to have their wishes granted by the roman powers. The Essence formed the fourth group of the Jews during the period that succeeded the second destruction of the Jews temple. They continued to observe their traditional ways and steered clear of animal sacrifices, meat, and wine. They also continued to live in celibacy. The conflicts informed by the desire to influence religion did not only exist between the Romans and Jews but also existed between the Greeks and the Jews.

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During the Seleucid period, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and took control of some part of Israel. Although the development occurred before the second destruction of the temple, the conflicts between the Jews and the Greek culture became prominent when the second destruction of the temple occurred. The antagonism between the Greek and the Jews culture grew when the Jews tradition and culture were shaken from the second destruction of the Jews temple.
The destruction of the second temple caused the dispersion of people far away from Israel. The Romans resettled some cadre of traditional priests in the coastal planes. The aristocratic priests were specifically resettled in a place called Gathas. The development disrupted the ceremonial based temple religion. The Jews then resorted to practicing religion in synagogues and homes. Once the temple was destroyed, the need to define religious books became apparent. The priests, therefore, convened a meeting in Yavneh and deliberated on the books particular books to include in the Canon. During the selection process, some books were hotly debated and were almost ex-punched from the list that would later be named the Cannon.
When the Jews who had lived in Israel after the destruction of the second temple witnessed the executions perpetrated by the Romans, they became worried dispersed and settled in Egypt and in places around the Mediterranean. The population of the Jews living in the diaspora increased. The dispersion of the Jews people led to the spread of the Jews scripture through oral tradition and the interpretive work. The spread of the Judaism outside the borders of Israel was aided by the existence of the Canon; Oral history and the use of written materials that had been explored right from the when Cyrus assumed leadership in Persia and sent the Jews back to Israel after taking control of Babylon.
The distribution of the written material aided the spread of the scriptures. The explanation and the protection of the Hebrew scripture followed when most people began to espouse the Jews’ teaching. Later, philosophical discussions emerged classifying the Jews law into six parts. The Philosophical discussions also detailed the application of the law in a document called ‘Mishnah. By about 400 CE, the ‘Talmud’ had been created out of the ‘Mishnah’ when various commentaries were added to the Mishnah.
The Romans stayed in Israel for a considerable amount of time after the destruction of the Jews Temple. Their stay, therefore, precluded the Jews from re-establishing the priesthood. The growing dissent among the Jews sparked revolts which never bore outcomes anticipated by the Jews.  The destruction of the temple eliminated the power that had once been controlled by the priesthood.  Secondly, it tweaked the Jews religion by shifting focus from the temple ritual to the scriptures.
The spread and Challenges of the Jews in the Diaspora
After the destruction of the temple, the Jews vitality grew in places such as Spain and Iraq. The spread and growth of the Jews outside of Israel in part was influenced by the tolerance in countries such as Spain and Iraq. Years after the destruction of the Jews temple, the Jews resettled in countries where they would experience politically engineered persecution. The challenges faced by the Jews people in the diaspora led to the emergence of the Kabbalistic literature that served to give hope to the Jews in the wake of the unyielding persecution. The Kabbalistic literature sought to bolster the Jews religion by highlighting the superiority of the Jews religion.

The Temple of Hatshepsut and The Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu

1. Introduction

Ancient Egyptian temples and gardens played a vital role in Egyptian’s society and culture. Temples were the Loci between various spheres – human and divine, heaven and earth, chaos and order. They were built at sacred places that had astronomical and topographical connections. In addition, pharaohs tended to grow plants in their temples as gardens to demonstrate their power and splendour. A garden was also viewed as a cosmos, representing both Egypt and the Universe. It reflected the quality of a mythological landscape and a world of after-life. In brief, the design philosophies and elements of temples and gardens were deeply associated with Egyptian’s understandings of the broader landscape and culture. 

2. The Temple of Hatshepsut

The Temple of Hatshepsut is located at Thebes, Egypt, clinging to the mountainside of Deir el-Bahri, the sacred place of Hathor. It is in line with the Temple of Amun at Karnak across the river. It is oriented to the western solstice sunrise and the final sanctuary could be lighted up by the sunshine. Hatshepsut’s tomb wasn’t placed in the temple, it was located at roughly opposite of the cliff, in Valleys of the Kings, on the temple’s axis. Several pharaohs chose the valley as the place for their tombs, because it wouldn’t be found and stolen as easily as connecting tombs with other elements which pyramids did. Also, viewing from Karnak, the sun sets at the valley, which indicates the end and renewal of a pharaoh’s life.

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The most intriguing design of the Temple of Hatshepsut is that it was built on a rising succession of platforms. At that time no other temples were designed in that way. It was believed that the architect Senenmut was forced by the natural landscape to propose this idea. One of the purposes of this temple was to replace the position of Temple of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep during the Beautiful Feast of the Valley when Amun visits Thebes. Hence, a three-level design was created to squeeze in the small and sloping space left between the Mentuhotep’s temple and the cliff. The different levels of terraces were connected by an ascending ramp and differentiated by colonnades. During the festival, the procession will start from her riverside valley and along the ramp up to her funerary temple. The rising courtyards create theatrical effects and makes the temple a focal point within the natural landscape. With no elements at a gigantic scale, it still gives people a spectacular feeling.

Walking from the riverside to the gateway, excavator Naville mentioned that the avenue had sphinxes along but no trees. The sphinxes were statues of the queen, they were 3 metres high each and stood at intervals about 10 metres. They were the guardians of the temple and demonstrated the power which the pharaoh had over the foreigners. At the entrance of the gateway, Naville found two roots of Mimusops laurifolia. There arrangement represented the sycomores on the horizon of the heaven. Namely, when visitor passed these trees, he entered the heaven. Naville was interested in finding how the plants were watered but it was quite unclear since no water channel was found. Furthermore, the scale of plantations was limited because at that era people still relied on manual watering.

In the first court, at the bottom of the ramp, there were two T-shaped pools with their head of ‘T’ against the ramp. They had sloping sides and were 10 metres wide. These pools reflected a form of places where rituals and receiving offerings were held. Papyrus, the home of Hathor, was found around the pools. Waterlilies, where the sun god had sprung up, and birds and fishes were also there. 66 pits cut in rocks around were found. Arnold stated that these were used for flowerbeds rather than trees; however, judging the pits from its 3 metres depth and the arrangements, Winlock had an opposite opinion. He believed that these pits were used for either bushes or trees. The gardens on both sides of the processional way created enclosure and accommodated large numbers of priests and attendants.

In the second and upper court, columns stood in formal quality. Generally, doric order was viewed as a style which came from Greece, but the Temple of Hatshepsut actually composed them 8 centuries earlier.

Hatshepsut dedicated this temple to Amun. She claimed direct descent from Amun. She was destined to establish a Punt in his house. And this led to the most famous expedition she sent. During Hatshepsut’s reign, due to the lack of military and the motive of economic, an outlet must be found. She ordered an expedition to Punt, which is now generally thought as Somalia. Incense-producing myrrh trees were brought back in baskets. They were planted in the garden to perfume the night air and protect the garden from the wind. However, the only tree pits excavated at Deir el-Bahri were around the pools and one or two on the two terraces. None of them contain any remains of myrrh or frankincense trees. But as the relief shown in the temple, scholars still believe that incense trees from Punt were planted. Apart from the exotic trees, native vegetations such as tamarisk, acacia and sycamore-fig could have also been planted there. Speaking of tamarisk, it is said that the deceased king was given birth by the sky goddess Nut in the field of Tamarisk.

Hatshepsut honoured Amun not only at Thebes but also at Karnak. Her reign was controversial at that time, so she had to create a more direct connection with the sun to legitimise her reign. She erected two obelisks before the Temple of Amun. They were coated with metal to shine under the sun and make her splendour visible. The establishment also indicated the place is where ‘her father’ rises. Additionally, Hatshepsut is the first pharaoh who promoted the worship of the Theban Triad- Amun, Mut and Khonsu.

Unfortunately, after the reign of Tuthmosis III, because of Hatshepsut’s unorthodox reign and the tradition of reusing temples, he obliterated many of Hatshepsut’s monuments. He also built a small temple in Deir el-Bahri to replace as receiver for the festival. Moreover, a rectangular structure Akhmenu was places at Karnak to block the view of Hatshepsut’s temple along the direction of ‘her father.’

3. The temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu

The temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu is located on a small primeval hill at Thebes, the west bank of Nile River in Egypt. It is at the edge of cultivated land and the last and southernmost temple built at Thebes. Most of the temples at Thebes followed the local cardinal directions as determined by the river. However, in Medinet Habu, the sun never followed the axis and shined to the end of the temple. It was acknowledged that the design was not oriented to a celestial target but the rising of the brightest part of the Milky Way. In fact, the concept came from the traditional inter-cardinal pattern that was used at Abydos more than 1500 years ago. As shown in the image, the elements of the temple were oriented inter-cardinally.

The complex was highly fortified with outer walls and brick walls. The massive walls could protect inhabitants during times of troubles such as the civil war after 20th dynasty. The effective protection made the site an administrative centre during the reign of Ramesses III and other times. A landing quay was at the eastern entrance for boats which came from the canals of Nile could moor, and it was followed by the High Gate.

Inside the High Gate, the Small Temple that was initially constructed by Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III could be seen on the right. It had an 18 by 20 metres sacred lake surrounded by trees. The sacred lake provided a reservoir for the water which only came once a year, and when the sun rose above the waters, it symbolized the sun god emerged out of the primeval water (Eyre 1994, p.64). Additionally, The Small Temple served as a classic case of repeated usurpation, addition and growth through cannibalization. It was adjusted throughout different rulers, and it even outgrew the circling wall during the 30th dynasty.

The court between the High Gate and the first pylon was filled with trees. According to the archaeologist Holscher, he indicated that an east-west orientated oblong pool was laid on the south side with cultivation pots and trees surrounded. The water source of the pool is the ground water. On the east side of the pool stood a row of trees. Between the small temple and the first pylon are 13 trees. The tree pits were spaced at 3.5 metres apart in rows. Every pit is enclosed by small wall to keep out stray animals and it created the right soil and held water in the root.

The Temple of Ramesses III was designed with a quite standard Egyptian temple plan: the entrance pylon followed by an open court and a columned hall and at last an inner sanctuary. The first pylon was significant, it not only defended the intruders but also resembled the akhet or horizon hieroglyph. This was the place where the sun rose on the horizon between the outer world and the hidden sacred landscape. In addition, it stood as a bastion fighting off the harmful forces of chaos and protecting the order inside. Ramesses III’s description of his temple ‘towers of stone reaching up to the heaven’ was probably indicating the pylon.

Inside the entrance, Holscher stated that on the west side was a T-shaped pool which was the main lake. This reflected to what Ramesses III recorded, he dug a lake before the temple, supplied with lotus flower and grew trees and vegetation like the Delta. Holscher found a well in the court which could be providing water at that time, but no cultivation plots and tree pits were found. With inadequate evidences, he still assumed that there was a palace garden oriented north-south. Another fact that could support his statement is that, between the columned halls and final sanctuaries, illustrations of offerings indicated that gardens might exist in the temple.

After the courts, there were two hypostyle halls. A hypostyle hall is a hall crowded with columns. One of the purposes of this design was related to Egyptian mythology which the earth supported the sky with columns. These columns also represented the marshland which sprang up around the primeval mound of creation.

Along the axis, the inner sanctuary with the shrine of the pharaoh and the members of the Theban Triad were finally in sight. The purpose of this temple was not only dedicated for Ramasses III but also Amun-Re. During the Opet Festival, Amun’s statue from Karnak will visit Medinet Habu; it was a representation of living gods visiting the dead gods.

The Temple of Ramesses III was less dramatically designed than the other temples at Thebes. It still followed the general styles of Egyptian temples, which were formal, axially planned and geometric shapes used such as T-shaped pool. However, it wasn’t as symmetrical as the Temple of Hatshepsut which had twin pools and trees.

It’s also interesting that this temple has another name “the Mansions of Millions of Years of Ramesses III”, it indicated that the king would reside with the gods for millions of years. This term was accepted by Haeny instead of calling it a mortuary temple. He pointed out that the term “mortuary temple” was too deeply influenced by modern Western attitudes which focused on a dead person’s burial and tomb instead of sustaining the life of the deceased which the Egyptians had paid attention to. For instance, Lesko had proposed an idea that the vaulted ceiling rooms engraved with an astronomical chart in both Temple of Hatshepsut and Ramesses III were for placing offerings for the deceased Pharaoh. Haeny couldn’t agree because he thought that whether the burial procession ever entered the “mortuary temple” is unknown. He urged that modern people should accept the prospect of a continued life, which religions offers, in order to understand ancient Egypt more. 

4. Conclusion (250 words)

Gardens were designed by three elements: function, entwined with meaning, dictated form.

Temples are not stable, they change with time

Illustrations on wall are also important

Strong connection to their culture

Buildings were oriented and ceremonial acts were engineered to maintain Maat (the cosmic order) on the land of the two lands.

Images:

Astronomy x2

Plan x2

Garden planting x2

References:

Bowe, P. 2018, Garden making in the second millennium BCE c 2000 BCE – c 1000 BCE, accessed 20 July 2019, https://www-tandfonline-com.wwwproxy1.library.unsw.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/14601176.2018.1441660>.

Eyre, C.J. 1994, ‘The Water Regime for Orchards and Plantations in Pharaonic Egypt’, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol. 80, pp. 57–80, accessed 10 July 2019, www.jstor.org/stable/3821851>.

Hatshepsut, the Female Pharaoh – John Ray looks at the triumphs and monuments of the queen who stole the limelight as an honorary man, 1994, History Today, 44(5), pp.23-29, London, accessed 10 July 2019, https://search-proquest-com.wwwproxy1.library.unsw.edu.au/docview/1299078552?accountid=12763&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo>.

Magli, G. 2013, Architecture, Astronomy and Sacred Landscape in Ancient Egypt, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Naville, E. 1895, ‘EXCAVATIONS AT DEIR EL BAHARI’, Archaeological Report (Egypt Exploration Fund), pp.1-6, accessed 10 July 2019, https://www.jstor.org/stable/41932905>.

Shafer B.E., Arnold D., Bell L., Finnestad R.B., Haeny G. 1997, Temples of Ancient Egypt, Cornell University Press, New York.

Sinha, R. 1983, ‘PUNT AND PUNTITES AE DEPICTED IN THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MONUMENTS’, Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, vol. 44, pp. 593–598, accessed 10 July 2019, www.jstor.org/stable/44139909>.

Wilkinson, A. 1994, ‘Symbolism and Design in Ancient Egyptian Gardens’, Garden History, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 1-17, accessed 10 July 2019, www.jstor.org/stable/1586999>.

Wilkinson, A. 1998, The Garden in Ancient Egypt, Rubicon Press, London.

Wilkinson, R.H. 2000, The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, London.

 

History of Luxor and the Karnak Temple

Luxor is a current Egyptian city that lies in an antiquated city that the Greeks named “Thebes” and the old Egyptians called “Waset.” It is situated in the Nile River around 312 miles (500 kilometers) south of Cairo the World Gazetteer site reports that, as of the 2006 registration, Luxor and its environs had a population of 450,000 individuals. The name Luxor “gets from the Arabic al-uksur, ‘the strongholds,’ which was adjusted from the Latin castrum,” which alludes to a Roman post worked in the region, composes William Murnane in the “Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt” (Oxford University Press, 2001).

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The old city of Luxor served now and again as Egypt’s capital and got one of its biggest urban focuses. “On the East Bank, underneath the cutting-edge city of Luxor, lie the remaining parts of an antiquated town that from around 1500 to 1000 B.C. was one of the most dynamite in Egypt, with a population of maybe 50,000.” Compose archeologists Kent Weeks and Nigel Hetherington in their book “The Valley of the Kings Site Management Masterplan” (Theban Mapping Project, 2006).
In antiquated occasions, the city was known as home to the god Amun, a divinity who became related to Egyptian eminence. During Egypt’s “New Kingdom” period between approximately 1550-1050 B.C., the vast majority of Egypt’s rulers decided to be covered near the city in the close by Valley of the Kings. Different well-known locales close to the city, which were constructed or enormously extended during the New Kingdom time frame which incorporates Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Queens and Queen Hatshepsut’s funeral home sanctuary at Deir al-Bahari.
At Luxor, Pharaoh and his ministers entered the sanctuary and services were performed to recover Amun, reproduce the universe and move Amun’s capacity to Pharaoh. At the point when he at long last rose up out of the sanctuary haven, the huge groups cheered him and commended the ensured richness of the earth and the desire for plenteous harvests.
A large number of the fundamental streets which lead to the sanctuaries of Thebes (current Luxor) used to be constantly fixed with sphinxes. Those which flank the passage to the First Pylon of Karnak Temple join the body of a lion with the leader of a smash. The smash was an image of the god Amun, the central divinity adored in the Great Temple of Karnak. Every sphinx ensures, between its forelegs, a standing statue of the lord initially Ramesses II (c.1279-1213 B.C.E.).
Karnak is an extraordinary complex of sanctuaries, kiosks, pylons and obelisks dedicated to the Theban triad but also to the greater glory of pharaohs. The site covers more than 2 sq km; it’s enormous enough to contain around 10 church buildings. At its heart is the Temple of Amun, the natural ‘home’ of the nearby god. Constructed, added to, destroyed, reestablished, developed and adorned over about 1500 years, Karnak was the most significant spot of love in Egypt during the New Kingdom.
The site was first created during the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 B.C.E.) and was at first unassuming in scale however as new significance was set on the city of Thebes, consequent pharaohs started to put their very own blemish on Karnak. The primary region alone would in the long run have upwards of twenty sanctuaries and chapels. Karnak was referred to in old occasions as “The Most Select of Places” and was not just the area of the religion picture of Amun and a spot for the god to harp on earth yet in addition a working bequest for the religious network who lived nearby. Extra structures incorporated a holy lake, kitchens, and workshops for the generation of strict accessories.
The Temple of Karnak is situated in present-day Luxor, which was known as Waset to the Ancient Egyptians and Thebes to the Ancient Greeks. Over 40,000 individuals called the city home, and it filled in as Egypt’s capital during the Middle and New Kingdoms. Thebes saw various social and strict movements, and Karnak mirrors the time of changes when you take a gander at the design, the format, and even the decimation that can, in any case, be observed today.
The focal division of the site, which takes up the biggest measure of room, is devoted to Amun-Ra, a male god related to Thebes. Toward the south of the focal region is a little area devoted to his significant other, the goddess Mut. In the north, there is another area committed to Montu, the bird of prey headed divine force of war. Likewise, toward the east, there is a zone quite a bit of it devastated deliberately in times long past which committed to the Aten, the sun circle.
Karnak is presently the second biggest old strict site on the planet. Numerous guests erroneously trust it is littler than it is. Just one area, the Precinct of Amun-Ra, is available to sightseers. Three different segments, the Precinct of Mut, the Precinct of Montu, and the Temple of Amenhotep IV are likewise part of Karnak.
A few archeologists date Karnak over 3,700 years to the rule of Senusret I, the second pharaoh of the twelfth Dynasty. Probably the most established structure is known as the White Chapel, which was found a century back totally deconstructed with its dividers and used to manufacture later forms of the sanctuary complex. It has since been reassembled, yet its history is all the more generally intelligent of Karnak. On account of the site’s presence through various lines, there are numerous instances of structures that were annihilated, reused into different spots dependent on the pharaoh’s solicitations and at their attentiveness. Rulers from Hatshepsut to Ramses II to King Tut positively shaped the sanctuary complex, and archeologists today are attempting to unscramble a large number of stone squares and decide exactly what number of lost structures are covered up in its history.
One of the most noteworthy spots at the Temple of Karnak is Hypostyle Hall, which today resembles an enormous patio loaded up with sections that touch the sky. The lobby has 134 gigantic sandstone sections with the middle twelve segments remaining at 69 feet. Like the majority of the sanctuary embellishment, the corridor would have been splendidly painted and a portion of this paint still exists on the upper parts of the segments and roof today. With the focal point of the corridor taller than the spaces on either side, the Egyptians took into account clerestory lighting. Very few antiquated Egyptians would have approached this lobby, since the further one went into the sanctuary, the more confined access became. The sections didn’t generally remain in the outside, however; at one point they held up a rooftop, which would have made the corridor the biggest canvassed working in Ancient Egypt. Planned by Seti I, the sections are 70 feet tall and orchestrated into 16 lines. Remaining underneath them, it’s difficult to envision how the Ancient Egyptians without present-day innovation could have found and set such a large number of colossal segments. They also had a couple of old development privileged insights that made structure the segments somewhat less difficult. Developing and situating them took cautious arranging; to fabricate them, teams set primary squares where the sections would stand, filled the whole region with sand, and afterward hauled and layered extra squares on top. They rehashed this to make 20 layers, so, all in all, they hauled the rooftop shafts over the sand and situated them over the segments. At last, they expelled the sand that occupied the space between the sections and smoothed them, so they gave off an impression of being single structures. With that, Hypostyle Hall was finished and prepared to get its planned visitors the divine beings for whom Karnak was devoted.
The Hypostyle lobby, at 54,000 square feet (16,459 meters) and highlighting 134 sections, is as yet the biggest room of any strict structure on the planet. Notwithstanding the principle asylum, there are a few littler sanctuaries and an immense hallowed lake 423 feet by 252 feet (129 by 77 meters). The holy canal boats of the Theban Triad once skimmed on the lake during the yearly Opet celebration. The lake was encompassed by storerooms and living quarters for the clerics, alongside an aviary for oceanic flying creatures.
Although the segments are out and out great, they would have been significant all the more shocking during the hundreds of years after they were constructed. The sections and the rooftop were once painted in energetic hues; even though the symbolic representations are as yet obvious today, those carvings once flaunted hues that would have been proper for such a great corridor for the divine beings. The pictographs themselves recount to one of a kind stories. Egyptologists keep on reading the segments for intimations about their age and the number of pharaohs who left their blemish on them. Some proof recommends pharaohs would shroud their antecedents’ cartouches, or markings, by smoothing over them and cutting their very own images into the rock viably revising history to advance their own rules. These activities add to the difficulties of concealing Karnak’s accounts.
Upwards of thirteen gold-beat monoliths once spotted the scene at Karnak. Many have been expelled from the site, and some have toppled over, yet today the perhaps the most established pillar from the antiquated world is the Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut remains standing. The pillar, which weighs 450 tons, was sourced from amazingly sturdy rock from quarries close to Aswan and was expertly moved by pontoon along the Nile.
The Great Temple of Amun is Karnak’s primary sanctuary building, and like about the entirety of Egypt’s enduring landmarks, the sanctuary has seen increases and enhancements by the hands of numerous pharaohs throughout the hundreds of years. In any case, the state of the sanctuary you see before you presently is for the most part because of Pharaoh Tuthmosis I, who made Thebes capital of the New Kingdom and extended the first humble sanctuary here as it never again appeared to be sufficient to the intensity of the god and the lord.
The Great Temple of Amun, the focal sanctuary of the Karnak complex, was the focal point of Theban life. This place of the divine beings was based on a monster scale and was one of Ancient Egypt’s most aspiring instances of Pharaonic time building and engineering. Giant segments and mammoth statues litter the lobbies and loads, while this larger than usual stonework is canvassed in a confounding measure of mind-boggling carvings.
The Temples of Karnak and Luxor are only a few miles separated, and it’s not astounding that they were both physically and customarily connected. However, the Avenue of the Sphinxes resembles the protracted column of statues which broadens multiple miles between the two sanctuaries. Sphinxes were accepted to carry security to pharaohs, and the street fixed with them was worked as a feature of a significant service: The Festival of Opet.
The resurrection was a significant subject in Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian culture was distracted by getting ready for an effective change to existence in the wake of death. The yearly Festival of Opet associated the subject by ceremoniously marching the statue of god Amun-Re from Karnak along the Avenue of the Sphinxes to the Temple of Luxor, where it was brought together with Luxor’s statue of Amun-Re. Furthermore, the Festival of Opet was utilized to recharge the pharaoh’s capacity. Pharaohs were viewed as the children and little girls of the divine beings themselves, which made them demi-divine beings. Filling in as a sort of crowning ordinance function, the Festival of Opet reconfirmed the ruler or sovereign.
For the to a great extent uneducated antiquated Egyptian population, this could just have been the spot of the divine beings. It is the biggest strict structure at any point made, covering around 200 sections of land (1.5 km by 0.8 km), and was a position of the journey for about 2,000 years. The region of the consecrated walled-in area of Amun alone is sixty-one sections of land and could hold ten normal European houses of God. The extraordinary sanctuary at the core of Karnak is large to such an extent that St Peter’s, Milan, and Notre Dame Cathedrals would fit inside its dividers.
The Egyptians accepted that towards the finish of the yearly rural cycle the divine beings and the earth became depleted and required a new contribution of vitality from the clamorous vitality of the universe.
To achieve this otherworldly recovery the Opet celebration was held yearly at Karnak and Luxor. It went on for twenty-seven days and was likewise a festival of the connection among pharaoh and the god Amun. The parade started at Karnak and finished at Luxor Temple, one and a half miles (2.4 kilometers) toward the south.
The statue of the god Amun was washed with heavenly water, wearing fine cloth, and embellished in gold and silver gems. The clerics at that point set the god in a holy place and onto the stately barque bolstered by posts for conveying. Pharaoh rose up out of the sanctuary, his ministers conveying the barque on their shoulders, and together they moved into the jam-packed boulevards. A group of Nubian fighters filling in as gatekeepers beats their drums, and artists went with the ministers in tune as incense filled the air.
The Karnak Temple is a huge sanctuary complex to which many pharaohs included their own developments. The territory was in steady improvement and use between the Middle Kingdom (2080–1640 B.C.) and the early Christian time frame. The huge size of the complex, just as its different engineering, masterful, and semantic subtleties make it a significant verifiable site and asset for understanding the development of antiquated Egypt, and along these lines its preservation is basic. On account of its long history of development and usefulness, the divine beings adored at Karnak run from the absolute soonest Egyptian gods to the absolute most recent, hence offering a great introduction of old Egyptian strict practices and convictions.
The site of Karnak and different zones of old Thebes present a steady issue to the architects who look to safeguard them because the establishments are deficient, and dampness from the Nile’s yearly flood has crumbled the sandstone at the base of dividers and segments. Crafted by fixing and fortifying goes on persistently and as this work is completed, new discoveries are continually being made in order to save these historic buildings.
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