Deir el-Bahari
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The site of Deir el-Bahari is located on the western bank of the Nile almost directly opposite Karnak Temple in Luxor. Sacred to the goddess Hathor, this bay of cliffs was chosen by Mentuhotep II, the king who reunited Egypt after the chaos of the Second Intermediate Period, as the site of his mortuary temple and tomb. At the turn of the 20th century, Howard Carter discovered a shaft and chamber, the “Bab el Hosan” in the temple’s forecourt. In the chamber was a statue of the king in the red crown, wrapped in linen, along with some model boats. Within the mortuary complex were also the tombs of six royal women; two of the exquisite limestone sarcophagi from these tombs (those of Kawit and Aashait) are on display at the the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Today, Deir el-Bahari is dominated by the great mortuary temple of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. This elegant terraced structure, one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt, is decorated with carved reliefs illustrating some of the great events of Hatshepsut’s reign. These include the transportation of obelisks from the quarries in Aswan to the temple of Amun at Karnak; the queen’s divine birth (legitimizing her rule through descent from the god Amun) and her coronation; and a great trading expedition to Punt. On the middle levels are chapels for Anubis and Hathor; above are chapels for Hatshepsut and her fatherThutmose I, and the sanctuary pf the god Amun.

Deir el-Bahari played an important role in the annual Beautiful Feast of the Valley, during which the divine images of Amun and his family were brought from the temple at Karnak to visit the west bank.

Open daily.
1 May – Ramadan: 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
(Last ticket sold at 6:00 PM.)
Ramadan – 30 April: 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(Last ticket sold at 4:00 PM.)

Includes admission to the Temple of Hatshepsut.
Egyptian: 2 LE
Egyptian Student: 1 LE
Foreign: 25 LE
Foreign Student: 15 LE
Train: 1 LE
Student rates are available to bearers of a valid student ID from an Egyptian university or an International Student ID Card (ISIC).

On the West Bank, opposite Luxor.

BY FERRY: From Luxor, take the local ferry labeled “National Ferryboat” that runs from the Corniche. Catch a taxi once you reach the west bank to take you to the site.

BY BUS: You should be able to rent a minibus from Luxor; many are run through hotels or tour groups.

BY TAXI: Taxis from Luxor will be more expensive, but you can ask to go to deir el bahri from there, or take the ferry across to the west bank and catch a taxi from the dock.

Parking, Tourist Bazaar.

The temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari (Julie Patenaude)


Colonnade of the Hatshepsut temple (Julie Patenaude)