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The Temple of Hatshepsut, also known as Djeser-Djeseru (Holy of Holies), is one of the most stunning temples located on the West Bank of the River Nile in Luxor. Constructed by Pharaoh Hatshepsut and dedicated to herself and god Amun, the temple is built into a cliff face and consists of a series of spectacular terraces that can be reached by long ramps. A visit to the temple can be overwhelming as there is so much to see. Here is a list of what to see at the Temple of Hatshepsut – 7 things you can’t miss.

Are you planning on visiting Luxor? Make sure to read Perfect 2-Day Itinerary in Luxor (7 Things You Can’t-Miss).

If you have more time in Luxor or looking for places to stay, eat, or things to do in the evening or at night, then check out 18 Best Things to Do in Luxor (Luxor Bucket List).

There so are many incredible places around Luxor and you can easily leave the city and explore them even just for a day. Find out what are the most interesting places you can visit on day trips from Luxor: 5 Best Day Trips from Luxor (Maps, Photos+Practical Tips).

Now, with no further delay here is a list of what to see at the Temple of Hatshepsut:

Who Was Hatshepsut

To start off, before you head to the Temple of Hatshepsut, you need to find out who Hatshepsut was:

  • Hatshepsut (born c. 1507 BC – died 1458 BC) was the daughter of Thutmose I. She became the queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother Thutmose II. Upon the death of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut began acting as regent for her stepson Thutmose III.
  • Hatshepsut was supposed to control the affairs of the state until Thutmose III was to come of age. However, around 1473 BC, Hatshepsut broke with the tradition and had herself crowned as the pharaoh of Egypt becoming a co-ruler of Egypt with Thutmose III.
  • Hatshepsut ruled for almost 20 years. She died about 1458 BC. How and why she died is still a mystery. What we know, is that Thutmose III had her name and image almost completely erased. She remained forgotten for centuries.
  • It was not until 1829 AD, when the hieroglyphs on the walls of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut were decoded, that we were able to learn about her existence.
  • Hatshepsut’s major accomplishment was opening and expanding the trade routes. Her expedition to the Land of Punt is beautifully documented in the section of the Temple of Hatshepsut called the Punt Colonnade.
  • Besides trade, Hatshepsut oversaw an immense period of building across Egypt. Needless to say, she was probably one of the most prolific builders in Egyptian history.

What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut - 7 Things You Can't Miss

NUMBER 1

The Courtyard

The Ground Level of the Temple of Hatshepsut has a large Courtyard. As you pass through it, imagine how magnificent it must have been with exotic trees brought from the expedition to the land of Punt and planted here.

Also, imagine how stunning the Courtyard must have looked with the avenue of the sphinxes. Now, they are gradually being restored.

What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

The Courtyard at the Temple of Hatshepsut / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

The Avenue of the Sphinxes / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

NUMBER 2

The Southern Colonnade

Next, take your time and meander through the two colonnades that have already been restored. They comprise of spectacular 22 columns on each side arranged in double rows.

The Southern Colonnade at the Temple of Hatshepsut

The Southern Colonnade / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

Make your way to the Southern Colonnade. It is located on the left-hand side of the courtyard.

Here, you will find the scene showing two obelisks being transported by water. These are the two obelisks that Hatshepsut had erected at the Karnak Temple.

If you look closely at the relief, you can see that the first two rows show the obelisks on the decks of the large barges. Right below, you can see a parade of the troops as a part of the festivities which were held to celebrate the arrival of the obelisks at the Karnak Temple.

What to See at Temple of Hatshepsut

The Southern Colonnade / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

Southern Colonnade at Temple of Hatshepsut

The Southern Colonnade / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

NUMBER 3

Second Level of the Temple

Next, take a wide ramp leading to the second level of the temple. Here, you will be greeted by several statues of Hatshepsut that are gradually getting restored.

What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Ramp leading to the second level of the temple / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Statues of Hatshepsut / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

NUMBER 4

Chapel of Hathor

Next, turn left and make your way to check out the Chapel of Hathor.

What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Statues of Hatshepsut / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Arch at the Temple of Hatshepsut / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

Chapel of Hathor at Temple of Hatshepsut

Chapel of Hathor / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

Also, make sure to check out the rest of the chapel which comprises three chambers, one behind the other and each with several recesses.

What to See at Temple of Hatshepsut

Chapel of Hathor / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

NUMBER 5

The Punt Colonnade

Hatshepsut’s major accomplishment was opening and expanding the trade routes. Her expedition to the Land of Punt was beautifully documented in the section of the Temple of Hatshepsut called the Punt Colonnade.

The Punt Colonnade reveals a lot about the expedition spearheaded by Hatshepsut. It shows the ships that sailed to the Land of Punt and it depicts the inhabitants of the fairway land.

The Punt Colonnade at Temple of Hatshepsut

The Punt Colonnade / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

Furthermore, it shows a variety of trees and animals that were found in the Land of Punt.

Interestingly, some of the reliefs show the houses being constructed over the water with ladders leading up to the entrances.

What to See at Temple of Hatshepsut

The Punt Colonnade / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

NUMBER 6

The Anubis Chapel

Next, make your way to the Anubis Chapel located on the opposite side of the second level.

Here, you will see a beautifully decorated chapel with scenes showing Tuthmosis III making offerings to the gods.

What to See at Temple of Hatshepsut

The Anubis Chapel / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut things to see

The Anubis Chapel / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

NUMBER 7

The Sanctuary of Amun

Finally, make your way to the third level of the Temple of Hatshepsut and visit the Sanctuary of Amun.

The Sanctuary of Amun is absolutely breathtaking. The astronomical ceiling is stunning.

The temple includes an image of Hatshepsut depicted as a male pharaoh giving offerings to Horus.

Temple of Hatshepsut things to see

The Sanctuary of Amon / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut things to see

The Sanctuary of Amon / What to See at the Temple of Hatshepsut

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Visiting the Temple of Hatshepsut

  • The Temple of Hatshepsut is open daily from 6 am till 10 pm. However, the best time to visit the temple is before 8 am. You will practically have the entire place to yourself and be able to get some awesome photos without any people in them. The tourist buses start arriving at around 9-10 am and the place gets very crowded.
  • Make sure to circle back to the temple in the evening to see it beautifully illuminated.
  • The best way to get to the Temple of Hatshepsut is by having a driver and a tour guide. This option gives you total flexibility. You can decide how much time you need to see everything at the temple. Plus, having a knowledgeable guide by your side is absolutely priceless! If you are staying in one of the hotels in Luxor, your hotel will be more than happy to arrange for you a driver and a guide. Needless to say, this is an expensive option, but it is all worth it. Another option is to just book a taxi and head to the temple. You will always be able to hire a guide right at the entrance to the Temple of Hatshepsut.

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