Abu Simbel temple is the greatest of the seven rock-cut temples built by king Ramesses II and the most impressive of all the Egyptian monuments in Egypt.
The temple was discovered in the 19th century and penetrated by Giovanni Belzoni in 1817.
Abu Simbel Temple was dedicated to three of Egypt’s pre-eminent deities-Amun of Thebes, Ptah of Memphis and Ra-Harakhty of Heliopolis, but it is principally a monument to the might of Ramesses II.
The southernmost tip of ancient Egypt’s borders, the four colossal statues of Ramesses II that front the temple gaze towards enemy territory as a warning to any who might approach.
These statues represent Ramesses II with different facial features to show him in different stages of age. Each of the complete seated figures (one lost its upper torso in an earthquake in 27 BC) is more than 20 m (65 ft) in height.
Lake Nasser was formed with the completion of the High Dam in 1971. The water stretches south of the dam for nearly 500 km (300 miles) into Sudan. With a surface area of 6,000 sq km (3,700 sq miles) the lake is the world’s largest reservoir.
Like Philae temple, Abu Simbel Temple was rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser with the help of the UNESCO at the year of 1964 and it took them 4 years, till 1968 to save the whole temple of Ramesses II and the nearby one of his wife queen Nefertari.
Statue of Ra-Harakhty Above the entrance to the temple is a statue of the falcon-headed sun god Ra-Harakhty (left). At the top of the temple are the remains of a frieze of baboons worshiping the rising sun.
The walls of the hall of columns are decorated with the Battle of Qadesh (c.1275 BC), in which King Ramesses II leads his army in a defeat of the Hittites on the River Orontes in what is now Turkey.
The hall of columns has twin rows of four pillars fronted by 10-m (33-ft) statues of Ramesses in Osirien form carrying crook and flail.
A second pillared hall leads to a sanctuary at the rear of the temple, where there are four statues representing Ptah, Ramesses II, Amun- Ra and Ra-Harakhty.