The Kharga Oasis is located 550 km south of Cairo and 232 km south of Asyut, it is on the west bank of the nile valley about 200 km west of the western desert. Occupying the eastern border of the governorate are the cities of Al Menya, Qena, Asyut, and the Matruh governorate occupies its northern borders. The Oasis was known as the southern Oasis by the ancient Egyptians and the Oasis Magna to the Romans which are the largest oases in the Libyan desert of Egypt. The Oasis is in depression about 160 km (100 mi) long and from 20 km (12 mi) to 80 km (50 mi) wide. The climate is 28°C, Wind N at 8 km/h, and Humidity at 23%.
The word Kharga means "Outside", the whole oasis extends 220 km from north to south and comprises the whole Southern Egypt except for one single part beside the Red Sea. The Oasis is a major administrative center and the seat of the governorate of the new valley. It has an extensive thorn palm, buffalo thorn, acacia and jujube growth and a lot of remnant wildlife species. The Museum of Kharga Oasis is filled with amazing beautiful artifacts from some of the most archeological sites. It holds a statue of Horus and a collection of Coptic pottery.
The history of the Kharaga Oasis is an important transit point for the desert caravans in the 12th dynasty (1786 BC-1665 BC) when the Hyksos controlled over northern Egypt and the Pharaohs controlled over the southern Egypt and Nubia. It served as the southwestern gate of Egypt because it was able to connect Egypt to southern Africa. The Kharga Oasis flourished during the 13th dynasty and was used as a stronghold to protect the Egyptian Christians from the unjust rule of the Roman rule. A number of huge buildings, passageways, artifacts, and ruins were discovered in the oasis which dates back to the middle kingdom (2134 -1569 BC) all the way to the new kingdom (1550-1050 BC). The famous dagger of King Tutankhamun was made from an Iron Meteorite located in the Kharga Oasis. The Greek historian Herodotus mentioned the Oasis is the place where the Persian king Campuses and his army rested on their way to destroy the Oracle temple of Amon-Zeus at Siwah before they vanished.
One of the most important ancient sites in Kharga Oasis is the temple of Hibis, it is highly significant as it holds Pharaonic, Persian, Ptolemaic and Roman eras influences. It was constructed in the 26th dynasty directly before the Persian conquest in 525 BC by Psamtik II. The temple was built for the worship of the holy triad (Amun- Mut –Khonsu) under the rule of Ahmos II and was completed during the Persian and Hyksos. The temple was slightly redesigned in the Greco-Roam period between (380 -246 BC) on the hands of Ptolemy II (258 -246 BC). The temple has a sacred lake and ports in the east and a Roman gate that dates back to the 69 AD. Inside the temple is a majestic sanctum with remarkable and unique inscriptions. Near the temple of Hibis is the temple of Ghweita "fortress of deep spring". It holds many similarities with the Hibis temple as it was built at the same time and served the same purpose of worshipping the holy triad and was also enlarged by the Ptolemaic dynasty between the 3rd and 1st century BC. The temple holds a great hall with 8 huge columns, a hypostyle hall, and a sanctuary.
The Kharga Oasis is one of the few places in Egypt that can fully reflect the allure and greatness of the hidden wonders of the ancient Egyptian civilization, book now your private Egypt tours to discover it and many more historical attractions in Cairo and Alexandria, also check our Nile River Cruises to witness the remarkable artifacts in Luxor and Aswan while enjoying the most charming views of the Nile.
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