If you plan a trip to Valley of the Kings in Luxor, then you need to know more about this magnificent place. Here you can discover the best tips before you visit Valley of the Kings.
Have you ever heard about the curse of pharaohs? Here, when you make a trip to Valley of the Kings you can find a very exciting adventure that is full of mystery and excitement.
Many stories and mysteries here were born and recited about the secrets of this curse. When the tomb of Tutankhamen discovered, the term of “curse of mummy” appeared.
The historians have said that about 40 persons who participated in the discovery of the tomb in 1922 died for ridiculous causes, among them Lord Carnarvon, the financial backer of the excavation, who died because of a bite of mosquito in Continental hotel in downtown Cairo.
Here in the west bank of Luxor city, which has the third of the world monuments, you can find a world of treasures, historical secrets, and the stories of discoveries, robberies, and the details of the eternal life in the other world and death rituals which gained the peak of importance from the ancient Egyptians.
When you make a trip to Valley of the Kings, you will find that it was named also by the great west, Thebes cemetery, and land of monuments.
The pharaohs have chosen this site to commemorate their kings, as you will notice that the site take the pyramidal shape; it height is about 300 meters (985 feet).
The Valley of the Kings consists of two parts for a group of valleys on the west bank. The visiting area was divided into two groups; the eastern valley, which contains a large number of royal tombs and the western valley, which contains two large and important royal toms and a number of small toms for unknown royal individuals.
Among the best tips when you visit Valley of the Kings is you will take a rover train (its name in Egypt is Taftaf), this train goes for about 15 kilometers from Luxor Bridge to the valley, which locates in an arid area between the large hills in the desert. This area has remains of dried canals that were found here for thousands of years.
Through the train, during the trip to Valley of the Kings, you will see about 64 tombs, which carved in the hard rocks; some of these tombs are very small, while the others may contain more than 120 rooms, really it is a wonderful scene, do not miss it.
In this arid mountainous region, you will discover a great and rich history. The Valley of the Kings dates back to 1550 B.C. and this site was chosen carefully because of its proximity to the royal temples.
It most likely that the first pharaoh was buried there was king Thutmose I and the last one was Ramses XI.
In the road during the trip to Valley of the Kings, you will see monuments like Colossi of Memnon in the green fields, temples of El-Dier El-Bahari, and the house of Howard Carter, the Egyptologist who discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen; the age of this house is over 80 years and he lived in it for about 15 years during the excavation works.
When you arrive at the Valley, you will find the Visitor Center which contains signs and photos show to you some information like the reason of choosing this site, explanations of some scenes that you will find it in the tombs, in addition to explanations to the importance of the mummification in ancient Egypt and tombs robbery and the most important objects and tools that the ancient Egyptian were used to put it inside the tombs with the dyed kings like stoneware, statues, models of boats, furniture, clothes, jewelry, and others, and how some toms were robbed.
The Center also presents also documentary movie contains the moment of opening the tomb of Tutankhamen.
You may need to wait in the center for some time until the crowd decreases inside the tomb, this matter makes a question inside you, which is why those thousands of visitors come here to see these tombs, what is the most interesting thing that makes all those people come daily to go inside the tombs? Discover it your self when you make this trip to Valley of the Kings.
The Valley of the Kings was announced as among preferable places by UNESCO in 1979, beside Karnak and El-Deir El-Bahari temples. About 8 to 15 thousand tourists make a trip to Valley of the Kings.
Although these tombs date back to thousands of years, the secrets of such tombs became revealed and known to everyone because of the excavations’ trips. At the middle of the 18th century, the Egyptologist John Wilkson numbered the tombs according to the dates of their discoveries.
When you visit Valley of the Kings, you will be impressed by the beauty of scenes and inscriptions on the walls of the tombs. You ask yourself who the ancient Egyptians made and painted these scenes with such excellence and skill. The colors of scenes are still persisted until know as if these scenes were painted yesterday. How many years have passed during this work, what were the tools, and how the ancient Egyptian artist had that patience?
Unlike the other touristic sites that you may visit it, you will not be accompanied with a tour guide inside the tombs, you will get your ticket to visit the three tombs with a brief explanation of their importance. The time of visit is one hour, and mostly you will visit the tomb number 2 of King Ramses IV, tomb number 6 of king Ramses IX, and tomb number 11 of Ramses III; as these tombs are close to each other, so you do not need to walk a long distance in the hot weather.
The royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings consist of passage and narrow corridors lead to rooms that inscribed in the mountain and there are some wells in these rooms.
The rooms of the tombs have a lot of scenes and painted in blue colors and also decorated with golden stars. The walls are decorated with paintings and religious texts of Imy-dwat and gates books, in addition to caves book, land book.
- King Thutmose III tomb
This tomb is different from the other tombs at the Valley; as it consists of two axes. These two axes form a right angle. The entrance of the tomb is decorated and it was discovered in 1898. The entrance leads to a sharp incline and the incline leads to a passage, at the end of the passage, you will find a small room.
This small room has a descending stairs leads to small passage, and then the colored room of well. This room is painted in blue and its ceiling has white stars.
The depth of the well is 6 meters. After the wall-room, you will reach to a square room has two columns and the ground is painted in blue and the ceiling is decorated with yellow stars. Regarding the walls, you will see a long list contains about 741 of the names of gods and goddesses, which found at the otherworld.
At the left corner of the room, there are a descending stairs leads to the burial chamber, which takes the shape of the royal cartouche. There are two columns and at each side of the room, there are small rooms have inscriptions and texts written in black and red colors.
- Ramses II tomb
It locates at the right side of the road next to the tomb of King Ramses IX. It has inscriptions and it was robbed of the other tombs of kings. The mummy of the king was moved to the tomb of his father Seti I in 100 B.C after stealing the wrapping of the mummy. In 973 B.C, a new coffin was made for the mummy and then it moved to the tomb of An Gapu. After 10 years, the mummy moved to the tomb of King Amenhotep II, and then he was moved at the cachet of El-Deir El-Bahari until it was discovered in 1881.
- Ramses IV tomb
It is one of the most beautiful tombs in the Valley. It holds number 2 and locates at the right side of the road outside the entrance. We could not find the mummy of the king because the tomb was robbed at the ancient times. When you make a trip to the Valley of the Kings and visit this tomb, you can see the golden disc of the sun above the entrance, which represents god Re, the sign of power.
At the two sides of the disc, there are goddess Isis and Nephthys. There is a large and granite coffin inside the tomb, its length is 10 feet, width is 7 feet, and height is 8 feet.
The ceiling of the tomb is decorated with goddess Nut and its body is adorned with stars. Behind the burial chamber, there are some rooms and corridor. The scenes and texts represent the sun journey in the otherworld. There are some Coptic scenes on the right wall of the entrance; these scenes reveals that there were some Coptic people dwelled at the tomb as a refuge from the religious persecution during the time of the spread of Christianity.
- Tomb of Tutankhamen
“The death will strike, with its high wings anyone tries to disturb the king”, this phrase was inscribed in hieroglyphic writing on the wall of Tutankhamen tomb; you will find this phrase when you make a trip to Valley of the Kings. This phrase was the main reason, which stands behind the spread of “mummy curse” myth.
The walls of the tomb are a clear evidence of the majesty of this civilization. The tomb contains many scenes like the funeral scene of the king and the naos found inside the boat.
On another wall, we can see a scene of King Ay, and above his head the blue crown; Ay was the king who ruled after Tutankhamen.
This tomb was discovered in 1922 after many years of excavating by Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter. The tomb was found carved in the rock about 13 feet under the tomb of Ramses VI. It has stairs; its width is 1.6 m and 4 m long. The stairs lead to blocked entrance contains the seals of King Tut.
It was revealed that this tomb was opened before at the ancient times because the blocked entrance has two sealed holes. After you descend, you can see a carved corridor; its length is 7.60 m, which leads to the front room that contains funeral equipment and objects of the young pharaoh. You can discover the rest of the tomb when you visit the Valley of the Kings.
This tomb was considered the only tomb that not robbed because the tomb of King Ramses II located above it. The scholars considered the tomb of the young pharaoh as semi-intact.
When you make a trip to Valley of Kings, your tour will take between one and a half hours to two and a half hours, depending on your desire to visit the tombs. Mobile photography is currently allowed. Using flashlight of cameras are prohibited and it must be delivered to the visitors’ center before entering the Valley of the Kings.
After completing your tour, you can shop at the tourist bazaars available in the middle area of the valley, from which you can buy souvenirs and photos, and take commemorative photos in the passages in front of the huge mountain.
This journey required great effort because visiting tombs need to walk for long distance, ascending, and descending right angles stairs. You must wear loose clothes, sneaker; as you will walk in unpaved passages, in addition to a hat, sunglasses, an umbrella to protect yourself from high temperature. The water and wipes are also required.
Tips to enjoy your trip to Valley of the Kings
When you make a trip to Valley of the Kings, you must start your trip at the early morning; as the buses move from the resorts of Red Sea at 10:00 AM to avoid the traffic jam at noon.
You should have a flashlight to see the scenes and inscriptions inside the tombs, in addition, to wear a sneaker, because there are many descending stairs.
The visitors’ center at the Valley has many clean toilets, touristic bazaar, ticket booth, and places to have cold drinks and snacks.
You can visit 3 tombs out of 63 tombs with one ticket, but the tomb of King Tut requires a special ticket, the price of the ticket is about 40$.
You will see the golden coffin of Tut, in addition to the wonderful scenes on the walls, but you will not see the treasures and statues because there were transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
How to reach to the Valley?
You can go to the Valley of the Kings by Taxi from the east bank of the Nile or by a car at the parking lot, which locates on the west bank or by buses of the hotels and travel agencies.