The Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the Great Pyramid is one of the most impressive structures ever built. You can easily understand why it is one of the original seven wonders of the world.
When it comes to the ancient world, we will never have all of the answers, and much will remain a mystery.
This article is an informative guide to understanding and visiting the Great Pyramid of Giza.
History of Pyramids
There are pyramids all over the world, but the main difference that sets the pyramids of Egypt apart from the rest of the world is that Egyptian pyramids function as royal tombs, and are used to protect the royal mummy. There are two types of pyramids in Egypt- true pyramids and step pyramids.
A step pyramid is built using flat layers of stone. Towards the top, the layers become smaller and smaller. The sides of a step pyramid usually look like steps. The true pyramid is an improvement of the step pyramid. True pyramids started being built in the 4th dynasty. Trust pyramids have more shape and are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Pyramids are built on three axes:
Vertical- Joins Heaven and Earth
North-South- Runs parallel to the Nile
East-West- Parallel to the daily course of the sun
Other essential parts of the pyramid include:
The Funerary Temple
Wall Procession Ramp
The funerary temple and satellite pyramids are separated from the sacred area of the pyramid. The procession ramp leads from the funerary temple to the valley temple, which is the passage of the King from the world to the pyramid tomb.
The King’s body was embalmed in an unknown area, washed and purified in the purification tent, and mummified in the house of regeneration.
The Builder of the Great Pyramid
King Khufu built the Great Pyramid. King Khufu was the second King of the 4th dynasty. Khufu was the son of Snefru. He was married four times and had two sons. His reign lasted around 23 years. It took about two decades to build the great pyramid, and over 100,000 slaves helped build the pyramid.
Facts About The Great Pyramid
The ancient name of the Great Pyramid is Khufu belongs to the horizon. The original height was 146.6 meters, and the current height is 138.75 meters. The length is 230.37 meters. The structure contains 2,300,000 blocks of limestone. Each block has an average height of 50 cm, but some are as high as 150 cm. Each block has an average weight of 2.5 metric tons. The current entrance leads to an ascending corridor, which leads to the great gallery. Two openings at the beginning of the great gallery lead to a horizontal tunnel, which leads to the Queen’s chambers. The Queen’s chamber is located on the vertical axis of the pyramid and connects to the ascending corridor. The tunnel ends at an antechamber, which leads to the King’ King’s chamber. The King’s chamber is 10.45 meters long, 5.20 meters wide, and 5.8 meters high. The only thing found in the King’ King’s chamber is a sarcophagus.
When to Visit
The best time to visit is during the winter. It will help beat crowds, and it will not be as scorching as the summer months. The winter in Egypt is November- April. I went in August, and it was HOT!
I recommend going to the pyramids as early as possible. You will beat the crowds and the heat. They normally open around 8 am.
Tips For Visiting the Great Pyramid
1. There are many hotels located in Giza that offer a view of the pyramids from the hotel. Since the pyramids are about 10 miles from Cairo, you may opt to stay a night or longer in Giza. Some hotels that I recommend depending on your preference are Meana House, Pyramid Village Inn, and Pyramids View Inn.
2. I recommend hiring a guide to take you on a tour of the pyramids because there is a wealth of information, and a guide will offer a unique experience. They will also help prevent you from being haggled as much.
3. The hustle is real. People are selling items all around the pyramids. If you are not interested, it is better not to make eye contact and to keep walking. I know this sounds rude, but even saying, “No,” means yes to them, and they will keep asking.
4. If it is allowed doing your visit, climb the pyramids and take pictures. It is insane that they even allow people to climb the pyramids. You can only go up so many steps, and the steps are huge – be careful. It is not always allowed, and a fee may be charged. Please inquire!
5. They offer a camel ride on site. It is up to you if this is something that you want to do, but it is a lot of fun and a once in a lifetime experience.
6. I highly recommend conservative dress attire. It is usually hot, so you want to wear breathable material.
7. You can view the Khufu Ship. It was once buried near the Great Pyramid but is now in a museum. It is an Ancient Egyptian ship used to transport to the afterlife.
8. You can go inside the Great Pyramid, but I would not recommend it if you are claustrophobic.
Things to Bring During Your Visit:
Cash for tips and souvenirs
Towel or tissue for sweating
Egyptology is the study of the language, history, and civilization of ancient Egypt. I had a fantastic guide in Egypt named Gad Eways Guide. He studied Egyptology at Helwan University. It would take a lifetime to learn everything he knew, and I was extremely impressed with his knowledge. If you are ever in Egypt, I highly recommend him as a guide. I took notes from the information he provided and left with a wealth of information.
Have you been to Egypt? What did you like the most? If you have not been, do you have any plans to visit? If you have any questions, please ask.
Here is a Youtube video of my trip to Egypt.