Great Pyramid of Khufu: The Egyptian ColossalEgyptian Temples & Tombs | December 11, 2010
Great Pyramid of Khufu is the largest pyramid in the world. It is the only wonder of the ancient world that has survived till today. The pyramid is not only the architectural beauty but is also one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world. Built in third century B.C., the pyramid earned the distinction of being the highest man-made structure for about 3000 years.
The pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khufu who was a king of fourth century dynasty of Egypt. It took about twenty years to complete the structure. The dimensions of Great Pyramid of Khufu are 750 feet by 450 feet. More than two million stones form the building block of this massive structure with each stone weighing about two and a half tons. The blocks were made up of limestone and were transported by machines over the Nile River. Upon the completion of the pyramid, the structure was covered by casing stones of marble. These stones were flat from one side and rugged from the other side.
A majority of casing stones got loosened due to an earthquake and fell from the adhering structure over time. The entrance-gate lies at a height of about 17 meters above ground; then it leads to a descending passageway. At going about 105 meters, there comes the leveled surface; this is where the lower chamber begins. Initially intended for the burial of the Pharaoh, it was never finished. Going further into the pyramid, one encounters a hole in the roof of the passage. It is the beginning of the ascending path way and leads to Grand Gallery and finally to “Queen’s Chamber”. This chamber has pointed roof and horizontal shafts.
The “King’s Chamber” lies further north of the Grand Gallery. It is the burial place of Khufu. Entirely made in granite, this chamber of Great Pyramid of Khufu has a number of Relieving Compartments. The chamber contains the sarcophagus of the king. The sarcophagus is not fully decorated. The pyramid was considered a sacred place as the Egyptians considered Khufu as the divine link between God and man. This place is associated with the immense powers of their king whom they thought to be a living-god.
Entrance to Great Pyramid of Khufu is done through a tunnel known by the name of Robert’s Tunnel. This portion of the structure was built by the workers of Caliph al-Mamun. There are 4 pits around the periphery that resemble the shape of a boat. In fact, these were built to keep the boats inside them. Since ancient times, the Pyramid has been a soar of the eye of looters. Almost all the sacred burial places have been looted in the past including king’s tomb. The building blocks of the structure were plundered much number of times. In order to protect the place, secret rooms were built.
The pyramid is the most famous tourist places in Giza. Due to its colossal structure and marvelous architecture, it has attracted the tourists from all over the world. In order to maintain the preservation, only 150 tourists are allowed to enter at a time. One cannot get his tickets arranged by a travel operator. He must buy his ticket on his own.