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Pyramid of Khafre, Cairo Overview

Standing with a height of around 136 meters and a base spanning over 215 meters, the Pyramid of Khafre is also popular as the Second Pyramid of Giza. Built by the 4th Dynasty Pharaoh Khafre of Egypt, the Pyramid originally had a coating of Tura limestone, making it gleam in the bright sunlight. With the passage of time, the whitish colour of the limestone got faded away, giving it the yellow-brownish colour as people can see today. Just like the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre is also built on a large piece of rock. Due to the increased elevation of the base rock on which the Pyramid is built, the Pyramid of Khafre seems to be taller than the Pyramid of Khufu. The inner portions of the Pyramid comprise of small and large chambers cut out of limestone, some of which have been discovered by Archaeologists and Egyptologists over the last few centuries. Out of these chambers, only one chamber has been kept by the authorities for tourists to visit. During your visit to the Pyramid of Khafre, one should also spare time to visit the Satellite Pyramid and the Temples of Khafre built in close proximity to the Pyramid. Present day, one can only observe the remains of the outer foundation of the Satellite Pyramid. Further, the Temples of Khafre can also be visited near the Sphinx, close to the Temple of Khufu. Broadly, the Temples of Khafre include the Valley Temple, the Mortuary Temple and the Causeway. The place is a living feast for the eyes, carefully preserved by Mother Nature over the years only to give us a glimpse of the ancient Egyptian architecture and culture. The Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menkaure are sure to add up to memories in your travel diaries.

The Pyramid of Khafre - History

Although many people believe that the Pyramid is the tomb of the 4th Century Pharaoh, no solid evidence has been discovered to date in this regard. Since there are also no inscriptions on the walls of the chambers, nobody has ever been able to guess the actual reason behind the construction of the Pyramid.
As per the historians and Egyptologists, the Pyramid of Khafre was firsts opened during the First Intermediate Period (2181–2055 BC). It was around the same period that the Pyramid was robbed of its belongings. In addition to this, during the Eighteenth Dynasty (1549–1292 BC), the casing stones were taken out of the Pyramid of Khafre by Ramesses II. These casing stones were then used for the construction of a temple in Heliopolis.

Pyramid of Khafre
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pyramid_of_Khafre_Giza_Egypt_in_2015_2.jpg



Records of Arab historian Ibn Abd al–Salam mention that the Pyramid of Khafre was first opened in 1372 AD. However, the structure was first explored from the interiors in 1818 AD by Giovanni Belzoni when the main entrance to the Pyramid was discovered in the Northern side of the Pyramid. It was at the same time that the burial chamber of the Pyramid was also discovered, though with an open sarcophagus with its broken lid lying on the floor.
The huge Mortuary Temple of Khafre was excavated in 1910 AD by Holscher and von Sieglin. The temple comprised of an entrance hall, a courtyard, five statue chapels, store rooms and an offering hall. With most parts of the Mortuary Temple under ruins, all one can observe is the massive courtyard of the Mortuary Temple of Khafre, which comprises recesses for placing the King’s statues.
Moving around 0.5 Km South of the Mortuary Temple of Khafre via the roughly cobbled causeway, one gets to see the Valley Temple of Khafre. Being in a much better and preserved condition than the Mortuary Temple, the Valley Temple was discovered by Mariette in 1852 AD. Initially comprising of around 24 diorite statues of the King seated on his throne, only one such statue can be seen in good condition present day. It is believed that the Valley Temple of Khafre was used to perform the embalming rites prior to the King’s funeral during the ancient days. This belief is further confirmed by the discovery of ‘Purification Tent’ remains near the Temple.

Valley Temple of Pyramid of Khafre
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Khephren_007.jpg


The Architecture of Pyramid of Khafre

The Pyramid of Khafre consists of two entrances to the internal structure of the Pyramid, both lying on the northern side of the Pyramid. Out of these two entrances, one entrance can be found at the ground level, while the other entrance lies at an elevation of around 11 meters above the ground.
Mostly, the visitors are taken inside the Pyramid through the higher entrance, which leads to a narrow passage straight down to the burial chamber of the Pyramid. The burial chamber comprises of large limestone blocks with Khafre’s sarcophagus made out of black granite. Both the passageway and the burial chamber have been carved out of the Pyramid’s bedrock, and are made up of limestone.
The Mortuary Temple of Khafre consists of large limestone blocks lined on the inside with red granite and cased in fine quality stone casings. The temple even consists of five boat pits situated in the north and south directions of the temple. Presently, all one can observe is the plundered remains of the boat pits.
Similar to the Mortuary Temple, the Valley Temple of Khafre was also made out of limestone monolith rocks. These rectangular blocks also include linings of Aswan granite, forming pillars of the temple.  Both the Temples and the Pyramid of Khafre are closed for a certain time period each year for restoration works. This helps the authorities in preserving the culture and history of Egyptian civilization, and the tourists to experience the preserved ancient Egyptian culture.

Sightseeing at Pyramid of Khafre

People paying a visit to the Pyramid of Khafre may also spare time and visit the other two Pyramids of Giza, namely the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menkaure.

Activities to Perform at the Pyramid of Khafre

One may book themselves a camel ride across the premises of the three Pyramids of Giza. The camel ride is bound to take you back in ancient times, and allow you to observe the beauty of Pyramids of Giza from a different perspective.
If you feel uncomfortable riding the ship of the desert, you may hop on to one of the horses and take a stroll across the Pyramids.

Shopping at Pyramid of Khafre

People visiting the Pyramid of Khafre can buy different types of souvenirs from the local vendors present outside the Pyramids. Some of the common souvenirs include a replica of the three Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx etc.

How to Reach within City

The only way to reach the Pyramid of Khafre is via road transportation. Since the Pyramids are situated on the outskirts of Giza city, it is advised to reach there either through the personal vehicle or through a taxi/ cab.

Best Time to Visit

If you don’t want to spoil your trip to the Pyramid of Khafre, the best time to visit the place is during winters. This way, you won’t feel the scorching heat of the Sahara’s sun and will be able to enjoy the trip to the fullest.
Also, one should visit the pyramids during the early morning hours of the day. This way, one can avoid a large number of visitors easily, and click as many photographs for their scrapbooks with the Pyramids!

Tips to Remember

  • Carry plenty of water due to high temperatures during daytime;
  • Wear Sports Shoes;
  • Wear light and comfortable clothing;
  • In case you are a Student, carry your Student ID to avail discount on Entrance Fee.

Interesting Facts

The construction of the Pyramid of Khafre was completed in 2570 BC.

Read More on Pyramid of Khafre

Tips to Remember

  • Carry plenty of water due to high temperatures during daytime;
  • Wear Sports Shoes;
  • Wear light and comfortable clothing;
  • In case you are a Student, carry your Student ID to avail discount on Entrance Fee.

The Pyramid of Khafre - History

Although many people believe that the Pyramid is the tomb of the 4th Century Pharaoh, no solid evidence has been discovered to date in this regard. Since there are also no inscriptions on the walls of the chambers, nobody has ever been able to guess the actual reason behind the construction of the Pyramid.
As per the historians and Egyptologists, the Pyramid of Khafre was firsts opened during the First Intermediate Period (2181–2055 BC). It was around the same period that the Pyramid was robbed of its belongings. In addition to this, during the Eighteenth Dynasty (1549–1292 BC), the casing stones were taken out of the Pyramid of Khafre by Ramesses II. These casing stones were then used for the construction of a temple in Heliopolis.

Pyramid of Khafre
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pyramid_of_Khafre_Giza_Egypt_in_2015_2.jpg



Records of Arab historian Ibn Abd al–Salam mention that the Pyramid of Khafre was first opened in 1372 AD. However, the structure was first explored from the interiors in 1818 AD by Giovanni Belzoni when the main entrance to the Pyramid was discovered in the Northern side of the Pyramid. It was at the same time that the burial chamber of the Pyramid was also discovered, though with an open sarcophagus with its broken lid lying on the floor.
The huge Mortuary Temple of Khafre was excavated in 1910 AD by Holscher and von Sieglin. The temple comprised of an entrance hall, a courtyard, five statue chapels, store rooms and an offering hall. With most parts of the Mortuary Temple under ruins, all one can observe is the massive courtyard of the Mortuary Temple of Khafre, which comprises recesses for placing the King’s statues.
Moving around 0.5 Km South of the Mortuary Temple of Khafre via the roughly cobbled causeway, one gets to see the Valley Temple of Khafre. Being in a much better and preserved condition than the Mortuary Temple, the Valley Temple was discovered by Mariette in 1852 AD. Initially comprising of around 24 diorite statues of the King seated on his throne, only one such statue can be seen in good condition present day. It is believed that the Valley Temple of Khafre was used to perform the embalming rites prior to the King’s funeral during the ancient days. This belief is further confirmed by the discovery of ‘Purification Tent’ remains near the Temple.

Valley Temple of Pyramid of Khafre
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Khephren_007.jpg


Best Time to Visit

If you don’t want to spoil your trip to the Pyramid of Khafre, the best time to visit the place is during winters. This way, you won’t feel the scorching heat of the Sahara’s sun and will be able to enjoy the trip to the fullest.
Also, one should visit the pyramids during the early morning hours of the day. This way, one can avoid a large number of visitors easily, and click as many photographs for their scrapbooks with the Pyramids!

Activities to Perform at the Pyramid of Khafre

One may book themselves a camel ride across the premises of the three Pyramids of Giza. The camel ride is bound to take you back in ancient times, and allow you to observe the beauty of Pyramids of Giza from a different perspective.
If you feel uncomfortable riding the ship of the desert, you may hop on to one of the horses and take a stroll across the Pyramids.

Sightseeing at Pyramid of Khafre

People paying a visit to the Pyramid of Khafre may also spare time and visit the other two Pyramids of Giza, namely the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menkaure.

Shopping at Pyramid of Khafre

People visiting the Pyramid of Khafre can buy different types of souvenirs from the local vendors present outside the Pyramids. Some of the common souvenirs include a replica of the three Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx etc.

Interesting Facts

The construction of the Pyramid of Khafre was completed in 2570 BC.

How to Reach within City

The only way to reach the Pyramid of Khafre is via road transportation. Since the Pyramids are situated on the outskirts of Giza city, it is advised to reach there either through the personal vehicle or through a taxi/ cab.

The Architecture of Pyramid of Khafre

The Pyramid of Khafre consists of two entrances to the internal structure of the Pyramid, both lying on the northern side of the Pyramid. Out of these two entrances, one entrance can be found at the ground level, while the other entrance lies at an elevation of around 11 meters above the ground.
Mostly, the visitors are taken inside the Pyramid through the higher entrance, which leads to a narrow passage straight down to the burial chamber of the Pyramid. The burial chamber comprises of large limestone blocks with Khafre’s sarcophagus made out of black granite. Both the passageway and the burial chamber have been carved out of the Pyramid’s bedrock, and are made up of limestone.
The Mortuary Temple of Khafre consists of large limestone blocks lined on the inside with red granite and cased in fine quality stone casings. The temple even consists of five boat pits situated in the north and south directions of the temple. Presently, all one can observe is the plundered remains of the boat pits.
Similar to the Mortuary Temple, the Valley Temple of Khafre was also made out of limestone monolith rocks. These rectangular blocks also include linings of Aswan granite, forming pillars of the temple.  Both the Temples and the Pyramid of Khafre are closed for a certain time period each year for restoration works. This helps the authorities in preserving the culture and history of Egyptian civilization, and the tourists to experience the preserved ancient Egyptian culture.

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