Karnak Temple is dedicated to the God Amun, the Goddess Mut, and their son Khonsu. It is the sister to Luxor Temple, also dedicated to the same triad, and the two were once connected by an avenue of sphinxes. Once a year at the Opet festival, the statue of Amun would be taken from Karnak to Luxor to be reunited with the statue of the Goddess Mut which resided there. It was believed that the ceremony would ensure the fertility of the land for another year.
Karnak Temples are often spoken of in the plural form because the complex was continually extended over a period of more than 1300 years by many different Pharaohs. Some of the floor is actually the original temple flooring, a mind-boggling fact that had me saying to myself “I’m standing on Ancient Egypt!” over and over as we looked round. The huge obelisks are covered with gorgeous hieroglyphic carvings and some of the original colouring is even visible near the top of the columns.
To the south is a huge sacred lake, which would have been used by the priests for their ritual washing. In front of the lake is a carved granite scarab, which was a symbol of luck and rebirth in ancient Egypt. It is said that if you should walk three times round the scarab if you would like good luck, or seven times if you would like to fall pregnant.