It is easiest to visit Dendera as a day trip from Luxor. It is however not possible to travel to the temple completely independently. You can take the train from Luxor to Qena which takes one and a half hours and costs 50LE (3USD) 1st class and 2LE (12 cents) 3rd class. You will be met at the station by the police. They will introduce you to a taxi driver with whom you can negotiate a fare (we paid 150LE return). You will then be driven under police escort to the temple and returned to the station afterwards. You should not try to avoid police involvement and travel to the temple independently. The police we met were all perfectly polite and friendly but security is taken very seriously here.
Dendera Temple near Luxor
Hathor was a major goddess in the ancient Egyptian pantheon, who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. The Temple of Hathor at Dendera was built between 30 BC and 14 AD making it one of the latest Egyptian temples and one of the best-preserved temple complexes in all of Egypt. Early texts refer to a Pre-dynastic temple at this site that was rebuilt during the Old Kingdom, and further developed by New Kingdom pharaohs. The present structure, however, dates to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods and its decorations include Roman emperors alongside Egyptian gods.
Some of the more notable features of the temple are the beautiful and highly detailed astrological calendars carved and painted upon the ceilings, including the Osiris chapel on the roof which contains a circular zodiac. A feature of Dendera not found elsewhere in Egyptian temples is the many mysterious crypts and tunnels, some underground and some enclosed within the massive double walls of the temple. Inside one of these is the famous carving that many believe depicts an electrical lightbulb.
Entrance 120LE (2020)