Iskandriya

Well I did not write much about Iskandriya last time.  This time I am.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a marvellous building and on the building there are letters/phrases from various languages of the world.  I was very happy to see the Kannada phrase ‘Ooralli’.  See this picture

Some of the other photos of Alexandria are at:

http://picasaweb.google.com/kavi.rajiv/Egypt

Also visited the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities which is the main museum here.  It has long been on my wishlist to visit this museum.  So now that’s done.  I saw many things there including the mummy of Ramses II (or Ramses the Great).  Ramses is still adored in Egypt as a great king and emperor.  He was the king here in 1200 BC – almost 3200 years back.  This was much before our own Ashoka or Chandragupta Maurya.  Our own Indian history was nowhere during that time.  Ramses II had a 100 children and it was his immediate successor who presided over the Exodus of Moses and the jews from Egypt. 

The exhibit of Tutakhamen was grand and exhaustive.  It covers a very significant portion of the museum space.  The museum is of 2 floors – the ground floor and the first floor.  Exhibits are divided according to Egyptian history.  First there was the Old kingdom where all sculptures were wooden.  Some of those are 4000 years old and still extremely fine and splending.  The wooden sculptures very very closely resemble their human counterparts.  I was really amazed to see the extremely high quality of hese wooden statues from such an old age.  Then comes the Middle Kingdom which is a mix of wood and metal.  The later one of New and Late Kingdoms were of stone where the art had reached a higher degree of refinement.  Later there were the Ptolemics or Greeks who conquered Egypt.  One of them was Cleopatra.  They very well adopted the Egyptian culture. 

The significance of Tutakhamen in Egyptian history is not much.  The only reason he became so famous was because his burial chamber was not vandalized and was discovered in a very perfect condition.  That is the only claim to fame of Tutakhamen.  Otherwise he was a lame king who died early at the age of 24.

Outside the Egyptian Museum is a small pond with a very rare kind of blue lotus which grows.  This specific lotus was known to be used in Ancient Egypt as an intoxicant drug. 

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