In Egypt, there are more than 90 pyramids all indicating the crypts of the great kings, queens, and their nobles. They were built so to provide them with all the royal necessities buried within them for their upcoming life. Further, in those times, it was considered a royal privilege to be buried in a pyramid. Among all the pyramids in the state, the Pyramids of Giza are the most famous and frequently visited probably due to the interesting monuments such as the Sphinx and the tallest pyramid of Khufu. Herein, if you want to explore only pyramids, there are three worth ones for you that belong to the 4th Dynasty (2550 B.C).
The Great Pyramid of Khufu
I don’t think that this needs any introduction. But, still I will share with you what my coach told me some of which even do not know yet. What we all know is that it is the largest and most intact pyramid made from millions of limestone slabs that has been also credited with one of the Seven Wonders of the World – all thanks to the school history books and some extra reading. But, the fact that I was unaware until today is that it was the tallest pyramid in the world for some 4000 years until the Eiffel tower was erected and that it once was completely layered casing stones giving a smooth surface already taken away by the Ottoman Turks for building mosques and homes in the capital city.
There are two entrances, the original and the present one at north where the original is above the current one of the 9th Century A.D built by Khalif El-Mamoun. From the entrance, you need to pass through the descending passage that takes you into the ascending passage. This upward passage forms the middle portion of the pyramid that ends at the Grand Gallery. This huge gallery is an oblong hall wherein I went via a long tunnel in the basement that took me to the Queens Chamber.
Do not be fooled by the name and link it as the burial room of the queen. The name was simply given by the Arabs and it was actually a storeroom. If you ascend upwards from the gallery, you will come across the third chamber, the Kings Chamber. It was in this chamber where the king was cremated with his stone sarcophagus of granite block. Do notice the flat roof of nine granite slabs over which there are five relieving chambers.
The Pyramid of Khafre
Ah! This pyramids’ still intact layer of casing stones surrounding its peak is its identity among the other pyramids. It ranks second after the Great Pyramid. You might be in a dilemma that this pyramid should be the tallest pyramid in the area. However, the pyramid size is not that large, but it seems to be so because it is built on an elevated pedestal.
Like the Great Pyramid of Giza, the entrance of this pyramid is at the north. The pyramid is that of the son of Khufu, Khafre whose burial chamber is in the basement accessed via a long descending passage and holds a big black sarcophagus. The lower corridor and the upper corridor that takes you to the burial chamber once has portcullis that could ban the entry. Surprisingly, there are no passages that take you the pyramid’s middle area.
The Pyramid of Menkaure
Among the pyramids of Giza, this one is the smaller one dedicated to the grandson of Khufu, Menkaure. What distinguish this pyramid from the others is that it was moderately erected using Turah limestone seen in the upper parts. According to the archaeologists, this pyramid once held a descending corridor and burial chamber. Further, a stretched a new corridor with three portcullises and a paneled chamber was later added along with another burial chamber and a storeroom.
If you want to visit all three of them, come in the morning between 0800 and 1200 or 15:00 to 17:00. Generally, morning time is preferred. Besides the entrance fee of 60 LE, there is an additional charge for Khufu’s Pyramid as 100 LE and Khafree’s Pyramid as 20 LE.