Have the pharaohs and pyramids been on your travel bucket list but coronavirus swooped in and buried your plans instead? Worry no more as the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is offering a virtual tour inside the monuments of this lovely desert nation. By Bayar Jain

1. The Tomb of Kheti

 

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The governorship of the Oryx nome was inherited by Kheti, Baget’s son. This tomb is where him and his descendants have been buried. Apart from the vivid paintings that don the walls here – each giving a glimpse of the daily lives of people of the forgotten times. As you virtually tour the tomb, keep a hawk’s eye on the yoga-like positions on the right-hand wall, or try counting the 10 different types of trees that adorn the tomb.

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2. Ben Ezra Synagogue

 

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Sometimes referred to as the El-Geniza Synagogue or the Synagogue of the Levantines, this Old Cairo site is believed to be the same site where baby Moses was found. Dating back to the ninth century, the Synagogue once had an old copy of the Old Testament, believed to be written by Ezra the Prophet (Al-Azir). Through the centuries, this sacred space received extensive restorations and renovations, the most current one of which dates back to 1892 after the original collapse.

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3. Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq

 

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This religious complex in Islamic Cairo was the first architectural facility built during the time of the Circassian dynasty of Mamluk Sultanate. Of the many structures in the complex, the mosque, in particular, deserves special attention owing to its distinctive octagonal shape – a diversion from the generic minarets of the 14th century. As you explore, keep a note of the white and blue marbles of the stones which intersect in the ceiling.

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4. The Red Monastery

 

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Named after an Egyptian saint called Pishay, the Red Monastery is a Coptic Orthodox monastery near the Upper Egyptian city of Souhag. Considered one of the most remarkable Christian buildings of the nation, this monument is thought to date to the time when Egypt was under the rule of the Byzantine Empire around the fourth or fifth century.

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5. The Tomb of Queen Meresankh III

 

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Queen Meresankh III, the wife of Khafra and granddaughter of Khufu, lays peacefully in this exquisitely decorated and ornate tomb. A diverse range of activities such as bread baking, beer brewing, fowling, herding, mat making, metal smelting, and the sculpting of statues adorn the space, giving you a fleeting glimpse of the olden days. Among the most striking features of her tomb chapel is a series of 10 large statues of women which have been carved out of the northern wall.

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6. The Tomb of Menna (TT69)

 

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Known for its colourful and well-preserved artwork that decorate the chapel walls, TT69 or the tomb of Menna provides an insight into the elitist life of ancient Egypt. Believed to be at least 3,400 years, it is part of a group of tombs constructed between 1400-1390 BC – the time when the reign of Thutmoses IV ended, and of Amenhotep II began.

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Related: Egypt Lights Up The Great Pyramid Of Giza With ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Message