Hibis Temple is the largest and best preserved ancient Egyptian temple in the Kharga Oasis probably because it was buried in sand until the excavators dug it out early during the twentieth century, as well as the only structure in Egypt dating to the 26th dynasty or Saite-Persian period.
Hibis, from the Egyptian Hebet, meaning “the plough” or Hibitonpolis “city of the plough” to the Greeks, is located just over two kilometers north of the modern city of Kharga, it was dedicated to the Theban triad, consisting of the gods, Amun, Mut and Khonso.
During ancient times, the temple was surrounded by a lake that has now disappeared.
It was probably begun during the reigns of Psamtek II, Apries and Amasis II, during the 26th Dynasty and it was completed by the Persian, Darius I. Later, Nectanebo II built the colonnade, and other additions were made during the Ptolemaic period.
During the fourth century, a church was also added along the north side of the portico.
Nectanebo I and II surrounded the temple with a stone enclosure wall which, at the front enclosed a monumental kiosk with eight columns. In front of the kiosk are two obelisks at the end of the avenue of sphinxes.
There is hypostyle hall, rather than the traditional pillared court, was added to the original temple by Hakor (Achoris) of 29th Dynasty. The hall contains 12 palm-columns of an early composite type and those at the front open on to a narrow courtyard.
Behind the hypostyle hall is an early form of pronaos with four smooth papyrus columns and screen walls.
The earlier hypostyle hall lies beyond this, and contains four columns, with an offering chamber, sanctuary and chapel of the deified king at the rear.
On the north interior wall of the sanctuary are the figures of the god Khonso and Amun-Re-Min.
There is also a chapel of the deified king and side rooms with stairs that lead to the roof. The roof contains areas dedicated to Osiris.
In front of the temple are found Greek and Roman tombs.