If you are a lover of romance, you should include the Mausoleum of Aga Khan in your Aswan tour, as you will find out the most beautiful love story behind it. The story of love between Mohammed Shah Agha Khan and his wife, Om Habiba is one that many a tourist who has visited in the past have been swayed by.
The Mausoleum of Aga Khan is located in Egypt, at the Monastery of St. Simeons in Aswan, 2.5 miles from Aswan train station. The mausoleum is built out of a pink elegant granite structure. As already mentioned, there is a beautiful story behind the building, which shall be told now.
The founder of the mausoleum was Mohammed Shah Agha Khan, the leader of the Ismailis Sect and one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time. Om Habiba formerly named Vet Lebruss or Begum was one of the most beautiful French women in her days. In fact, she had been crowned winner of the beauty pageant contest in her home country, France, and named Beauty Queen of France. She and Mohammed Shah Agha Khan met where she was selling roses. Soon, they were married and Om Habiba converted to Islam.
Mohammed Shah Agha Khan loved Om Habiba so much that he had a villa named after the love name that he had given her, Yaky. Yaky and her husband, the Agha Khan traveled to close to forty different countries in their lifetime but they liked Egypt and Sudan more. As time went on, the Agha Khan developed paralysis in his leg and had to travel back to Aswan to recover. After his recovery, he made it known that he wanted to be buried in Aswan after his death. This wish was fulfilled.
In his lifetime, Mohammed Shah Agha Khan loved roses and always went about with them. Some people say that it was a result of how roses cemented the relationship between him and his wife. Thus, after his death, Om Habiba took the long travel to Aswan yearly to put a fresh rose on the tomb of her husband. When she died, she was buried in a tomb close to her husband’s.
Why You Should Visit the Mausoleum of Aga Khan
The first reason you should visit is that the Mausoleum of Aga Khan is incomparable in its beauty and splendor. Another reason to visit is because of the beautiful views that you will get from standing on the mausoleum’s hill.
The mausoleum is seated on a hill that gives a breath-taking view of King Farouk’s palace, which is now The Cataract hotel. Also, the Mausoleum of Aga Khan gives a view of Roman tombs. Furthermore, from the Mausoleum of Aga Khan, you can see the Temple of Satet, which was built by Queen Hatshepsut. Another amazing view that visiting this museum affords you to have is the Nile River.
Here, you will see sailboats sailing in the river. You cannot get this view elsewhere; you can only get it by visiting the Mausoleum of Aga Khan. If you would like to experience the Nile River first-hand, you can pay to sail in a boat.
Still standing on the hill of the Mausoleum of Aga Khan, when you look up, you will the splendid colors in the clear sky. When you look down, you will see the reflection of the sunlight in the waters.
Now, although the Mausoleum of Aga Khan is no longer open to the public, the exterior and other attractions around it make tourists visit all the same. The floors of the mausoleum are decorated with red carpets and the lights in the mausoleum give off vibrant colors that blend well with the red carpets. In the surroundings of the mausoleum, you will find a beautifully well-kept botanical garden where you will see rare but beautiful plants and trees. The magic this part in nature gives is incomparable and would make you want to revisit the mausoleum.
What to Expect and What to Do
To visit the mausoleum independently, you will need to take a sailboat and have to ask questions for directions. However, it is advisable to go with a tourist guide or a tourist company. Remember to take your passport with you at all times when you go out as you may run into police checkpoints and may be required to prove your identity.
While you are visiting the Mausoleum of Aga Khan, make sure to take as many pictures or video recordings as you can for memory’s sake. You should also try out some local and exquisite Egyptian delicacies at the restaurants that are available around. Also, make sure to buy some souvenirs that will remind you of this experience.