Temple of Khnum is one of the last temples built in Egypt in Ptolemaic and Roman Period. All that actually remains of the temple is the well- preserved Great Hypostyle hall; it was built during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius. This sits rather incongruously in its huge excavation pit among the houses and narrow alleyways in the middle of town.
Dedicated of God Khnum, the ram-headed creator-god, who fashioned humankind on his potter’s wheel using Nile clay and and several other deities, including Neith, Heka, Satet and Menheyet. The temple was begun by Ptolemy VI and built over the ruins of earlier temples. The hall, as it stands today, was built later; it was excavated from the silt that had accumulated through centuries of annual Nile floods and is about 9m below the modern street level.
The intact roof of the hall is supported by 24 columns decorated with a series of texts recording hymns to Khnum and relating the annual sacred festivals of Esna. The texts also refer to other temples in the area and one from the same era has been excavted at Kom Mer, 12Km south of Esna. The west wall of the Roman built hall is also the only remaining part of the original Ptolemic temple and features reliefs of Ptolemy VI, Philometor and Eurgetes II.