There are tons of different obelisks, but I can describe what most are thought to have looked like. They were built in pairs in front of the temples. All obelisks were fatter at the top than at the bottom. After being dragged to the raising site, they would polish it. Then they had Egyptian picture writing (hieroglyphs) inscriptions painted on them and carvings of the pharaoh, royalty, or sun god. After they painted inscriptions on them, they went to the second polishing before, in some cases, painting the top pyramid in a sleek electrum(a mixture of silver and gold). The writing was usually praises to the pharaoh. Sometimes they also built these for worship to Re, the sun god. A couple real world examples are the Washington monument in D.C. and the Bunker Hill monument in Boston.