Oman has been blessed with breathtaking natural views ranging from vast turquoise oceans to cocoa brown mountaintops, and is the home to many legends, ancient structures and ultra-modern architecture. We explore 4 must see attractions in the interiors of Oman (apart from the lots more which we will cover in another blog) that are far from hustle and bustle of the city.
Built in 1675 AD, Jabrin Castle is said to be one of the most picturesque castles in the whole of the Sultanate. Built by Imam Bil’ arab Bin Sultan of the Ya’ruba dynasty who is believed to have been a lover of the arts and poetry, and whose father is well known for ousting the Portuguese from the country. Bil’arab was known for his strong admiration for poets and scholars, which can be readily seen in the picturesque castle with different etchings and decorations. Ancient paintings, Koranic verses and even some quotes and lines of poetry can still be admired on the walls.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since the 1990s, the beautifully built Bahla Fort is one cultural site that must be seen and experienced. Now open to visitors, the historic fort was built around 3000 BC when Bahla was a prosperous oasis open to trade and visitors from around the region. Inside the fort visitors can see the areas where the traditional souqs were, the different alleys, houses and chambers, all representative of traditional Omani architecture.
Majlis Al Jinn
Located within the Jebel Bani Jabir in the Al Sahrqiya region of Oman is an impressive site made up of three deep shafts, one of which leads to the infamous Majlis Al Jinn chambers, or the second largest cave in the world. This huge underground cave is large enough to hold a large building and more. Up until recently it was quite difficult to reach the cave by car, so curious visitors had to hike or take donkeys to a nearby village to get there. The Arabic term ‘jinn’ which makes up part of the cave’s name, can be translated into English as ‘spirits’, making it all sound very eerie; but this is fascinating site that should not be missed. It is, however, the meeting place of spirits according to local legends.
Tomb of Bibi Maryam in Qalhat
Qalhat is said to be Oman’s first capital and was once upon a time a great, prosperous city, trade hub and old port. It played an important role in the 14th and 15th centuries for the Kingdom of Hormuz and was an important stop on the Indian Ocean trade network.
Today, hardly anything remains of the great city of Qalhat except for one landmark, the tomb of Bibi Maryam. also known as the Mausoleum of Lady Maryam. Legend says that the tomb of Bibi Maryam was built by the King of Hormuz Bahauddin Ayez, or that her tomb is a site of a mosque that Lady Maryam built for herself, as her final resting place. At the peak of Qalhat’s glory, this tomb must have been a stunning, mystical place. Some people claim that just being around the tomb gives them a strange, mysterious feeling that makes them stare at the structure in awe.
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