Nizwa – Jabrin Castle and Bahla Fort

The College Social Committee and the Ministry of Tourism in Oman organized a day trip to Jabrin Castle, Bhala Fort and a traditional village near Bahla last weekend for the teachers at my college.

The only way for me to enjoy sightseeing trips is to get up really early and workout so that I won’t feel guilty about not exercising. So, last Saturday, I started my long run in the dark so that I could complete at least 4 miles and still have enough time for stretching before walking to the Al Diyar hotel to meet the tour bus at 8 o’clock.

Thirty minutes later we arrived at our first destination – Jabrin Castle.

JC1

Entrance to Jabin Castle

After the crowds moved on I got a photo of me.

After the crowds moved on I got a photo of me.

This is an impressive three-storey fort built by Imam Sultan bin Saif Al Ya’arubi in the 17th century to protect Oman’s ruling Imam and provide suitable accommodation for him. Today, the castle is home to the tomb of the Iman.

Omani flag on blowing freely in the wind at the top Jabrin Castle.

Omani flag on blowing freely in the wind at the top Jabrin Castle.

View of the first level of the castle.

View of the first level of the castle.

View of the second level of the castle.

View of the second level of the castle.

Pottery and vases on display in the rooms of the castle.

Pottery and vases on display in the rooms of the castle.

Some more old items on display.

Some more old items on display.

The castle is famous for its painted ceilings and Koranic verses that are beautifully carved on the walls.

Close up of the ceiling paintings and wall carvings.

Close up of the ceiling paintings and wall carvings.

It has two huge towers with walls that are about two meters thick.  There are numerous chambers, dungeons, passages, stairways, courtyards, and lookouts on each level.

The top level of Jabrin Castle

The top-level of Jabrin Castle.

I am certain that the Iman and his family must have enjoyed their life in such a spacious home with its beautiful views of the surrounding date plantations and mountains.

View of the date plantations surrounding the castle.

View of the date plantations surrounding the castle.

View of the date plantations surrounding the castle.

View of the date plantations surrounding the castle.

View of the town from the top of the castle.

View of the town from the top of the castle.

After visiting the castle we had a short break for snacks prepared for us by our Omani hosts and then we were off to the town of Bahla, a place steeped in myths and ancient legends.  It is also home to Bahla Fort and its 7-mile Wall which UNESCO has added to its World Heritage list.  The fort was constructed in the 17th and features six large towers and the oldest citadel in Oman.

On our way to Bahla we drove up to a lookout point on the top of a hill and stopped to photograph the fort and town from above. The view was magnificent. The town with its ancient mud houses, palm trees and majestic mountains in the background is a photographers dream. I can’t do it justice with my pocket camera.

Our last stop was a visit to a historical village located a few kilometers from Bahla Fort. The village grounds showcase several historical objects including pottery, brass and other ancient products which represent Omani history. It also includes restaurants, meeting rooms, guest rooms and a large community room for special events such as weddings or other parties.

Our tour ended with a meal, followed by tea in the community room and distribution of t-shirts and a CD from the Oman Ministry of Tourism.

Gift from the Oman Ministry of Tourism.

Gift from the Oman Ministry of Tourism.

Advertisements

4 responses to “Nizwa – Jabrin Castle and Bahla Fort

  1. Yes, that would be a great idea…..we could go for a run!

  2. You are back in Oman? We move to Dubai in January! We should try to meet!!

  3. I remember the forts and surrounding majestic mountains. We were in Muscat from 1995- 2000 and they appear the same.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s