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Oman: Bahla, Jabal Akhdar, Jabrin, Muscat, Nizwa, Wadi Bani Khalid
Nizwa, Oman: Giant fort and high-walled souq
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
After breakfast, we left for Nizwa, our first stop for the day. It would be a long day of drives and sight-seeing. The Nizwa Fort is a 2-hour drive from Muscat, if driven non-stop. But we had plans.
Just on the outskirts of Muscat, we made a stop at Amouage, the makers of fine fragrances. We were takes around their showroom and the factory where various ingredients, sourced from around the world, were being blended into fragrances & perfumes and then bottled. Refreshed, we made our next stop at Nizwa Souq.
Majority of our time spent in the market was at a date shop. I was informed that there are over 40 varities of dates that are grown in Oman. And like I mentioned earlier, dates are offered, along with coffee to guests. And sure enough we were treated to some delicious varities of dates. I purchased a few gift boxes to bring back home. They are really inexpensive out there. Thereafter we negotiated the by lanes of the souq where spices, tools, souvenirs, fruit, vegetables and guns were sold in equal measure. Not to forget the halwa - a local sweet delicacy.
It was now time to visit Nizwa Fort, a 15-minute drive from town. It was built in the 1650s by the second Ya’rubi; Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya'rubi; its underlying structure going back to the 12th century. It is Oman's most visited national monument. The fort was the administrative seat of authority for the presiding Imams and Walis in times of peace and conflict. The main bulk of the fort took about 12 years to complete and was built above an underground stream. The fort is a powerful reminder of the town's significance through turbulent periods in Oman's long history. It was a formidable stronghold against raiding forces that desired Nizwa's abundant natural wealth and its strategic location at the crossroads of vital routes.
Nizwa Fort is unique among other forts in Oman due to the cylindrical shape of its main tower which also happens to be the biggest tower in a fort in Oman. Nizwa Fort has seven wells, a number of prisons, and prosecution ground. The main tower features many defence mechanisms Omanis used in the past such as pitfalls, honey traps, and gun shooting windows. The fort also contains many exhibits and artefacts displayed in each of the rooms of the fort.
Nizwa Image Gallery Photo viewer
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