Touring Oman: Fifth Stop – Bahla Fort

Our 2003 guide book said that Bahla Fort was the largest fort in the area and was not open due to renovation.  Eight years later Zaher confirmed we still could not go inside.

Although my guidebook said the village had many interesting ruins, a great souq and nice palm plantations, we drove up the mountain where the tv antennae facility sat to get a good view and take pictures.   Also, according to my guide book, Bahla was actually about 46 different villages.  It is believed to the oldest inhabited town in Oman.  Archeologists found some artifacts dating back to the third century BCE.

Finally a little Omani knowledge that was not included in our guidebook came out of Zaher.

“See that wall that surrounds the village,” Zaher said pointing.  “The people say that it was built during the night by jinns.”

“Jinns?”  Jinns are ghosts in Arabic.

“Yes.  When they went to bed it wasn’t there and when they woke up it was.”

“They must be very good people if the jinns want to protect them,” I offered.

“Some people were good and some people were bad.” He continued, “This is why the renovation has not finished.  The jinns keep taking down the construction.  They work on the fort and the next morning it is taken down.”

“Then perhaps the jinns don’t want the fort rebuilt.  Perhaps they are afraid the people are preparing for war,” I suggested.

“Maybe – some people were good.  Some people were not.  I don’t know.”

The village and the fort were picturesque.  We climbed back into the car and made our way down the hill.

At the bottom of the hill, we passed a cemetery – a flat-ish area with stones unnaturally turned on their sides.  The work of jinns?

Next Stop: Jabreen Castle


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