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Oman- Misfat al Abreen: the secret of Jabal Shams

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By Mohammed Hammod al Abri : Misfat al Abreen is one of the most important tourist centres in the Sultanate of Oman because of the large number of visitors it receives all year round. It lies at the foot of Jabal Shams at a distance of 5 km from the city centre of Wilayat Al Hamra in Al Dakhiliyah region. It is well connected by good roads and is accessible to all kinds of vehicles. Misfat is a living story of rugged mountains turned into a green oasis that today enjoys security, prosperity and development.

The route to Al Misfat

The journey from Al Hamra to Misfat is a tour in itself. You get an overview of Al Hamra, its ancient buildings and the breathtaking date palm gardens. The view from Misfat at night is romantic with the well-lit Hamra below and the moon and star-lit 1274182455575674400 sky above you.

Agricultural terraces

The first thing that draws your attention here is the agricultural terraces, which extends from the source of Falaj Al Misfat and to even very long distances. The most important agricultural crops are palm trees, bananas and citrus fruits. It is widely known all over the country for its plentiful lemon cultivation.

Old houses

Al Misfatís buildings are characterised by old high-rising structures that go up to the height of four floors. They were built on rocks and mountain slopes. Visitors pass through the corridors overlooking the picturesque windows and doors before they can reach the agricultural terraces, falaj and ponds. People still live in these houses and tourists are taken back in history when they hear voices from these buildings. The Rogan Fort is a big attraction of Misfat.

Falaj

The Falaj al Misfat, characterised by long-winding canals, is the  sole source of drinking water for man and animals and for irrigation of crops in the area. The pond in the midst of the mountain is used by people for swimming. Visitors passing by the side of the Falaj Alain can often be lost in the serenity, the sounds of birds and the gentle breeze there. The falaj at such high altitude speaks volumes of the ingenuity of the ancient Omanis who made a water distribution system that depended on the sun and the stars. Visitors can still see the rock towers that were used for this purpose.

Mountain tracks

Amateur climbers come here looking for adventure and exploration. Al Misfat is home to many mountain tracks and the Ministry of T1274181154815414200ourism is doing all it can to develop its tourist value. There is a road that can take you from Misfat to Rustaq that runs amidst 1274182438265673200 the high mountains. Visitors can find guides to take them to gardens and ponds situated in the valleys in the mountains.
People of the village
The people of the village keep customs and ancient traditions, and respect visitors to the village. And it is no wonder that visitors are often invited by the village shaikh for coffee. The generosity of the villagers is evident from the way they help any visitor to the village.
Tourist projects in future
The Government is assessing the village to develop and restore some of the houses to be converted into a museum. Restaurants and sheltered housings are being planned to provide the best services in the future.

ó Pictures by Khamis al Moharbi

Courtesy: http://www.main.omanobserver.om


Unearthy splendour

Misfah Al Abriyeen is a picturesque cliffside village tucked deep within Al Hamra's rugged countryside. To reach Misfah from Nizwa take the road to Bahla and at 12km before Bahla take right turn to Al Hamra. After reaching Hamra a signpost shows you the route to Misfah. Ascend the steep hill and then a warren of narrow lanes leads you to this picture postcard village of Misfah. Lay-bys along the ascent offers breathtaking vista of Hamra town located in the shadows of Jabal Shams. A nature's jewel perched in the arms of Jabal Shams, Misfah is awesomely beautiful. The old mud settlements cocooned in lush plantations watered by a cold spring (with one of the highest discharge rates in Dakhiliya, about 23 litres per second) are a visual treat for the sore eyes.

How to go: To reach Misfah from Nizwa take the road to Bahia and at 12km before Bahia take right turn to AI Hamra. After reaching Hamra a signpost shows you the route to Misfah.

 ( Courtesy: Mr.Aftab H.Kola, http://www.timesofoman.com/ )
 

 
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