Old Omani Architecture – NIZWA Fort & Souq by Srikanth Ayyagari


I am in a part of the world where petrol is cheaper than water, i.e. Middle East

One boring Friday morning started with a cup of sulaimani tea (black tea) and had routine dialogue with my wife “what is the programme today?” After minutes of discussion we decided to go to Nizwa – City of olden architecture.

We started at 9.30AM from Muscat (OMAN) and took my Chevrolet cruze for this trip. Nizwa is around 140KM from Muscat, an easy drive along the fast, modern Highway 15 which is now dual-carriageway virtually the whole way – a fine drive.
We set cruze speed for 80KM to observe and take some beautiful snaps along country side drive even though the speed limit was 120KM.

Around 10.20AM we reached Fanja village and stopped near to this wadi (the channel of a watercourse that is dry except during periods of rainfall) Fanja

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Wadi Fanja is a good example of water erosion processes. This wadi brings life to this region and it’s widely used for irrigation.

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The day is becoming hot…. but my wife and kids are enjoying the trip very much.

Around 11.00 AM we reached Sumail village, The Sumail Gap is a natural break between the Eastern and Western Hajar Mountains through which man made oil and gas pipelines run. The gap is also historically important to Oman as it formed a strategic link between the costal and landlocked regions of the country and a transport route between Nizwa and Muscat. This is indicated by the forts and watchtowers that litter the route. The gap has been used by old Silk Route Caravans in transporting their goods through the Sultanate.
Sumail is also famous for its date palm trees which cover most of its area. Consequently, there are a number of date palm processing factories in the area.

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After Sumail we went some off road drive to capture the below hill cuts

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Near IZKI town my cruze felt thrusty, so immediately entered in a Oman oil filling station and informed attendant to fill the tank. You know how much i paid? 6 Rials (15.57$) for 50 litres of petrol.

In the mid day around 12.30PM we reached Nizwa fort – City of olden architecture.

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Nizwa’s splendid mosque shows the town’s rich Omani and Islamic architectural heritage

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Nizwa fort is one of the oldest forts in Oman. It has a unique large in circle shape of its main tower which also biggest tower in a fort of Oman.

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Nizwa Fort was built by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Y`aribi in the middle of the seventeenth century. The main tower features many defence mechanisms Omanis used in the past such as pitfalls, honey traps, and gun shooting windows.

A group of Pakistanis passing in front of the fort.

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Nizwa Fort is probably the best destination to visit for anyone wishing to explore how Omani used to be like in the old times and is one examples of how life still remains somewhat unchanged in villages outside the capital.

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One of the wooden carvings on the doors…

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After visiting Nizwa fort we continued to walk around Nizwa souq (Market) with my family but since I was taking pictures I was always lagging behind running to catch up them. As I looked through the viewfinder and framed up a shot – it touches my heart after seeing the output of my shot (below pic)

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After spent couple of hours in fort we entered in Pottery souq (Market) and the visuals are mind blowing

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Regardless – a day spent at the refurbished souqs in Nizwa and the surrounding fort is definitely worth it.
I want to share one of the Sanskrit proverbs which i learnt in my school days, i.e.

“Binnaru cherjarasya bahudashekam samaradakam”

Means there are different people with cultures and traditions.

For me, one of challenges of travel is to accept the different cultures and traditions when they are pretty out of position with my own values and traditions. And I do love the Middle East – it’s one of my favourite areas to travel to as the people are so incredibly kind to visitors.

About me:
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Hello I am Srikanth Ayyagari, an engineering bid estimator by profession and frequent traveller by passionate.

After some travel trips it realized me that I am missing to capture some beautiful moments in my life where i had been there even for few days. Then i purchased Canon IXUS digital camera in 2008 and keep on clicking. In 2011, I realized that why can’t go for a DSLR Camera. Then Canon 1100D entered in my portfolio and again keep on clicking. After some time period I seriously felt that i am not doing a complete honour to my DSLR.

Finally decided to learn photography in a professional way and approached a creative mentor Saurabh Chaterjee. The way he explains about the subject really it ignites my burning passion on photography. I am thoroughly enjoying and exploring the world through my camera. Once again thanks for the Saurabh guidance.

I can be reached at srikanthayyagari[@]yahoo.com; or +968 97146905
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/srikanth.ayyagari
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/31781962@N05/

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About Saurabh Chatterjee

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One Comment

  1. Well done Srikanth, Lavanya and saurabh. we look forward to see more from you. Keep it up.

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