wilayat of Taqah exudes a gripping appeal intertwining historical
and scenic attractions dating back to thousands of years.
The powerful port city of Sumharam, which controlled the maritime
trade of frankincense, the dazzling Darbat waterfalls and
ancient mountain villages are but a few of the well-known
historical and scenic landmarks in the Governorate of Dhofar
thronged by visitors during the khareef season.
remains of the stone houses of Khabrart village
Pictures by Abdullah Ibrahim al Shuhi
visit to the countryside of Taqah offers the opportunity to
explore magnificent locales which retain their original self,
large mountainous areas untouched by the pressures of habitation
and left on their own to nurture environmental enigmas.
these well protected scenic lands on the lap of the huge mountain
range of Jabal Samhan are accessible for visitors. As you
ascend the mountain road to Madinat al Haq, magnificent greenery
comes alive in contrast to the plains below running into the
start with, Aram village could be chosen to step into the
lands which are the epitome of environmental conservation.
The unique attraction of Aram village is the ancient trees
which have become a rarity in other areas.
mountain village is still intact with a number of trees that
have been growing there, for thousands of years. Notable among
them are Al Mitan tree which was earlier used, in the construction
of houses, especially for roofing.
farmhouse of Ali bin Issa al Mashani and the cucumber
tree possesses high resistance against termites and other
pests. Earlier, the local residents also used the branches
of Al Mitan tree to make arrows for hunting and other purposes.
views of the sea and mountains attired in fine greenery make
the heights of Aram village ideal for camping. Another tree
locally known as kilet was used for making wooden cutlery,
including large spoons.
trees, however, have declined in number over the years due
to their felling for house construction and other needs. In
some areas of Aram village, the well-preserved woodlands on
the mountain slopes appear like forests.
Shihait village, closer to the main road, farming activities
are seen. During the monsoon season, a variety of vegetables
are grown by local residents. Ali bin Issa al Mashani was
spotted at his modest farm planted with cucumber, corn and
three different crops were ideal during the monsoon season,
Al Mashani said. A month before the advent of the monsoon
rains, the land was ploughed and readied for sowing.
the arrival of the rains, sowing was done and within one and
a half months, cucumber was ready for harvest, Al Mashani
was an ideal crop during the monsoon season as it yielded
immediately compared to corn and beans, Al Mashani said.
Mitan tree which was used extensively for
construction stands in Aram village.
corn required three months for ripening, beans required
two months. Al Mashani, who is advanced in age, said that
due to some illness he could not farm his, entire land
this year. In the previous years, he utilised the land
in full and the cucumber and beans crops fetched him about
R0 600 in the last season.
oval-shaped hut made of logs and sticks, covered with
tarpaulin, is used by Al Mashani to rest after his work
in the farm. Large water tanks are also kept in the
farm as standby for use in the event of poor rains.
village is also notable for a sink hole, which the local
residents believe was caused by a meteor. The crater-like
formation has been cordoned off in an enclosure as it
gapes open dangerously.