Sunday 31 May 2015

Beauty has an address...Oman

When I got an invite to attend a road show of Oman Tourism at Hyatt Regency in Delhi frankly speaking the destination image that I had of Oman was desert, desert and more desert.

Oman has something to offer to everyone

But all this perception changed dramatically when Lubaina Sheerazi, the India Representative of Oman Tourism took us on a journey to Oman via her presentation. It was then that I realised that Oman is so much different from other Middle-East countries.

It is a mix of culture, nature and adventure. Oman of course has deserts but also has a more than three thousand km long coast line with beautiful beaches and crystal clear water with ample opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling and other activities. It also has mountain ranges where the temperatures are milder and in fact one can even get snow on the higher reaches. Due to this Oman also has plenty of hiking and rock climbing opportunities. Culturally it has the World’s biggest mosque, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and also has opera houses. And all this is just three hours away from India by short-haul flights.

Frankincense Candle

And it is a land of Frankincense! This world famous incense is made from the resin of the frankincense trees. It also has biblical context as one of the three gifts the wise men gave to baby Jesus. We were presented with frankincense candles.

Oman is now definitely on my bucket-list of places to visit.

Friday 22 May 2015

Shaking Minarets in Nuh

Just an hour away from Delhi is a mosque that has shaking minarets!

Gateway of the Tomb of Sheikh Musa, Nuh

This place has a tomb of Sheikh Musa, a mosque as well as a Madrasa. To reach there one has to take the Gurgaon-Nuh road via Sohna and at Nuh take the Toaru road. It is not very far from Nuh town and is part of the Mewat rural belt.

Mughal Style arches

The structure has a mix of Mughal and Rajput architecture and was built sometime in the 14th century. The walls of the gateway to the tomb are very thick and the stairs steep. It is said that if you shake one minar the vibrations are felt in the other minar

Rajputana style of architecture

I was not able to test this as the Waqf Board had closed the Minars for repairs stating that it is dangerous and can fall any time. I think such an old building should be repaired not by basic methods and should be dealt with by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as it is an important heritage site of this region. The whole repair work being carried out is not being done by professionals.

The Tomb of Sheikh Musa

The tomb is made of white marble and the outer walls are also white. The locals believe that the water receptacle at the tomb have healing powers. 

The mosque

Within the same compound I also saw that there is a madrasa where religious teachings are imparted to the students. 

A student of Madrasa showed me the place

I did interact with a couple of students from the Madrasa who in fact showed me around the place. But right in front of this complex there is also a modern building of Mewat Engineering College which is also run by the Waqf Board.

Ruins of a Haveli visible from Sheikh Musa Tomb

From this complex one can also see high on the hill ruins of a haveli (said to be of a local merchant).

Also read:
Chui Mal Ka Talaab in Nuh
The Cenotaph of Chui Mal in Nuh