The lush vegetation around wadis and the water bodies they shelter offer great spots for eid holidays. AFTAB H. KOLA dips into the origins and the lush presence of some well-frequented wadis.
For those who want to experience the true joy of being in the lap of nature, wadis are a like spa for the mind. Here, a genteel air of comfort and a crisp and clean environment reign over the place.
Oman is punctuated by a string of wadis along the banks of which lush date plantations grow. These pockets make interesting places for picnicking and excursions.
A wadi is basically a dry riverbed, which comes to life after heavy rains, when the streams start flowing again and the vegetation is restored. However, some wadis have year-round running water, with deep, cool pools in which it is quite safe to swim when the currents are slow.
Wadi Dayqah, also called Wadi Mazara, is a wadi near Quriyat.Wadi Dayqah is the most easily accessible wadi for residents of the Muscat Governorate. The wadi links the Sharqiyah region with Muscat, meandering from the eastern Hajar mountain range from Wilayat Dima and Taieen.
At the far end of the wadi where mountains loom large, on a small hillock a fort-like structure adds an element of beauty and history to the place. Te Wadi Dayqay dam has come up along one side of this wadi. Landscaping and picnic spots have been recently erected.
On the Quriyat-Sur road you have the Wadi Shab, according to me the most beautiful in Oman and Wadi Tiwi.
The mouth of Wadi Shab is one of the most picturesque spots in Oman. Wadi Shab, a pretty stream wedged between high rocky cliffs, lies 76km from Quriyat. The wadi combines the attraction of coastal pockets with inland wonders. The entire stretch of the wadi has seven pools of shimmering emerald green waters studded with boulders. You need to take a deviation from the main highway to reach the wadi.
One of the pools is in a cave where light streams in dramatically from above and there are fantastic echoes as you swim and splash about. This wadi is frequented by tourists, who camp the entire night and enjoy the serenity of the area. The cool and inviting waters tempt one to make a splash, which we did.
About seven kilometres away from Wadi Shab starts Wadi Tiwi which extends 36km inland and ends at Mibam, a mountain hamlet. Many groves and fruit trees grow along the course of this wadi. The azure blue sea is visible as you ascend the hills and descend into the valley.
Most popular wadi
Wadi Bani Khalid, Oman's most popular wadi, is a place where the elements of nature blend. This wadi is filled throughout the year with water -" still and glistening in the sun.
The wadi is famous for its lush green oases, water pools and deep canyons. Most visitors to this spot are awestruck by its serenity and almost unreal pace of life.
Wadi Bani Khalid is one of the six major wadis in the Sharqiyah region and is located around 250 kms from Muscat on the way to Sur via Ibra. The tarmac road takes a turn from the main road and leads you to the town of Wadi Bani Khalid and later you have to cross the foothills of the Eastern Hajar mountains to get to the wadi.
On the way, you get splendid and spectacular views of the steep mountains and fertile wadis dotted with date palms. The actual Wadi Bani Khalid is serenely ensconced in high mountains. The visitor has to park his car and walk to reach the turquoise and green pools of water. Even as you walk, you will notice the water flowing through the falaj system.
Surrounded by beautiful date palms, the wadi is an oasis in all senses of the word. There are two pools of water here. One is the deep pool where only expert swimmers can have fun by jumping from a small bridge laid out against two rocks like a diving board. A word of caution about this pool is that it is deep on the edges and shallow in the middle.
The water seems to be springing from the mountainside and flows down to the smaller pool, which is not very deep.