Elegant mosques, Majestic forts and labyrinthine markets will greet your arrival in Muscat. The capital city is a world of modern amenities which has retained its old world charm of Omani culture, hospitality and Islamic architecture. The city is also a gateway to the natural bounty that Oman has managed to stow away from prying eyes for many centuries. Today as this jewel unravels itself to the world, travellers are discovering its true worth. Lodged in the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman has disconnected from the ant trails that most popular destinations are a part of. Yet, it is a country that has beaches as unspoiled as those of Thailand, forts as majestic as those of Rajasthan and cliffs as awe-inspiring as those of the Grand Canyon and all of this is just a short drive away from the beautiful city of Muscat, a pearl in the oyster of this beautiful country.
Muscat city has enough sights and sounds to keep you wide-eyed for days. Here are some major spots in and around Muscat:
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main perfect introduction to the city’s cultural and architectural heritage. This glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from the ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, to mark the 30th year of his reign and is the third largest mosque in the world. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is built from 300,000 tons of Indian sandstone and boasts a 21-ton Persian prayer carpet which is the second largest carpet in the world as well as an 8-ton chandelier.
Jalali and Mirani Forts
Known better as the two grand sentinels of Muscat, the forts are perched atop the magnificent cliffs overlooking the city. Built by the Portuguese, the forts have witnessed every upheaval that history has subjected the country of Oman too. Today the forts bring forth their testimony in the two museums housed within them.
The word Corniche literally means ‘road by the sea’. As far as roads by the sea go, this one in Muscat should rank as one of the most spectacular in the world. The promenade, with the glow of the lights and the beautiful buildings reflecting off the water, makes for a sight that is singularly worth the trip to Muscat.
About 140kms away from Muscat city is what is commonly known as Oman’s Grand Canyon. At 3000meters (10000ft) high, the Mountain of the Sun or Jebel Shams is not your average mountain, it is a mind-boggling crevasse of immense proportions. One of the most famous parts of the range is the Al Hajjar Mountain which can be reached by hiking through the canyon.
Air India Express flies from Kannur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangalore to Muscat.
Book your tickets via airindiaexpress.in