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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Visit to Rustaq

After Eid-al-Adha (or Bakreid) in September this year I got an opportunity to visit a historical town called Rustaq which is about two hours drive from Muscat. Mr Saif Salim Al Lamki, an Omani colleague who is a domicile of this place, had been regularly inviting me to visit him during the Eid holidays every year since I have been in Oman. As most of my holidays were spent in India owing to  various commitments I could only visit Rustaq this year thanks to his persistence.

Rustaq was once the capital of Oman and the Rustaq Fort is said to be built four centuries prior to the dawn of Islam in Oman (as per Wikipedia). It is an imposing structure built on three levels, containing separate houses, an armoury, a mosque, cells for confinement and four towers. The fort has been restored and is open to visitors who have to pay a nominal fee to gain entry to the premises.

Rustaq is also famous for its hot springs, the sulphur content of which is regarded as a cure for many skin and bone related ailments. I was fortunate, along with some other colleagues, to avail the generous hospitality of our host who took us on a tour of the town and then laid a sumptuous feast for us to partake. Following are some photos of our visit to this quiet, serene and picturesque location which I am sure will speak louder than words (click to enlarge):

                                                  A blend of History and Modernity !

                                        Entry to the Fort ( with Saif, Bharat and Dipesh)
                                                    
                            Artillery Gun of a Bygone Era ! (Saif can be seen in the background)
                                                        Reinforced Wooden Entry Door

                                                    A View of the Inner Courtyard

                                             View of the Outer Area from the Top Level

                                         Door of a Safe Deposit Area (Presumably)

                                           Imagine 'Boiling' Oil Being Poured on Invaders !

                                    The Fort had it's own Source of Water and Canal System

                                                           Source of the Hot Springs

                                        'Lost in Translation' or is it 'Painter's Devil' ?
                                       A sign near the Hot Spring which in Arabic proclaims
                                    that 'Bathing' is Prohibited instead of 'Thing' in English.

                                           The Best part of the Visit - Hogger's Delight !!

Thanks to Mr Saif Al Lamki, we had a wonderful time seeing the sights and thoroughly enjoyed the traditional Omani hospitality. Our parting query to him was "When are you inviting us to visit Rustaq again ?"

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