Saturday, February 11, 2012

Al Hoota Cave, Off Bahla, Past Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman

One of my longstanding wishes of seeing the ‘Al Hoota Cave’ was finally accomplished yesterday !

Visitors have to make prior booking before going there as the authorities maintain the footfalls (up to a maximum of 750 persons per day), to protect and safeguard the place.

Every holiday I try to book, they will say it’s closed already. This being a long weekend (Prophet’s birthday, being the reason), I booked in advance and got a slot.

We went by road to Nizwa (about 250 kms from here), and from there to Bahla (about 40 kms from Nizwa) and another 15 kms to the cave’s base. Inside the cave photography is strictly prohibited.

The cave is located at the foot of Jebel Shams (the sun mountain), the highest mountain in Oman which is north of Al Hamra.It is mentioned that the Al Hoota Cave is one of the largest cave systems in the world with an underground cavern complete with stalactites, stalagmites, columns and has an unique underground lake system and such.

There were 3 Omani guides who were standing at well-spaced distances who were at hand to explain to the visitors about the cave and all its natural formations.The walk inside took us about an hour. We had to climb up and down over 300 steps. The entire cavern is about 5 kms long, but only part of it is open for the public.

It was amazing to go into the cave and look at all those natural beauties. It was dark of course, but there were some lights to show the way. It was also cool inside. Actually it was quite large in the inside.

Here are some useful links, in case you want to know more about the ‘Al Hoota Cave’ :

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