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Archiaston Musamma Family | profile | all galleries >> Madain Saleh, Al Ula, Northern Madinah, Saudi Arabia, 2012 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Madain Saleh, Al Ula, Northern Madinah, Saudi Arabia, 2012

According to the Qur’an, by the 3rd millennium BCE, the site of Mada'in Saleh had already been settled by the tribe of Thamud.It is said that the tribe fell to idol worshipping; tyranny and oppression became prevalent.The Prophet Saleh, to whom the site's name of Mada'in Saleh is often attributed, called the Thamudis to repent.

The Thamudis disregarded the warning and instead commanded Prophet Saleh to summon a pregnant she-camel from the back of a mountain. And so, a pregnant she-camel was sent to the people from the back of the mountain by Allah, as proof of Saleh's divine mission. However, only a minority heeded his words. The non-believers killed the sacred camel instead of caring for it as they were told, and its calf ran back to the mountain where it had come from, screaming. The Thamudis were given three days before their punishment was to take place, since they disbelieved they did not heed the warning.The prophet and the believers left the city, but the Thamudis were punished by Allah —their souls leaving their lifeless bodies in the midst of an earthquake and lightning blasts.

A row of four necropolis made from outcrops of sandstone can be seen here. It features a total of 131 monuments cut out from rocks and inscribed with Nabatean epigraphs.

Al Ula itself is really beautiful place surrounded by red basalt Mountains. Al Ula to Madain Saleh is about 20 km, along the way nice scenery of date palm plantation surrounded by Jabal (hill) with a different odd shape stone formation.

You may see Al Hijaz train station and some remnant train being rejuvenated to tell the history of 19 century Ottoman Empire rail system connecting from Damascus in Syria to Madinah for pilgrimage transportation and reconnect to Damascus to Istanbul.

Half journey from Madinah to Al Ula, 420km passing no-man-land with beautiful mountainous scenery, in which no villages, no gas station, few cars passer by for the last perhaps 150-200 km. The journey itself is worth to see and certainly recommended. This is the best Middle-East scenery I ever seen, second to none to Petra in Jordan. The road condition is very good and within easy reach from Madinah; depart in the morning and return in the afternoon still possible, even though better to stay overnight in Al Ula as so large area to see. This certainly my Middle-East favorite so far.

At the moment Madain Saleh seem receiving limited visitor but sure will gain more popularity in near future as the tourist infrastructure inside the facility is being developed in parallel with archeology activities. To get there a special permission is required from Riyadh Museum or check thru Hotel reservation in Al-Ula. It is really beautiful place and seem have a lot of history to tell. You may find scientific information by goggling thru Aramco magazines and other source such Saudi Tourism. A lot of interesting things being unlocked thru excavation, decoding the found artifacts.

Archie of Qatar



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village near Madain (city) of Saleh
village near Madain (city) of Saleh
This must be wealthy people tomb
This must be wealthy people tomb
The icon thatcarved on the top of the door indicated who they are
The icon thatcarved on the top of the door indicated who they are
intersection gate of Al Ula city
intersection gate of Al Ula city
Al Ula City
Al Ula City
notice board
notice board
city of Ula
city of Ula
sand stone
sand stone
basalt stone
basalt stone
another nice date platation
another nice date platation
scenery of Madain
scenery of Madain
hilly surrounding Madain
hilly surrounding Madain
good road don't to far if not 4x4
good road don't to far if not 4x4
Madain
Madain
Madain Saleh
Madain Saleh
Madain
Madain
Madain
Madain
Madain
Madain
Madain
Madain
Madain
Madain
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