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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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Madain
Madain
Nabatean southern out post city, Petra was believed the capital city
Nabatean southern out post city, Petra was believed the capital city
Large chamber of burial of Nabatean
Large chamber of burial of Nabatean
How tall the door
How tall the door
Mushroom like sandstone
Mushroom like sandstone
so many sand
so many sand
around the Madain Saleh
around the Madain Saleh
One of the ancient tomb
One of the ancient tomb
newhardened sandroad,  no need 4x4 beyond the road, otherwise be prepared to be stranded
newhardened sandroad, no need 4x4 beyond the road, otherwise be prepared to be stranded
so many unique shape
so many unique shape
this seems heavily eroded sandstone
this seems heavily eroded sandstone
large covering area from one to the other tomb
large covering area from one to the other tomb
nice scenery
nice scenery
one of the tomb
one of the tomb
another one
another one
Aramco magazine told that little remaining inside the tomb
Aramco magazine told that little remaining inside the tomb
Madain Saleh
Madain Saleh
one unique small hill
one unique small hill
remnant train station
remnant train station
rejuvenate the Ottoman empire era
rejuvenate the Ottoman empire era
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