5 reasons to visit the Jordan’s ancient city of Petra

Most of the tourists from across the world know identify Jordan only by Petra, which is the one of the present wonders of the world. Though Jordan has other historical places, Petra is known to be one of the most visited places in Jordan. On December 6, 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site, also Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 places you should visit them before you die.

Here are my 5 reasons why you should visit Jordan’s ancient city of Petra.

There is lot of history to know about Petra

Are you a history buff ? 🙂  Well, even if you are not a history buff , Petra is something worth to visit.

The city of Petra, capital of the Nabataean Arabs, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, it is Located 240 km south of the capital Amman and 120 km north of the red sea town of Aqaba (see the Map), Petra the world wonder is undoubtedly Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction, and it is visited by tourists from all over the world.

It is not known precisely when Petra was built, but the city began to prosper as the capital of the Nabataean Empire from the 1st century BC, which grew rich through trade in frankincense, myrrh, and spices.

Petra was later annexed to the Roman Empire and continued to thrive until a large earthquake in 363 AD destroyed much of the city in the 4th century AD.

The earthquake combined with changes in trade routes, eventually led to the downfall of the city which was ultimately abandoned.

By the middle of the 7th century Petra appears to have been largely deserted and it was then lost to all except local Bedouin from the area.

The Nabataeans buried their dead in intricate tombs that were cut out of the mountain sides and the city also had temples, a theater, and following the Roman annexation and later the Byzantine influence, a colonnaded street and churches.

In addition to the magnificent remains of the Nabataean city, human settlement and land use for over 10,000 years can be traced in Petra, where great natural, cultural, archaeological and geological features merge.

When this beautiful Treasury showed up after lot of suspense :)

When this beautiful Treasury showed up after lot of suspense 🙂

 

It is one of the present wonders of the world. Add it to your bucket list if you haven’t

Yes, you might be aware that Petra has been named as one of the latest 7 wonders of the world.

This city is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Arab Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

The site remained unknown to the western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time” in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”. Petra was named amongst the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007 and was also chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die”.

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The Red rose color of stones is astonishing

Have you ever seen an ancient city colored with red rose ? 🙂

Well , Petra is gifted and is known as the rose-red city, a name it gets from the wonderful color of the rock from which many of the city’s structures were carved. It is totally a different experience to view this red rose colored magnificent city. Consider staying in Petra for at least 2 days to visit the entire city.

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The colorful rock formation is another thing to watch out for

The ancient rocks, which dates back to thousands of years have been formed in exquisite ways which will make you really wonder 🙂

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The pathway to the incredible Treasury from Siq is an exciting experience

Treasury is one of the most famous places in Petra.

It is the ancient main entrance leading to the city of Petra, starts at the Dam and ends at the opposite side of the vault, a split rock with a length of about 1200m and a width of 3 to 12m, and height up to about 80m. Most of the rock is natural and another part was sculptured by the Nabataeans.  The Siq, the main road that leads to the city, starts from the Dam and ends at the Treasury.  It is a rock canal that measures 160 meters in length, 3 to 12 meters in width and reaches up to 80 meters in height. The main part of the Siq is created by natural rock formation and the rest is carved by the Nabataeans.

At the beginning of the Siq, one can still view the remains of the city’s gate. On both sides of the Siq, there are channels to draw water from Wadi Musa (the Valley of Moses), from outside the city to the inside.

From the right, it is evident that the water flowed through pottery pipes but the left channel is carved from the rock and covered with panels of stone, and there are spaces in place to filter water. At the start of the Siq the original Nabataean dams are visible, and these prevented the flooding in the Siq, and collected water for use. The floor of the Siq is paved with stone slabs, part of which can be viewed in its original location.

Aspects of the Siq were decorated with Nabataean sculptures, mostly representing gods. It is believed that the statues of gods and their sculptures were situated very close and even adjacent to the channels due to the Nabataean belief that water was sacred. In addition, on the left side there are idols called Sabinos Statues.

Pathway to Siq

Pathway to Siq

On the way to Siq

On the way to Siq

Entrance to Siq

Entrance to Siq

The siq opens up onto Petra’s most magnificent façade the Treasury, or Al Khazna. It is almost 40 meters high and intricately decorated with Corinthian capitals, friezes, figures and more. The Treasury is crowned by a funerary urn, which according to local legend conceals a pharaoh’s treasure. Although the original function is still a mystery, The Treasury was probably constructed in the 1st century BC, However, in reality the urn represented a memorial for royalty. The Treasury consists of two floors with a width of 25.30 meters and a height of 39.1 meters.

The purpose of the Treasury is unclear. some archaeologists believed it to be a temple, while others thought it was a place to store documents. However, the most recent excavation here has unearthed a graveyard beneath the Treasury.

The Treasury comprises three chambers, a middle chamber with one on either side, the elaborately carved facade represents the nabataean engineering genius

Top View of Treasury :)

Top View of Treasury 🙂

The ‘street of facades’ also holds smaller tombs that were used by less rich families

The ‘street of facades’ also holds smaller tombs that were used by less rich families

It was a time well spent in the Petra 🙂  Unfortunately, we could not cover the monastery as we had to leave to wadi rum early. But , It did stuff our minds with so much of history about Jordan’s past. A must visit for travel enthusiasts once in a lifetime 🙂

I hope these photos will make you visit Jordan whenever you plan your next travel. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here.

TIPS AND INFORMATION

1.If you are planning to explore Jordan completely , better to opt for a Jordan Pass from this link https://www.jordanpass.jo/ instead of getting the visa from embassy or On-Arrival. If you have a Jordan Pass , it acts like a visa and if you visit all historical places with Jordan pass , you can save up to 40 USD per person.
2. If you want to explore amman’s historical sites, better to book accommodation near to the downtown.
3.JD – Jordanian Dinar , USD – United States Dollars
4.Never miss to visit the Hashem restaurant which is one of the oldest and pretty famous in Jordan. 
5.You can use Uber for transportation in Amman which is less expensive compared to normal taxi’s.
6. A 2 day tour to Petra , Wadi rum and Aqaba with Accommodation from Amman with Montana tours will cost you around 100 to 110 JD per person. you can give it a try if you are looking for a budget trip and to have some company during your travel.
7.I would suggest to explore petra on your bare foot from visitor’s center but while returning it is better to opt for a horse or donkey ride as you are sure to get exhausted 🙂
8.I would recommend not to plan your accommodation in Petra as it is an expensive city.
9.A one-day visitor pass is 90JD. An ‘overnight visitor’ pass – ie someone who’s staying for more than one day in Jordan in overnight accommodation (including cruise ship passengers) costs 50JD. Jordanian citizens, residents, students and Arab nationals pay 1JD. Kids under 15 go free
10. Regarding the safety and security,  Jordan is one of the safest countries in the world. They are very kind. You will always find people across Jordan who would want to help you out if needed.

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