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Bahla Fort

Jan 1, 2013 by     9 Comments    Posted under: Al Dakhiliyah, Fort, Historical Attractions

Bahla Fort (قلعة بهلاء) is one of the oldest and biggest forts in Oman, and the only fort in the country to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Official statements say that the oldest parts of the fort were built as early as the year 500 BC. Bahla Fort is located in Bahla and is less than two hours away by car from Muscat.

Bahla Fort

Balha Fort was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in the year 1987. The fort was restored a number of times over history as the Nabhani Tribe restored it in the 13th century, the Yarubi Tribe restored in the 17th century, and the Busaidi Tribe restored it again in the 19th century. The fort was in a very bad situation in the second half of the last century, and the Omani government decided to start a serious restoration of project of it in the year 1988 which only finished in May 2012.

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Bahla Fort was open to the public through a soft opening program around the end of the year 2012, but there are still no exhibits displayed in the fort at the moment and no proper labels or descriptions can be seen in the castle. These will be added probably when the fort is officially inaugurated. There are no details on when the official opening would take place.

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Bahla fort is massive and includes many towers, mosques, and wells. The oldest part of the fort is located on the left side of the fort and is called Al Qabasah which is a five-story collection of rooms. The compound of the fort is massive and can easily take two or three hours to see if you want to examine each and every room.

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Even though Bahla Fort is one of the greatest examples of historic Omani architecture, it is still not as entertaining to visit as other more popular forts such as Nizwa Fort, due to the fact that other forts have exhibits, a gallery section, and details on what each room was used for. I am sure the grand Bahla Fort will be able to compete with these other ones when it gets opened officially.

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Reaching Bahla Fort is easy, if you are coming from Muscat simply follow the signs going to Nizwa and then follow the signs going to Bahla afterwards. Bahla is relatively small and the Fort can be seen from a distance.

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View Bahla Fort in a larger map

9 Comments + Add Comment

  • […] main highway connecting Muscat to Al Dakhiliyah, and either continuing all the way to Al Hamra via Bahla, or taking the side-road through Tanuf before the exit to […]

  • […] Ibri is located about 300 kms from Muscat and the drive to it can be a treat as travelers can go through the beautiful mountainous road of Rustaq to get to Ibri and then come back through the older Nizwa road to pass by the all ancient landmarks in Nizwa and Bahla. […]

  • Hi!good afternoon.i have plan visit this place bfore coning ramadan.

  • […] of Bahla might be tempted to choose to go to the recently renovated UNESCO World Heritage List site Bahla Fort, which is thousands of years older than Jabreen Fort, but there is no doubt that Bahla Fort has […]

  • […] the year 1990 by Sultan Qaboos. Strangely, unlike many other cities with significant forts such as Bahla, Nizwa, Rustaq and Sohar, Nakhal was never used as the capital from which the Imam or Sultan ruled […]

    • Vielen Dank! Tag 5 liegt noch etwas unfertig zwhceisn Kopf und Computer. Ein NikkiundMichi-Tag braucht so rund acht Stunden Arbeit, bis alles online ist. Aber nette Kommentare sind immer eine gute Motivation! ;-)Auf dem Jebel Shams (Dschabal Schams) war es nicht besonders kalt, knapp unter zehn Grad. Aber die Camps dort oben sind gut ausgestattet, sowohl die Zelte als auch die kleinen Bungalows. Da muss niemand frieren. Unbedingt ein Astronomie-Buch mitnehmen. Die Sterne sind gigantisch!Viel Spadf auf der sicherlich sehr spannenden Reise, Oman ist ein tolles Land!VN:F [1.9.22_1171]please wait…

  • Hi,
    I am planning a trip during the upcoming Eid Al Adha holidays and would really like to visit Bahla Fort. I am planning my trip for either Wednesday 16th October of Thursday 17th oct. I have read conflicting information about the opening days for this fort and also realize that it could be different during Eid anyway. Do you have any idea which days the fort is open to the public.

    • Hi @04a1d1cc11d41d362e7b1f8e8eb18c48:disqus unlike most other forts in Oman, Bahla fort is administered by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and not the Ministry of Tourism. This means that it does not have regular working hours, however I checked with them and it seems that they are ‘likely’ to be open during Eid holiday. The number to call for information about this fort is 0096825413041, they only speak Arabic though.

      • Hi,
        Thank you so much for this information. It is really useful. And, also thank you for all the information on your website. I used it to help plan my day trips, for when I visit Oman for Eid.
        Kind regards,

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