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Report - Birkat al Mawz (Banana Pools), Oman - Jan 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by gdoobs, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. gdoobs

    gdoobs 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Before recently returning home to the UK, I have been living in Oman; a very conservative Muslim country, but still exploring (trespassing) carries serious charges but this abandoned village was too hard not to explore.

    While driving along the Muscat to Nizwa Highway, a short detour will find the beautiful banana plantations of the Ad Dakhaliyah region of Oman; hidden away in the shadows of the Jebel Akhdar mountain range is the long abandoned mountain village of Birkat-al-Mawz.

    Translated to The Banana Pools from Arabic, you soon seen why this name was given; the banana plantation are what hide this village so well from view.

    Abandoned in 1959 shortly after it was mistakenly bombed by the British and Omani Air Forces during their sustained attacks on the Jebel Akhdar mountains.

    The waterways, or "Af-Falaj" you see in some of the shots carry UNESCO World Heritage status because of their importance in demonstrating how ancient villages sourced natural water to survive. The Omani people enjoy their decorations, architecture and pretty wooden doors, the photographs so these old abandoned villages off in all their ghostly glory.

    I hope you enjoy them.

    1. The village walls surrounding the mountain township
    [​IMG]

    2. The narrow roads leading into the plantations towards the village
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    3. Telegraph poles added in the 70's for the few remaining residents
    [​IMG]

    4. The buildings in the lower village remain mostly intact externally
    [​IMG]

    5. Unfortunately the mud-brick structure does not bode well in the higher buildings
    [​IMG]

    6. Incredible to see their foundations for each building, 800m above the road below
    [​IMG]

    7. The village lookout visible from miles around is slowly crumbling
    [​IMG]

    8. The school building; almost destroyed in the 1959 bombings
    [​IMG]

    9. The upper walls remain standing, that is all.
    [​IMG]

    10. The wooden floors collapsed into the lower rooms; I love the windows.
    [​IMG]

    11. Weaving back through the lower village to the houses and af-falaj waterways.
    [​IMG]

    12. The doorways are no higher than my shoulders in places; a small race.
    [​IMG]

    13. Completely inaccessible due to the collapsed floors from above
    [​IMG]

    14. Many of the doors still remain padlocked.
    [​IMG]

    15. The doors are often stolen as their precious Keralan wood and design make them highly sought.
    [​IMG]

    16. Intricately hand carved and painted with embossed handles; just beautiful
    [​IMG]

    17. The newer lower buildings have mud and horse hair walls and decorations
    [​IMG]

    18. A beautiful handcrafted staircase into the light, nearing the end of the village
    [​IMG]

    19. A children's playroom.
    [​IMG]

    20. There was a Quran on the shelve above us, but the floors had all but collapsed
    [​IMG]

    21. The ablution area in the lower falaj, most likely for the women and children
    [​IMG]

    22. Across into the nearby plantations with the ancient falaj waterway
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for viewing!
     
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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice.
     
  3. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    Cracking stuff, that door is a beauty :thumb
     
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