Today we are all set for swimming escapade at Al Falaj Doris Hotel in Nizwa. But before going directly to the hotel, we take a side trip at the famous Jabrin Castle located in the old town of Bahla.
Jabrin (Jebreen) fort is constructed on a flat plain and its towers stand tall amidst the vast plantations of dates that are bearing fruits for the summer season. According to the fort’s caretaker, this castle was built in 1670 by the powerful Imam Sultan bin Saif Al Ya’arubi as a defensive stronghold and accommodation of the Imam and his family. The two huge towers with walls two metres thick was built by Bil’arab bin Sultan, an Imam of the Ya’aruba dynasty during the 17th century. But when Imam Bil’arab died, his remains were buried within the fort until today.
We pay 500 baiza each, excluding children, at the fort’s entrance. At the main gate, there are old cannons that on display and several others that are placed in between rooms of the palace. There are also some potteries of different sizes flaunted on one corner.
We begin our search from the kitchen area at the right section of the fort where array of bronze cooking wares are carefully arranged. I placed my little Anyah in a big wok with laddle which my baby thought as her bathing tub.
Next, we saw a small entry to the Imam’s tomb beside the staircase to guard’s quarters. I go forward gingerly, bending my head through the hole while holding my little Anyah tightly on my chest.
The room is so narrow and dull, there’s nothing really interesting here aside from the small and empty chambers that looks like a storage area. I was even looking for the tomb but it is nowhere to find. So I thought, perhaps the catacomb was buried beneath the ground.
We hurriedly climb up the stiff staircase leading upper level or the second floor of the castle. I am already perspiring and gasping for breath, so with my little Anyah, when we get to one of the sections called the living room.
There you can find silk cushions that are heavy as sandbags and huge carpet accentuated the floor. But the wooden ceilings are impressive with fine carvings and paints of flower and symbols. This is not normally found in other forts I have visited in Oman. I bet the Imam who is residing in those days have a heart for arts which are clearly seen on the beautiful paintings even found in the balconies.
We explore each sections that where like labyrinth which we enjoy getting around and discovering something amazing about the wealthy Arabian culture living in turbulent times at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. This massive structure has lots of defensive features such as high and thick walls, towers, and holes for shooting arrows and guns. Bullet marks are even still visible on one of the fort’s walls.
Finally, we get to the top of the towers and a superb view of the surroundings of flat plains and mountains came to sight. I can say that this fort was very important strategically as the soldiers could see 360 degrees for approaching enemies from a distance. Part of the view is a cemetery with its walls near to the fort.
Since, it is almost mid-afternoon and the unwelcoming hot weather is not ideal for staying on top for long, we hurriedly descend to the ground and take souvenir snapshots of the fort before we leave.
For me, the architecture of Jabrin Fort is simply amazing because it is constantly being restored to enable future generations to visit and marvel at this man-made wonder.