"NAJRAN" Najran by 1W1V

Najran Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 18 photos

Najran Village

Najran was an important stopping place on the Incense Road. It is located in the southern part of Saudi Arabia. The oasis of Najran has been inhabited for about 4,000 years. Najran's most prosperous trading time was during the first and second centuries B.C. In ancient times it was known as Al-Ukhdood.

Old Najran was surrounded by a circular wall, 220 by 230 meters, built of square stone with defensive balconies. It contained several unique buildings. There is also a cemetery south of the external wall. Excavations of this site have uncovered glass, metals, pottery, and bronze artifacts. Square and rectangular buildings have also been found. There used to be a Jewish community at Najran, known for the garments they manufactured. Later many people in Najran converted to Christianity. They later yielded to Islam in AD 630/631.

Historical artifacts in the area include rock drawings and inscriptions including petroglyphs of human and animal figures, South Arabic epigraphy and early Arabic Kufic inscriptions. Of particular interest is the city of Al Okhdood, south of Najran city. This large sand-covered fortress gives the impression that it once possessed high perimeter walls built with giant stones similar to those used in building the famous Egyptian pyramids. Najran's landmarks include the "Rass" stone, a 2-meter-high granite stone.

Survey teams of the Saudi Ministry of Antiquities investigated most of the area and have documented several pre-Islamic and early Islamic sites, which consist of stone structures, cairns, tumuli, camping stations, praying places or mosques, water reservoirs, and wells. Some of these are still in use today. There is evidence on an ancient roadway. Some parts of the paved track are still preserved in the hilly areas. Archeological evidence suggests that the Incense Route was probably established prior to the first millennium BC and continued to be in use, both as trade and pilgrimage route until the late Islamic period.


The ancient fortress of Najran

Najran lies in the south-west of the Kingdom. It is bounded by Yemen to the south; Al-Silayel and Wadi Al-Dawasir to the north; Dhahran Al-Janoub and the Asir region to the west; and Oman in the east.

Although Najran has a desert climate, the heavy monsoon rains that fall in the spring, combined with its underground water reserves, produce fertile agricultural land.

Originally Najran was a small trading town known as Abul Saud. In 1965, New Najran was established. The new town was provided by the Government with educational, health and civil defense facilities.

Of particular note has been the large scale tree-planting program, creating parks in Najran itself and in the surrounding villages.

(c) www.saudinf.com

Tradition and modernity

The Najran town is not really of an arabic style but more an american style with a miles long main avenue.

Nevertheless, once you get to the heart of the ancient town, you may find it very traditional in style (construction and urban planning).

I was told that Najran looks like Yemeni village in terms of Layout and architecture

Better to have a car to move around.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Unique in Saudi Arabia
  • Cons:Long way to get there, limited accomodation
  • In a nutshell:Yemen without going to Yemen
  • Last visit to Najran: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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