Cool summer getaway
Wadi Bani Khaild is located in Al Sharqiyah North and is 220 km away from Muscat Governorate. The wilayat is bordered by Bidiya from west, Sur from east, Al Kamil W’al Wafi from south and Dima W’attayeen from north.
Bani Khalid has over 7,000 residents across its mountainous and sandy villages. Visitors can reach Wadi Bani Khalid through a paved road, which is called Aqbat Wadi Bani Khalid.
The wadis are usually seasonal in the Sultanate. However, Wadi Bani Khalid stands out as it is an all season wadi.
The wilayat is famed for its geographical nature with its low temperatures in winter and moderate weather in summer. Distinguished from other wilayats for its awesome environment and climate, Bani Khalid farmers cultivate seasonal agricultural crops like red banana and mandarin orange.
The wilayat is rich with many customs and traditions, especially folk dances like al Razzha and poetry recitation Al ‘azi’. Al ‘azi’ is a poetry recital punctuated by sword and step movements and poetic exchanges between a singer poet and a choir. It may involve a large number of participants from one village or tribe, guided by the poet who recites improvised and memorized poems in Arabic. The performers must pay attention to his movements and recitation, and respond with appropriate replies and movements. The poems express pride of belonging and may eulogise the tribe, important people or historical moments.
The wilayat also stages camel races supervised by a special committee led by the wali.
It is marked by many archaeological landmarks such as Al Awainah mosque and castle, Al Adfain fortress that has been restored by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and many towers that have stood the test of time and weather. Jabbir bin Zaid mosque is another landmark that can seat over 1,000 worshippers.
The people of the wilayat are engaged in weaving, farming and livestock breeding. The cattle are auctioned during religious occasions at the wilayat’s local markets. Agricultural crops harvested by locals are sold at a weekly Monday souq.
Wadi Bani Khalid has many water pools and waterfalls that attract numerous tourists. Here you can see swimmers love jumping from the mountain cliffs into crystal clear waters. The area is blessed with date palms. Aflaj used for irrigation add more beauty to the place.
Another tourist destination in the village are its caves. Al Maqal cave that is counted as one of the famous but unique caves in the Sultanate. However, reaching this cave takes a lot of effort and visitors should be prepared for the adventure. Springs are also common in this wadi. The springs of Ain Hamouda, Ain al Sarooj and Ain Dawwa, among others are well-known. The village of Bida’h is a well-known tourist stop in the valley. Hawer tourist park situated at Bida’h village is the second destination frequently visited throughout the year for its waterfalls.