The Dakhla Oasis lies to the northwest of Kharga and is also about 310 km to the southeast of Farafra. This oasis consists of 14 settlements and has a population of about 70,000 people. Dakhla is the farthest oasis out of
Cairo and is considered one of
Egypt's most beautiful oases.
Dakhla sits in a depression surrounded by pink cliffs. There are about 30,000 acres of cultivated land. Most of its 70,000 or so residents are farmers who constantly fight the battle of the dunes that threaten their fields and orchards. The fields and gardens are filled mostly with mulberry trees, date palms, figs and other citrus fruits.
Dakhla has retained most of its culture and charm even though it has increased in size by about double and government funding and technical training has revitalized the economy.
Dakhla is the only place in
Egypt where new water wheels which are driven by buffaloes are constructed. They are made of palm timber and clay jars and are called sakiyas.
The oasis is connected to Kharga by a 120 mile (200 km) road that has buses running daily.
Dakhla Oasis has been populated for over 10,000 years. The climate of Dakhla was similar to that of the African savanna.
Buffalo, elephants, rhinos, zebras, ostriches, and hartebeests wandered around the shores of a huge lake, on whose southern bank primitive man had settled to herd his goats and cattle. Remains of the evidence to this nourishing life are still found.
Dakhla Oasis is a collection of fourteen different settlements, dominated on its northern horizon by a wall of rose-colored rock. Fertile cultivated areas growing rice, peanuts and fruit are dotted between sand dunes along the roads from Farafra and Kharga in this area of outstanding natural beauty.
Its name is attributed to Mut the consort of god Amoun. It is an ancient city that dates back to Pharaonic period. Ancient motifs represent the famous water scene dating from the 22nd dynasty BC.
One of Dakhla villages dates back to the Turkish Mameluk period its houses and mosques were built in the Islamic style wit engraved wooden plates.
Rashda is often omitted from the circuit of Dakhla Oasis, but it is all the same a nice little village. Especially the minaret of the Friday Mosque (left) is notable, resembling a lighthouse. Much is unfortunately in ruins, but it must have been a pretty place not too many years ago
Bir El Gabal:
Consideredto be one of the most beautiful springs in all the
Why spend a fortune going to
Mecca, if not telling others about the adventure? People of Balat are just as vain as anyone else.
Balat has its moments. Many of its quarters appear just as they must have done centuries ago. Walls and street are well-kept, colors often bright, doors worn down yet more beautiful than any new door can be. Many walls are illustrated, telling passers-by about the owner’s trip to
Mecca for the pilgrimage.
Al Kasr Islamic Village
Located about 35 km north Dakhla, it is one of the Islamic landmarks in the
Valley, as its buildings reflect the Islamic architectural Style. It contains the remains of a mosque from the first century Higri, with a wooden minaret dating from the Ayoubi period. It has a three-storey wooden minaret, 21 meters high, and wooden thresholds decorated with verses from the Quran at the entrance.
It was so called because of its colorful decorations and its bright colors. Situated 35 km from Dakhla, they are the remains of a Roman necropolis. The first tomb built for
Ba-di-Ozir, the ruler of the area in the first century AD, the second for the ruler’s assistant and his wife. The tomb u important as it reveals the secrets of ancient astronomy.