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Petra – Jordan

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Have you ever seen a rose on a mountain standing the tests of time and nature? Well, this can be a possible definition of Petra which is a magnificent ancient city in the province of Ma’an lying on the southern side of Jordan. This city is the creation of Nabataeans who built it as their capital in about 312 BCE by cutting the pink coloured rock on the slope of Mount Hor.

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It is because of the colour of the rock that this important cultural and historic relic of Jordan is equated with the flower rose. It is also a UNESCO National Heritage Site which shows extraordinary water managing and architectural skill of the industrious Arabian race called the Nabataeans. For them, Petra was an important location which connected the eastern countries of China and India with the Western parts like Egypt, Rome, and Greece for products like silk and spices amongst other things. The existence of Petra in brought to the western world by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

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As per the archaeological studies the Nabataean race was prompt to make use of the water from the flash floods which happened frequently in Petra. Their water managing means included dams, cisterns, and other such means which helped the city to flourish despite of the arid weather of the region and survive through the period of drought as well. The next point of wonder in the forgotten city of Petra is its architecture which has been done by carving the mammoth pink rocks in to unbelievably artistic and huge structures.

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While some parts of the city have been formed due to natural phenomenon others are results of tremendous artistic feat. For instance, the current entrance of Petra which is through a narrow and steep gorge called Siq which has been formed due to the splitting of the sandstone and therefore now has high cliffs on either sides of it. At the end of this alley is a significant structure of Petra which has been the treasury of Petra and is known as Al-Khazneh. It has a size of 43 metres height and 30 metres width and by its sheer size and the carvings which adorn it; the structure seems to be looking down at everything which is around it. Other such structures which are worth mentioning include the amphitheatre, the tombs made from rock cuttings, the numerous temples, streets, and altars of sacrifice which strewn all across the city of Petra each enhancing the mystery of the place.

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In the current times, Petra is an important tourist attraction of Jordan. Most tourists are known to visit Petra during early to late mornings or during afternoons so as to get good photographs. Though, within the site vehicles are not allowed but, horse carts are there for those people who find it difficult to walk through. Camels and donkeys are also allowed inside to take a tour of the site. It can be reached by bus, car, or taxi from Amman.

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