Raghba And The Rolling Sand Dunes
For a nice day trip out of Riyadh, the village of Raghbah North West of the city is worth a visit. The old mud village has some interesting buildings and architecture, an ancient mosque and a watch tower which is possible to climb up and admire the views down to the city and the magnificent mountains in the background.
This charming little mud village is located about 120 km outside of Riyadh and is easily accessible even with a small car. Nearby are date farms, red mountains and lovely rolling sand dunes that grow small bushes and other flora perfect for a picnic. In the rainy season small bodies of water gathers in the deep folds of the dunes.
Raghbah makes for a fun day trip from Riyadh and it’s really easy to find because of the prominent watch tower. The ruins of this town (built in 1669) are vast and the visitor can take hours to explore all it has to offer.Many of the houses can be entered and explored from inside. Some have interesting details and there is one building especially well preserved with amazing detail inside. There are also wells and ruins of castles and walls on the outskirts of the town. The town has historical significance, it plays a role in the Najd history and it was invaded and destroyed by the Turks in the 19th century.
There are two mosques and the larger one is called the Al-Tali’ mosque, which is, like all the other buildings here made out of mud and straw. It’s worth going inside the mosque and checking out the courtyard, small well for wudu (washing for prayer) and the amazing prayer hall which is lit by natural sunlight.
Nearby the town are beautiful sand dunes, reachable with a small car if you don’t venture out too far. With a 4×4 it’s worth driving further out for better views but in general this place is has few other people around.
Be careful when driving, there are sudden holes and there might be water in them too!
To get here from Riyadh, from exit 4 take the Qassim road (65W) until you get to the exit called Huraimila. Then continue until you see the sign for Raghbah. The drive takes about an hour. Drive until you come to the small village and you cannot miss the mud village on your left hand side because of the watch tower visible from the road. The village is not more than 200 meters from the main road. Turn left when you spot the tower and you can drive into the village from any place you see fit.
To get to the sand dunes just continue on the road that lead you to the mud village and the dunes are best on the right hand side.
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