Tanuf Ruins and the tragedy
Tanuf is a village located nearly half-way between two of the largest towns in Al Dakhiliya region of Oman: Nizwa and Bahla. It is likely most famous for the Tanuf drinking water brand, bottled in a manufacturing plant nearby from the fresh water source at Wadi Tanuf, but it is equally well-known for the historical ruins of the village, Tanuf Ruins (أطـلال تـنـوف).
Wadi Tanuf can be discovered a quick drive from Nizwa, cutting thru the eye-catching landscape. In the valley of Jabal al Akhdar, the decaying ruins of Old Tanuf, near to the long and wide wadi of the same name, is difficult to miss in the trip.
Tanf ruins is a spot you should visit if you are traveling through Al Dakhiliya in Oman, because of its wonderful, virtually romantic mood is providing against the backdrop of Al Hajar mountains, and the sense of astonishment it encourages for visitors exploring the remnants of these ruins. The place will be loved for its awesome opportunities for taking many photos.
The village was once an crucial part of the region – the first signs of human existence here date back to the pre-Islamic period. Today, ruining mud-brick houses are an indication of its dramatic history.
The ruins of the old village of Tanuf are a curious memorial to the 1957 to 1959 bombings of rebel villages on Jebel al Akhdar, the Green Mountains. The so called ‘Immamate Rebellion’ was the popular opposition to the successful, British-backed effort for the Sultan of Muscat to increase his control as part of becoming the Sultan of Oman. In the final years of the battle as the Sultan nearly lost much of what is today Oman outside of the city of Muscat, the Royal Air Force bombed a number of villages. It is still unknown how many innocent Omanis were killed in the bombings. The majority of the bombings were to destroy irrigation systems but the bombings at Tanuf were unmistakably directed at civilians.
The house ruins in the area shows the traditional Arab architecture that is being obliterated in the name of modernization and economic expansion. But the remains of Tanuf reminds of old ways of constructing traditional Arab villages, that were really healthy and eco friendly forms of settlement, that are bombarded.
A little bit of history on Tanuf ruins, as we collected from one of of its old residents. These ruins happened to be a completely functional village, lived on by the current residents of Tanuf village all the way until the 1950s. Life was more simple in those days without a lot of of the current luxuries we are currently accustomed to, as was the situation to the majority parts of Oman prior to the renaissance. However, the village was destroyed and abandoned during the Jabal Akhdar Wars in the 1950s, and the only thing leftover are the ruins you see today.
Bombs from the British Air Force damaged Tanuf in the mid 1950s, during a historical uprising smashed by the Sultan of Muscat. The resident villagers escaped to the nearby mountain for safety, leaving their homes and lives.
If you are going to Al Dakhiliyah region for whatever reason, we strongly recommend you stop over for a stroll through Tanuf Ruins! You will not be disappointed!
The ruins are located just behind a limitless valley of narrow and sloping rocks. During the period of February – March, the mild winter weather offers great conditions to explore the local mountains, wadis and old places, such as Tanuf village.
How to get to Tanuf ruins:
Tanuf village is almost half-way between Nizwa and Bahla, and once you take the road into the village you will not miss Tanuf ruins right at the edge of the mountain range and near the entrance of the wadi.