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A Travel Guide to Al Dakhla Oasis: Villages

 

Bashendi village
In Bashendi village you will find one of the most colorful and well-kept old towns in Dakhla; there are mud-brick houses in many different colors and narrow lanes set in a luscious oasis. But Bashendi is more; it has a selection of interesting and old sights. The most important is a sanctuary of the holy Muslim man called Pasha Hindi, who as his name indicates may have been of Indian origin. It is after him that the village has been named. Next to the sanctuary are some empty sarcophagi and a Roman-period tomb-temple, called Tomb of Kitnes. Inside the man Kitnes is depicted as meeting the desert gods Min, Seth and Shu.

Balat Village
Many of this city’s 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. Balat has unlike several other villages of Dakhla a living old town, and what is even better, is that the mosque has not yet been replaced with a Cairo-designed pre-fab mosque. Look inside, and you will see delightfully thick columns.

Qalamoun village
Qalamoun is a quick ride out of Mut and much of its old quarters are still inhabited, and well-kept. It is clearly one of Dakhla's nicest settlements. Coming to Qalamoun you will pass luscious lakes while the hilltop village grows in front of you. Upon leaving the village, the village is immediately replaced by golden sand dunes.

Rashda Village
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.

 
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