MAKKAH: Taif is one of the most beautiful and prominent tourist cities in the Kingdom, frequented by pilgrims due to its pleasant weather and rich cultural and historical sites, roses, and agricultural produce.
Less than an hour from Makkah, Taif is located at an elevation of 1,879 meters in the Hijazi Mountains, which are part of the Sarat Mountains.
Latifa Al-Adwani, head of the Taif History Center, said: “Taif is the capital of beauty and creativity at all levels. It has been the cultural incubator and Saudi tourist capital for decades, as well as a prominent destination for pilgrims.”
Al-Adwani said that visitors usually visited historical places such as Al-Abbas Mosque, Al-Madhoun Mosque, Al-Hadi Mosque, Addas Mosque, and Al-Kou’ Mosque and Shubra Palace Museum.
They also visited the popular Al-Balad market, rose factories, and fruit orchards and farms.
“Taif is considered the Kingdom’s first resort, the best of them, and the city of roses,” said Mohammed Al-Adwani, who has always been interested in the history of Taif.
“Taif has many treasures, according to the Prophet’s biography and Arabic poetry, which travelers mentioned in past and modern times,” he said.
“It has been the first resort for Makkah’s residents during the pre-Islamic and Islamic eras, and still is. Taif is known to be Makkah’s orchard as more than 16 paths connect both cities.
“During the pre-Islamic period, Quraish had orchards in Taif, the most famous of which was the orchard of the sons of Rabia, Utbah and Shaybah, and their servant Addas, who still has a mosque named after him to date,” he said.
“There are also the great orchards of Amr ibn Al-Aas in Al-Waht and Al-Wahit, in addition to the Okaz market joining tribes from everywhere.”
Mohammed Al-Adwani believes that pilgrims should visit historical sites with tour guides to gain accurate and reliable information.
Mohammed Baslamah, an Indonesian tourist, said that the historical tour from Makkah to Taif was beautiful. “We have been provided with diverse and comprehensive information about Taif, and our tour guide, Abeer Fakira, introduced us to the most prominent tourist and historical monuments in Taif, in addition to its traditional dishes and clothes.”
Another Indonesian tourist, Abdul Karim Al-Andalusi, explained that “the proximity of Taif to Makkah has given it several advantages. I got acquainted with the historical, heritage and civilization aspects of Taif. A group of specialists passionately introduced us to the rapid development the city has witnessed as well as the historical link between Makkah and Taif. We had a wonderful tour.”
A writer specializing in the history of Taif, Khaled Al-Hamidi, explained that “Taif was and still is linked to Makkah in a unique and distinct way, compared to any other city. Furthermore, it was the Prophet’s destination when he despaired (of) the polytheists in Makkah.
“Al-Abbas Mosque is one of the most prominent historical sites, as many pilgrims make sure to visit it after performing their rituals, given that it was historically associated with the companion and nephew of the Prophet, Abdullah bin Al-Abbas,” he said.
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