Makkah is another name for the Holy City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia and although there are many attractions to be seen there, you should perhaps know that entry to the city is forbidden for non Muslims. Documentation will be asked for on entry to the city. Even if you are a Muslim you will need written documentation proving that you are. This documentation should be available from you Mosque who will know the exact requirements needed to visit the Holy City.
During the period of the Muslim’s holy pilgrimage to Mecca, the city receives some 3,000,000 visitors but even at other times the Holy City is a great tourist attraction for Muslims. If you are not on the set trail for the pilgrimage, here are perhaps 10 of the top places to visit.
Jabal Al Noor
Literally translated means Mountain of Light, This is a site that is of great importance to Muslims. It is at the top of this mountain where the Her’aa Grotto is located. Perhaps surprisingly a visit to this site is not part of the Hajj ritual as it certainly is of major Muslim significance. It was here that Muhammad is said to have had the Quran revealed to him.
This bridge was first built in 1963 but has under gone continuous expansion. This is an imprecise pedestrian bridge over which the millions of Muslims cross during their pilgrimage.
Well of Zamzam
This well is included as a site to be visited during one of the Muslim pilgrimages. The well is said to have miraculously appeared when Ishmael, son of Ibrahim was thirsty. Today the waters from the well are said to not just cure thirst but also hunger and illness.
Jabl e Abu Qubais
This mountain is the site where one of the Muslim’s miracles took place. It is said to be here where the prophet halved the moon by pointing his finger at it.
Maktab Al Mecca Tul Mukarrama
This is a public library situated near to the Marva Gate and close to Al Haram Mosque. The library is said to have been built on the site of the house in which the Prophet Muhammad was born.
This is a fairly new attraction, recently built by the Saudi Government to securely retain the old heritage of both Islam and the Holy City.
Abraj Al Bait
This is the second tallest man made construction in the world. The building houses a hotel and services complex, a library and a lunar observation center. It also houses the world’s four largest clock faces each of which is 141 feet in diameter.
Mina Tent City
Near to Makkah, this is a sight that has to be witnessed to be believed. Used by pilgrims during the pilgrimage this city has 100,000 tents but don’t under estimate them, they are all Teflon coated and have air conditioning.
Muslims believe that this rock fell to earth at the time of Adam and Eve and that although it was originally white, it turned black by absorbing all the sins of man.
Masjid Al Haram
This is the largest Mosque in the world and during the pilgrimage can house 4,000,000 people but out side of that time, it still holds 1,000,000 worshippers.