Places to Visit in Mecca
Plan a Trip to Mecca to Discover Centuries-Old Culture
Also spelled as Makkah, the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia is birthplace of Prophet Muhammad. It is located 70 KM inland from Jeddah at height of 277 meters above sea level. Being birthplace of Muhammad, it is holiest city in the religion of Islam. A pilgrimage to it is known as Hajj, which is obligatory for all Muslims. It is home to Kaaba as well as being direction of Muslim prayer. It is not only limited to quench spiritual thirst of visitors, it has many places to visit. Below given are places that showcase the city in its proudest light:
- Grand Mosque
Also known as Masjid Al Haram, Grand Mosque is largest mosque in the world. It is a focal point for every Muslim performing hajj and can accommodate 1.2 million worshipers at a time. The mosque encompasses 356,800 sq meters and houses Zamzam well, which has holy water generated from God. It dates back to 7th century and its structure was expanded to accommodate pilgrims. There is black cube-shaped structure which is said to have been built by Ibrahim and his son, and is reflection of house in heaven.
- Museum of the Prophet
Hajj pilgrims visit this privately owned museum which is dedicated to study of Quran, Prophet’s life and traditions. Museum of Prophet features scientific examination of Mohammed’s life and there are displays of furniture, utensils and weaponry used by Prophet. Visitors with plenty of time can take in collection, particularly various versions of Quran. The museum has more than 1,500 items, along with hundreds of documents.
- Makkah Museum
Once the Al Zahir Palace, Makkah Museum encompasses 3435 sq meter and has collection ranging from images of Saudi Arabia’s archaeological discoveries to pre-Islamic history exhibits. An interesting presentation traces Islamic calligraphy origins by reference to samples of inscriptions and Arabic fonts discovered in archaeological digs. There’s hall on Islamic Art which has calligraphy displays.
- Al Haramain Museum
Visitors have to book appointment to visit this venue. It has various rooms including entrance hall, Hall of Grand Mosque, Hall of Kaaba, Hall of photography, Hall of Zamzam, Hall of manuscripts and Hall of Prophet’s Museum. All these rooms have different artifacts- entrance hall contains pictures, old and new glass models of Two Holy mosques; Hall of Grand Mosque has models of precious artifacts and inscriptions; Hall of Kaaba has models of Kiswa, et al.
- Cave of Thawr
Cave of Thawr is a small mountain with height of 761 meters and is place where Prophet hid for three days with Aby Bakr from Quraysh tribe. According to Islamic custom, an acacia tree grew rapidly in front of this cave, dove built nest and spider spun web over cove’s entrance to protect prophet and his companion from detection. All of this marked the cave as religious significance and is thus visited by tourists and pilgrims.
- Jabal Al Nour
Jabal Al Nour is a 640 meters tall mountain and is location of Hira cave -one of the most important pilgrimage sites. The cave is small, four arm’s length long by 1.75 arm’s length wide. The cave and mountain hold main significance for Muslims throughout the world. The Islamic prophet Muhammad has spent great deal of time in this cave mediating and had received his first revelation from the archangel Gabriel. The mountain is actually hill and reaching cave takes as much as two hours to hike even for fittest hiker.
- Al Hukair Funland
Al Hukair Funland is amusement park in Mecca. It has plenty of rides, ample snack bars for foodies and rest areas for adults. The rides of this park are suitable for children under 12. It is open from 9 AM to 1 PM and 5 PM to 11 PM. The admission for this amusement park is 5 USD.