Story Gautam Viswanathan
Ain Razat’s magic is that it is one of the Dhofar’s hidden gems, more frequented by families and friends in search of a secluded picnic spot, as opposed to some of the other locations, which are often visited by many tourists during the Khareef season, which is the peak time for visitors to come to Salalah and the rest of Oman’s southern governorate.
“A preferred picnic spot, Razat Spring is especially rich in vegetation and water, making it a preferred picnic spot throughout the year,” said Oman’s Ministry of Tourism. “The Dhofar Governorate has a collection of natural springs, some of which are perennial while others are seasonal and come into action during the monsoon season.
The one such spring that is popular with visitors to Salalah throughout the year is Ain Razat,” they added. “It is one of the main sources of water in Salalah today. Ain Razat continues its prominent role providing water for farms. The white and magenta water lilies add to the serenity of the ambience. Another attraction of Ain Razat is its cave which would have been very difficult to have an access to during the monsoon as the ground becomes slippery, but the Dhofar Municipality has built steps to the cave. Once there one can enjoy the view of Ain Razat’s surroundings.”
“The gardens of Ain Razat are just a short jaunt out of town, heading east towards Taqah,” says Peter J Ochs II, in his book, the Maverick Guide to Oman. “Seven kilometres after the Al Dahariz roundabout, another roundabout has signs posted to Ain Razat to the left. After another seven klicks is the entrance to the park at the base of the jebels. Inside, there are gardens, springs, shallow caves, walkways and barbecue pits. In other words, a great spot for a picnic and a stroll.
“It is also a great spot for people watching, if you happen to be a bird,” he adds. “The road to Ain Razat continues beyond and runs up into the jebels. After another 20 kilometres, you will reach the edge of the plateau and an intersection which runs the breadth of the plateau from Qairoon Hairitti on the main route to Salalah, to Madinat Al Haq, and Jibjat, two villages that live on the fringes of the Khareef.”
In his book Vagabond Years Allan Wilson Cates, another travel author, adds, “An oasis of water and beauty with its natural springs, rich plants and colourful desert flowers. We snapped some pictures of the clear stream with its floating lotus blossoms and easily visible fish.”