Petra – Why Do I Love Thee?

I will start with a poem about Petra – my origial composition. Though it lacks many of the attributes of a standard poem, still, it’s a poem. Lol.

Let me Count the Ways

I love thee beyond the depth and breadth of your Siq

To the curves and curls of your mountain’s peak

I love thee beyond the pink and rose people seek

To the light and dark of your wall’s unending blink

I love thee beyond your Treasury and Tombs and Temple’s peak

To your Shelters and Bedouins who are simple and meek

I love thee more as I think of thee everyday of the week

And that love for you Petra I will forever speak!

Beyond time – from the caravans to the Roman conqueror’s stick

Until forever you shall remain the Petra that the Nabataeans picked!

The Treasury, Petra

Imagine that! I made a kinda sonnet abut Petra! Oh well, I need to improve my writing skills to come up with a better poem. But in the mean time, please bear with my ka-kornihan.

A Bedouin playing am indigenous musical instrument
A Bedouin playing an indigenous musical instrument

Biblical Significance

Though the word Petra (or Raqmu as it is originally known) is not mentioned in the Bible, Arab tradition has it that Petra is the place where Moses stuck a rock with his staff and water came out.

Tombs curved out of the mountains, Petra
Tombs curved out of the mountains, Petra

What the Bible Say

Numbers 20:10-12

10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?”

11Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.

12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Why Visit Petra

Petra is one of the world’s most famous archeological sites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jordan’s most iconic and visited tourist destination, one of the 7 wonders of the world and listed as one of the places to visit before you die, among thousand other reasons!

Dwelling Cave, Petra
Dwelling Cave, Petra
A royal omb curved out of the mountain, Petra
A royal tomb curved out of the mountain, Petra
Entrance to the Siq, Petra
Entrance to the Siq, Petra

Petra is the capital of the Nabataeans. Nabataeans are Arabs who inhabited the northern part of Arabia and settled in Petra some 300 years BC. They are considered as one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world.  They have curved intricate tombs, temples and theaters out of the mountain sides.  They have a developed agricultural practice, rain water management and they were great traders as well.

A Royal Tomb, Petra
A Royal Tomb, Petra
The Siq, Petra
The Siq, Petra
The narrow part of the Siq, Petra
The narrow part of the Siq, Petra

I visited Petra early morning.  My tour group was first guests to enter the park that day.  Our Tour Guide made it sure that we arrive before 6AM as it will be very hot that day.

Picture perfect - the Treasury on the background
Picture perfect – the Treasury on the background

Ticket fee includes one way camel ride. So you have the option to use it going in or going out.  I did not ride a camel as I wanted to experience Petra by foot all the way.  It’s a pretty long walk actually but it’s all worth doing it.

Camels at petra
Camels at Petra

Although I only visited Petra in a day, I felt the nostalgia of this and in this once great Nabataean city.  It is a wonder how they perfectly curved the mountainsides to make a tomb – did they start from the top or the bottom? Study say from the top.  Where were their designs inspired? The designs were intricate, symmetrical and unarguably architectural – and they did this hundreds of years before Christ!  So they must really have an advanced civilization!

In front of the Trasury, Petra
In front of the Treasury, Petra
With a Bedouin. I bought several items from him! His name is Muhammad – and interestingly, all Bedouin-sellers in Petra are named Muhammad! How can that be!

Petra as part of a Holy Land itinerary is a breather.  I personally think Petra is one of highlights of the Jordan segment of any Holy Land Pilgrimage Tour. Though lacking in religious significance, it is abundant in culture and history.

At the Siq, Petra
At the Siq, Petra


  1. Put on your sun block. Lots of it
  2. Bring cap, hat or umbrella
  3. Wear light clothing.
  4. Wear rubber shoes or sandals.  Slipper is not advisable
  5. Bring water to drink
  6. Fully charged your phones and cameras
  7. Buy souvenirs from the Bedouins and bargain on the price. USD is widely accepted in Jordan even in Israel and Egypt.  Even small stores in the streets accept USD.  Be ready with small bills.
  8. Don’t make any liter. Don’t smoke and don’t go here drunk!
The more than 1 km road to Petra


Much has been written about Petra, but you have to see it to believe. No word is good enough to describe how this place looks like. A day or two, or three, or a year or a lifetime is not enough to appreciate Petra.  As I have posted in my IG, How Do I Love Thee? Let me Petra the ways!

At the Siq, Petra


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1 Comment

  1. I am trying to read all your posts related to Jordan as I’m heading there this October… I must say, it makes me more and more excited for my trip! 🙂


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