‘Petra by night’ is actually a name given to the night tour of Petra siq. What’s so special about the night tour? Well the answer is simple. When you visit some place during the day, you mostly get to see its natural form but when you visit the same place at night, you either see nothing or you see its illuminated version. That’s exactly what petra by night tour is. The illuminated petra.
There are no electric lights in the whole of siq but at night they lit up thousands of candles outside the main petra gate and also to show the path right from the entrance till main tower which may be a walk of 2 kms (if I am not wrong).
To make it more attractive, they have some coloured light effects on the tower gate with some traditional music. Even though the lit candles make the place very attractive but it’s nothing in front of the natural beauty of the place. The huge houses/palaces carved into stone cliffs, the grand stairs, enormous pillars, the whole city of Petra is a giant metropolis of tombs, an overwhelming view and very rightly declared as UNESCO world heritage (since 1985). The Petra architecture is referred as Nabatean architecture. Most of the styles are a mix of Mesopotamian and Greek influence.
Petra is assumed to be built 2000 years ago (based on the uniqueness of the carving of the stones) and is considered to be destroyed by a devastating earthquake. However, as per some recent claims, mostly by Dr. Thomas R. Paradise, Petra actually survived the devastating earthquake but was destroyed by a great flood in the ninth century.
To add to the confusion, there are different claims on the time of the earthquake as well. While many claims it was the ninth hour of May 19, AD 363, some other say it was 9th July AD 551.
Also named as Rose red city due to the colour of the petra stones, petra was rediscovered by the Swiss explorer John Ludwig Burkhardt in 1812.
It is so shocking to know that this huge city was lost for thousands of years. What happened to the people there, when did they leave the city? Petra is still a mystery to us. Still there are so many unanswered questions about the place and all this can be only seen and admired during the day. Petra night tour is an experience but the day visit make you live the place and trust me you don’t have to be a history lover for that, you just have to be an admirer and may be a thinker like me. Living in the future city, I get extremely fascinated by such historical places which remind me we all will be history one day.
So what have you built to be remembered? Or would you rather simply be forgotten?