IS PETRA BY NIGHT WORTH IT? ONE OF THE 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD!

It was pitch dark! Me and my co travelers walked towards the Al Khazneh Treasury guided by the thousands of lamps lit in the pathway. I had yet not seen Petra in the daylight so it was even more exciting for me to see a Petra, veiled by darkness.  The huge boulders and mountains seemed like monsters who would swallow you alive at the slightest of provocation. I imagined the life in 4th century B.C. when it became the capital of the Nabataeans. I imagined the caravans of camels which plied on these ‘roads’, bereft of fancy lamps. I imagined the sounds and smells of those times. I imagined what would it be like to walk the uneven path in the daylight the next day? The lamps gave a magical touch to the sometimes narrow, sometimes broad siq (passage). The natural gorges or siq lend a mysterious aura to the place.

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When the siq finally ended at the treasury, the most recognizable feature of Petra, it made for an awe inspiring sight! Hundreds of lamps were lit in front of the treasury. The collective glow from the lamps bathed the treasury in yellow. We were made to sit on the mats on ground.  Hot Jordanian tea warmed our palms as we sit with bated breath anticipating the next event.

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Suddenly for me the novelty of the moment wore off. I decided to lie down on the mat for few minutes admiring the dark sky and the gorgeous head of the Treasury. The whispers of other tourists filled my ear. In the crowd, I found my ‘me time’. A soft feathery touch on my arm made me jolt out of my stupor. A cat had decided to make friends with me. I am not too fond of cats and have hardly touched any cats. But I liked the touch, soft as a fur ball, lighter than air, the cat won’t leave me. For me that moment was even more precious than viewing Petra by the night.

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As soon as everybody settled on the mat, a man started playing Arabic music from behind a rock. He would do that for few minutes, sending the crowd in deep meditative silence. Then he emerged dramatically and continued playing the tunes, this time negotiating the narrow passages between the lamps. The act lasted for few more minutes and ended with the man narrating in imperfect English. It was followed by selfie sessions.

During the night, visitors are not allowed to move beyond this point. I spent some more time and decided to leave alone for my hotel, walking distance from Treasury. It was eerie and at times scary to walk in those dark pathways alone. I started to replay the ‘Petra by Night’ in my mind to distract myself from imagining the monsters who would eat me alive.

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IS PETRA BY NIGHT WORTH IT?

It is no doubt that Petra By Night is a touristy frill. However, it might appeal to some and might not appeal to others. I would suggest if you have the money and time, do give a chance to Petra by Night. In case you have to choose (due to money or time issues) between Petra by Night and Petra in Day, go for the latter. Daylight gives you a better understanding of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, you can walk to the famous monastery and explore other tombs and ruins in the day time. Personally, I preferred Petra in daytime but if I had not seen Petra by night, it would have bothered me for a long time.

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NOTE: I was invited by Jordan Tourism Board to Jordan on a Press Trip

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26 thoughts on “IS PETRA BY NIGHT WORTH IT? ONE OF THE 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD!

  1. Well, Petra by day is something that’s on my ‘must see’ list; it never occurred to me to think what it might be like at night. I can see that it is definitely worth a look from your amazing photos, but from what you’re saying a day time visit might be the more rewarding of the two if you only have time to do one of them. It seems tourists swarm the site no matter what time of day it is you go; guess that’s something we all have to deal with when visiting wonders in this day and age…

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  2. I’ve never seen photos of Petra at night. Is it really lit with multi-colored lights? Like blue and purple? I prefer it in the warm yellowish glow of all the small lights on the ground. It’s interesting to note that you would recommend seeing it by day if that’s someone’s only option, but it would be really neat to see it at night as well.

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  5. To be honest I had not heard of Petra, but the way you detailed the article made me feel relal close. You clearly wrote with a lot of passion. Nice post.

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  6. Petra looks as stunning by the night as it does in the day. Those lights are so beautiful. Equally beautiful is the story behind them. I wish I could spend a similar night here in front of the treasury

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  7. I had never thought to go here at night! Petra has been so high on my list of places to go for such a long time. Your photos make me realise I need to see it both day and night.

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  8. I’ve wanted to go to Petra ever since seeing Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, haha. But I would definitely want to see it by daylight, you can actually explore then! The lamps look pretty, but if you’re just sitting there… kinda feels a waste.

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