Ghayqah: An ancient stopping point for pilgrims
سوق غيقة التاريخي: محطة هامة على طريق الحج القديم
07 JUN 2020
Source: Abeer Al-Amoudi
In the past, pilgrims had to make many stops on their way to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Many villages and towns along these pilgrims’ routes served the main purpose of looking after these travelers, at least until the rise of modern transportation means. The historic village of Ghayqah, east of Badr in Madinah region, was one such destination and acted as a stopping point between the two holy cities. It was famous for its large eponymous market that has slowly disappeared over time. However, the village’s historical monuments and wells remain to this day.
Ghayqah is an important agricultural and tourist area located in Badr, where an important Islamic battle occurred. Historians describe the village as being a vast plain surrounded by mountains on the southeast and northeast, through which the stream of Wadi Al-Arj flows. In addition, two rivers run through the village – one flows north from Wadi Al-Safra and the other near Al-Qosaybah.
Ghayqah has many ancient shops, buildings made from stone and mud with narrow alleys and a palace consisting of three suites, all of which are still intact.
In 1360 AH, the caravans' route was closed due to the proliferation of cars and abandonment of camels grazing by the village’s Ibn Hosani wells. The route is divided into two branches that both lead to Makkah.
Market and farms
Ghayqah was famous for its large eponymous market that featured many shops built from stone and shaded by palm groves. The remains of most shops are still standing despite the passage of time. Ghayqah’s natural beauty made it an attractive location for visitors looking to tour its green farmlands.
Ghayqah has many famous wells such as the aforementioned Ibn Hosani wells, two of which are located to the west and one to the east of Wadi Ghayqah where pilgrim convoys traveling from Makkah and Madinah pass through. These wells were important caravan stations for pilgrims on one of the four roads, the most popular of which was the Al-Sultani Road due to its abundance of water.