6 thoughts on “Falaj.

  1. Beautiful picture in every way, and very interesting to read the information above about the use of these water canals.

    1. Thank you very much Shimon,
      Pleased you found it of interest – I do have a habit of getting carried away with my explanations though. 🙂


      Thank you for taking the time to visit.

  2. Amazing shot.

    And it raises a lot of questions too. I am assuming it to be flume for irrigation or drinking water in a nearby settlement. Do you know if there a purpose to the lack of a lid? To keep it clean, or to keep out some kind of critter that are unwelcome, or to share with wildlife. Or did it not matter if a bit evaporated. Lots more questions too, but you get the idea.

    1. Aflāj are used for both irrigation and drinking water, they can be open as is this instance, or closed and often cover quite long distances under ground.
      Depending on the source, the water can be scalding hot or ice cold and I have visited at least one village that was totally abandoned because a geological shift stopped the water.
      There are very strong cultural traditions appertaining to both the usage and up-keep. No one knowingly pollutes them and in villages there is a guardian who is responsible for maintenance and timing of distribution (opening and closing diversionary channels) in some places they still use a form of ‘sun clock’ basically an upright stick with a measured set of lines on the ground that times the shadow.
      Falaj construction is a very skilled, costly and time consuming job (for example, the gradient must be such that water always flows without dead spots) this is precisely maintained for up to several miles, even underground.
      There seems to be a mixture of open or closed tops; all I can say is that the ones in the mountainous areas are mostly open (evaporation probably keeps the water cool?) In built-up areas there is probably more chance of dirt and general rubbish entering so they tend to be closed.
      They were probably introduced by the Persians and are found all over Oman and Yemen.

      Sorry about the length – you did hint at a request for more info 🙂


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