Jordan is an Arab nation located in the Middle East on the east bank of the Jordan River. The country is defined by nature reserves, ancient and iconic monuments, and seaside resorts. With numerous fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit, incredible food to sample and heaps of amazing culture, Jordan, by all means, deserves a place on every traveller’s bucket list. Here are some interesting facts about Jordan!
1. Jordan is home to the ancient city of Petra. Known as “The Rose City” it is famous for its unique architecture carved directly into the rock face. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
2. Jordanian culture has a particular practice that if someone invites you to their home for coffee, tea, or a meal, it is considered courteous if you decline the invitation multiple times before accepting. It’s actually an Arabic tradition to share food or drinks, as it’s a sign of generosity of the host. Even if you don’t want to drink or eat something, they will insist several times until you finally accept that, so your host would be happy taking this honour of being a generous host.
3. Much like India’s “Nazar lag jayegi”, Jordanian people are likely to believe that over-praising kids can actually bring bad luck and this act is generally avoided.
4. The Treasury at Petra was used in the final sequence of the film, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. Also, it’s appeared as main scene in one of science fiction films of “Transformers”, as Petra was one of ancient places on Earth where they had to hide the key of ultimate power to control Autobots and Decepticons.
5. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth (over 1300 feet below sea level). It’s a natural spa and its water is 10 times saltier than the normal sea water. Grab a handful of the mud that lines its banks, smear it on your body, take a dip, and once you’re done bobbing around the surface feeling as light as an astronaut, wash off the dry oil brine and you’ll find you’ve got way softer skin. All those minerals in the water are said to help with joint pain and skin irritations, too. And you might find yourself feeling very relaxed here, as bromine, a natural sedative, evaporates from the lake.
6. Alongside Egypt, Jordan is one of only two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel. In 1994, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, ending the 46-year official state of war.
7. Jordan was the first Arab country to allow female police officers. Way back in the 1970s, Jordan made the progressive move to allow females to train and serve as police officers. The number of female police officers in the Jordanian police force is still rising.
8. Middle Eastern Cuisine Stems from this country. One of the most popular foods in Jordan is hummus, which is known to be one of the locations to access the tastiest hummus. It is also one of the most popular destinations for food tourism in the Middle East.
9. Jordan is home to many biblical sites such as the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Mount Nebo where Moses died.
10. Jordan’s coastline along the Red Sea is the shortest of any country surrounding the sea. If not for the 26km long coastline, Jordan would be landlocked.
11. Jordan is where you’ll find the world’s oldest dam. The Jawa Dam dates back to the 4th millennium BC.
12. Unlike the rest of its Arab neighbours, Jordan can’t make money from oil – a negligible amount, maybe. What it does have are some pretty modest natural gas reserves.
How to reach?
The Queen Alia International Airport is connected with the major cities in Europe, Middle East, North America, North Africa and the Far East. There are a number of connecting flights from India. Jazeera Airways stops at Kuwait en route to Amman, while Saudia Airlines makes a stop at Riyadh. Emirates Airline makes a halt at Abu Dhabi International Airport in UAE, before going to Amman.
Mount Nebo: Mount Nebo is one of the most popular tourist spots with beautiful panoramic views of the city of Madaba as well as river Jordan. At the top of this sacred hill are the remains of an ancient church and a large enclosed area that features some amazing Mosaics still bursting with colour.
Petra: Petra is one of the great ancient cities of the world and it definitely lives up to the hype. It is one of the New Seven Wonders if the World. Cut out of a sheer rock face, the city can be accessed through a narrow gorge which directly leads into one of the most elaborate temple structures called Al Khazneh or the Treasury. When visiting Petra, you will walk through stunning canyons, explore ancient carved temples, and see the fantastic sites such as the Treasury, El Deir and the Great Temple.
Dead Sea: Dead Sea is one of the most interesting spots in Jordan! The lowest and most salty of the world’s ocean water bodies, it happens to be earth’s lowest elevation on land at 1,388 ft below sea level. The sea’s hyper-saline is the phenomenon that makes people float on its water without any equipment, and it’s mineral-rich mud is used for therapeutic treatments.
Wadi Rum: The splendid desert landscape of Wadi Rum with narrow gorges, towering cliffs and natural stone arches. Did you know the movie Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian was shot here? It is also known as “The Valley of the Moon” because of its otherworldly views. Tours are available to ride camels, sleep overnight in the desert, eat traditional Jordanian food, and traverse this region in open-backed jeeps.