Harrah Rahat to Become Eco-Tourism Center
Yousuf Mohammad, Arab News
Harrah Rahat on the 916-meter high Jabal Lamsa plateau near Madinah is a volcano crate with an enormous surrounding licorice-black lava field.
“Harrah Rahat is one of the most spectacular natural sites in the Kingdom,” said Yusuf Al-Mozaini, head of the tourism department in Madinah. “In terms of volcanic studies the site is immensely significant.”
The tourism department, local municipality and the Saudi Geological Survey are currently working to preserve the natural features of the Harrah, Al-Mozaini told Arab News.
The volcano first erupted in this part of Arabia two million years ago and remained active until 1256 AD when it last erupted. Then, the fiery eruptions lasted nearly two months and spewed lava and ash from a massive fissure southeast of Madinah, throwing up six cones of cinders. The lava flowed a distance of 23 km from the crater.
According to ancient historians, the depth of the lava flow was a long spear’s length, around three meters and it flowed like a red-blue boiling river, carrying in its way gravels, stones and trees, with a noise-like thunder.
The volcanic cinders have consumer uses as well. Glowing a pleasant red at 1000 degrees Centigrade, volcanic cinders are ideal for lining gas barbecues. As firewood becomes scarcer in the region, kebab restaurants and grills increasingly turn to volcanic stone placed over gas fires.
A visitor to the top of the mountain can view the city of Madinah in its full glory sprawling around the Prophet’s Mosque.