The Mystical Sufi Tombs Of Old Dongola

The Kingdom of Dongola, which is also known as Makuria, is a lost city that is located in modern day Sudan. It is one of a number of smaller Nubian kingdoms, which emerged after the collapse of the Kingdom of Kush during 4th century BC. It’s capital was the city of Old Dongola, located on the east bank of the Nile. The modern city of Dongola is situated 80 km downstream on the opposite side of the bank.

Old Dongola

Old Dongola

Old Dongola was originally a fortress, which was built during 5th century AD. It is located on a spur, and cut off from the rest of the plateau to the east by a deeply incised valley. Steep falls protected the northern and southern sides of the fortress, whilst the Nile ran along its western side. From this vantage point, the fortress dominated the area, and allowed it to control movement, be it of people or of trade. It did not take long for people to settle in Old Dongola, and the fortress developed quickly into a town.

Sufi Saints Tombs in Old Dongola.

Sufi Saints Tombs in Old Dongola.

One of the most interesting attractions in Old Dongola, is the cemetery containing several massive mud brick, conical-shaped, pyramid-like Sufi saints tombs. According to the African Architectural Genius Facebook page, this kind of architecture is traditional in Cameroon and Sudan. Unfortunatetly, not much is known about these tombs, but they are absolutely marvellous.

Sufi Saints Tombs in Old Dongola.

Sufi Saints Tombs in Old Dongola.

SIDE NOTE: Sufism is the mystical element of Islam, which was introduced to Sudan in the sixteenth century, by Abd al Qadir al Jilani. Sufism followers seek to find divine truth and love through direct encounters with God.

Source: Ancient Origins


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