After Petra, Al Beidha or Little Petra is the next most important site for the casual visitor in Wadi Musa. This site is only a few kilometers from Petra and easily accessible by taxi or rented car. It is literally hidden away in the center of a mountain. Al Beidha is older than Petra and most lilkely the original site where the Nabataeans buried their dead. Later, as the site grew in importance, the burials moved to the Petra valley. Al Beidha is mentioned many times in early Islamic histories as being close to the Holy City of Islam, and the original Ka’ba.


El Beidha is hidden in this rocky area.

El Beidha is hidden in this rocky area.


The entrance to Al Beidha contains a small siq (crack in the rock) through which visitors must pass.

The entrance to Al Beidha contains a small siq (crack in the rock) through which visitors must pass.


This miniature version of Petra contains a number of notable tombs. The one on the left stands near the entrance to Little Petra, and demonstrates how well preserved some of these monuments are. This tomb had a door, and internal shelving to hold the dead.

This miniature version of Petra contains a number of notable tombs. The one on the left stands near the entrance to Little Petra, and demonstrates how well preserved some of these monuments are. This tomb had a door, and internal shelving to hold the dead.


Farther inside is a magnificent monument high on the side of the cliff. 	  Al Beidha Dinning Room

Farther inside is a magnificent monument high on the side of the cliff. Al Beidha Dinning Room


A small dining hall or meeting hall (majlis) nearer the front entrance to Al Beidha. Yes, those are benches or seats inside.

A small dining hall or meeting hall (majlis) nearer the front entrance to Al Beidha. Yes, those are benches or seats inside.


Notice the clear cut the tops of these columns.

Notice the clear cut the tops of these columns.


A street of dining halls. Most of the facades have been washed away by floods but the halls still remain.

A street of dining halls. Most of the facades have been washed away by floods but the halls still remain.


You can even wash your hands in the basin before and after you eat.

You can even wash your hands in the basin before and after you eat.


he smaller sinks were usually obtained running water from larger water cisterns located farther up the mountains, as well as one or two large ones located to the left of the dining hall.

he smaller sinks were usually obtained running water from larger water cisterns located farther up the mountains, as well as one or two large ones located to the left of the dining hall.


Note that the various dining halls had water cisterns or sinks on the right side.

Note that the various dining halls had water cisterns or sinks on the right side.


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There are a number of small beytel around Little Petra. These were ancient representations of gods.


Ancient painted plaster on the ceiling of one of the caves. (Damaged by Bedouin fires, and 2000 years of weather)  Special thanks to Kezsmarki Agnes who sent us this picture. Used with permission.

Ancient painted plaster on the ceiling of one of the caves. (Damaged by Bedouin fires, and 2000 years of weather) Special thanks to Kezsmarki Agnes who sent us this picture. Used with permission.


Niches for god idols or blocks.

Niches for god idols or blocks.


A fountain with water draining down to a cistern at street level below.

A fountain with water draining down to a cistern at street level below.


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At the rear of Little Petra is a set of stairs leading up to the sky above. If you have time, climb the stairway at the back of Al Beidha and explore the small boxed canyon in the rear. It is one of the most hidden and secluded places around Petra and would have made a great hideaway.

At the rear of Little Petra is a set of stairs leading up to the sky above. If you have time, climb the stairway at the back of Al Beidha and explore the small boxed canyon in the rear. It is one of the most hidden and secluded places around Petra and would have made a great hideaway.


A dam across part of Hidden Canyon. At one time there was a large water cistern here. This would have been a wonderful place to stay hidden for a long time.

A dam across part of Hidden Canyon. At one time there was a large water cistern here. This would have been a wonderful place to stay hidden for a long time.


A cave high on the hill. Amazingly enough, when we started to climb up to it we discovered ancient stairs. What else would you expect in Little Petra?

A cave high on the hill. Amazingly enough, when we started to climb up to it we discovered ancient stairs. What else would you expect in Little Petra?


To the south of Al Beidha mountain is a pre-pottery Neolithic settlement.


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