Mysteries, mysteries and mysteries. Dilapidated and crumbling, The Tomb of Bibi Maryam (or Mariam) stands alone and lonely. No stream of visitors waiting to enter this historical site, no guides shepherding tourists and relating juicy tales and no caretaker to take note of the ruins. Yet, The Tomb of Bibi Maryam exudes a regal aura that not only adds to the mystery but lends it an aura of enigma.
Als0 called The Mausoleum of Lady Mariam, the dome dominated structure may have seen happy days but it’s in a state of ruins right now. As the tomb stands witness to the changing equations of the landscape and environment, the tomb is gradually fading into history. The ruinous body (30m and 25m deep with a long corridor) is fast eroding, and its stoned walls are fast melting into the sands of time.
Just like the mystery enveloping its once-majestic structure, legends abound The Tomb of Bibi Maryam. Some say that this structure is the mosque that the King of Hormuz, Bahauddin Ayez constructed in the 13th century for his wife Bibi Maryam. Yet others have reasons to believe that this structure was actually a mosque built by Bibi Maryam. A legend says that this was where Bibi was laid to rest and that’s the reason it’s called The Tomb of Bibi Maryam. Last but not the least, a legend, possibly to satisfy and pacify every one, says that the stone structure is the mosque built by Bibi Maryam and also her final resting place. Phew!
I have no idea about what the structure originally was. But what I do know for sure is that this structure was once an impressive and imposing construction. Given its historical connection and significance to Qalhat, it may have enjoyed a place of immense importance amongst the locals at one point of time.
Call it a shrine or a tomb. What saves it from becoming a forgotten chapter today is its location—the tomb stands royally near the highway that connects Muscat and Sur. What may have been a glorious chapter of history stands today waiting to be nurtured, nourished and pampered—back to its lost glory!