Kasbah Ait Ouzza, in Boumalne Dadès.
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THE ROUTE OF THE THOUSAND KASBAHS

Website Hotel Tomboctou

4th step: from Tinghir to Tinejdad through Gheris gorges

Much more interesting than the national road, this route goes through beautiful mountain scenery, several gorges and villages with their Kasbahs.

Map of Todra-Gheris

After the Todra Gorge, for 18 km the road runs inside a canyon. The valley opens again reaching Tamtatoucht. In this high mountain village we find nine Kasbahs built during the first half of the twentieth century and inhabited for the most part, or at least used to stock the crops.

Beyond Tamtatoucht, the road arrives to Ait Hani, where are also many Kasbahs distributed among the various villages that form this administrative center. In Ait Hani we leave at left the road going to Imilchil. Around this village, the Assif Melloul valley has also a nice soil architecture.

Worth stopping in Assoul, a village surrounded by apple orchards. There stand the Zaouia Sidi Bou Yacoub (31º 56,867’ N - 5º 12,456’ W), and a beautiful Kasbah. Then we go through the Imider gorges and there we see several picturesque villages; one of them, named Ifri, is placed in a rock cavity (32º 00,783' N - 05º 03,973' W).

Tamtatoucht.
Tamtatoucht
Zaouia Assoul.
Zaouia Assoul
Ifri (Imider).
Ifri (Imider)

In Amellaghou we go right to continue down the Gheris valley, passing near many Ksour, as Timezguit and Ighrem Amokrane, also known as Tighremt n'Ighrane.

Ksar Timezguit.
Ksar Timezguit
Ighrem Amokrane
Ighrem Amokrane

A track that starts in Tadighoust leads in two kilemeters to the Ksar Mo, nice for its location on top of a rock, but very neglected. At the foot of the hill is one of the most active pottery centers in this region.

Pottery center of Mo. Potter in Mo.

Beyond appears the curious Ksar Magamane (31º 42,726’ N - 4º 58,638’ W), that includes a barn of the Sultan dated in the eighteenth century. Unfortunately, it is all in ruins.

And the last Ksar we find in this route, before Goulmima, is Ait Yahia Ou Othmane (31º 42,043' N - 4º 58,283' W), one of the largest in the region and still largely inhabited. Its two monumental entrances are magnificent and the mosque has a high adobe minaret.

Ksar Ait Yahia
Ksar Ait Yahia gate

Goulmima is a modern town born around the very important Ksar Igoulmimen (31º 41,487' N - 4º 56,527' W); important for its size, for its antiquity, for the tall towers that protect its gate and for its former trade activity, including a great Jewish quarter.

Ksar Igoulmimen.

Nevertheless, in 2010 this Ksar has been restored with very dubious criteria; the beautiful mosque has been thrown down to build a new one with cement, the famous gate towers have been rebuilt with a concrete structure, losing its former aesthetic value, and even the secondary gate giving access to the Ksar through the old Jewish quarter lost its excellent decor.


Tinejdad is only twenty kilometers away from Goulmima. The road runs through a desert country in which is no construction of any kind and the small palm-groves that we can see in the distance have not examples of traditional architecture noteworthy.

In Tinejdad:

GUESTHOUSE EL KHORBAT

Guesthouse El Khorbat.

www.elkhorbat.com


The Ferkla oasis (Tinejdad)

Mapa of Ferkla (Tinejdad)

The most interesting site in the Ferkla oasis is the Ksar El Khorbat Oujdid (31º 29,693' N - 5º 05,206' W), build in the middle nineteenth century and that is being restored by a local association with the help from international institutions and private investors.

This Ksar was the political capital of the Ait Mergad tribe until the 1930's and has a very special artistic value because of the structure of its covered streets, absolutely rectangular, with shafts of light at intersections.

The association established its premises inside the Ksar, conducting in them various activities that tend to boost economic and cultural life of its inhabitants: female crafts, preschool courses, literacy courses for women, art exhibitions...

Ksar El Khorbat, Tinejdad

Furthermore, the association is carrying out numerous projects to safeguard the Ksar itself and its environment, as the dredging of the canal, a network of sanitation, paving the dark alleys and revoking the wall.

More information about this project: www.elkhorbat.com/en.association.htm

El Khorbat wall
El Khorbat wall
El Khorbat gate
El Khorbat gate
Cultural activity inside the Ksar El Khorbat.
Cultural activity inside the Ksar
Ksar El Khorbat
Roofs of the houses

Inside the Ksar El Khorbat Oujdid, the Oasis Museum includes twenty halls where the visitor discover the different facets of the traditional life in the region, explained by antiques, photos, maps, drawings, texts and models.

Oasis Museum in Ksar El Khorbat.

Fee: 20 DH.
Children to 12: free.

Website: www.elkhorbat.com/en.museum.htm

Next to El Khorbat Oujdid stands another Ksar named El Khorbat Akedim, that may be built in the fifteenth century and has a confusing structure, as belongs to its antiquity. Its conservation state is quite bad. The association made some works for the restoration of its monumental gate and its wall is still hard, but inside a lot of houses are in ruins and other has been substituted by new concrete constructions that break the set aesthetics.

Ksar El Khorbat Akedim
El Khorbat Akedim

The Ksar Asrir (31º 30,570' N - 5º 04,422’ W) was the former trade capital of the oasis and it was divided in seven quarters separated by walls; some of them were destroyed by inundations, but other are still inhabited. In one of them there is a mosque with a tall earth minaret; it may be founded in the Almoravit period.

Ksar Ait Maamer.
Ait Maamer Jdid gate

Also Sat worth a visit. It is composed by three Ksour, one of them with an old Jewish quarter. On the other hand, the Ksar Ait Assem has a strong wall surrounded by a moat.
Further, the Ksar Talalt has a nice decoration in its gate and the Zaouia Sidi l'Houari (31º 31,698’ N - 5º 01,187’ W) a tall minaret. This Sufi institution is still very active, with a fantastic Moussem a week after the Miloud. Another Ksar curious for its gate ornamentation is Ait Maamer Jdid, visible from the Goulmima road. After this Ksar, the Todra river takes the name of Oued Ferkla.

Ksar Asrir.
Asrir
Zaouia Sidi l'Houari.
Zaouia Sidi l'Houari

SEE IMAGES OF THE SIDI L'HOUARI MOUSSEM 2007


Excursions around Tinejdad

Map of Aghbalou n'Kerdous.

Among the interesting excursions to make around Tinejdad, we will mention the Ksar Taghia, accessible by a paved road from the Tinejdad town center, and the new road to Aghbalou n'Kerdous. This one passes through many mountain oasis with their Ksour, as Taghia n'Ifegh and Igoudamène.

Ksar Igoudamène
The Ksar Igoudamène


Contact with the author:
E-mail of Roger Mimó.

© Roger Mimó

Step 3. Steps list Step 5.

Biografía de Roger Mimó What is a Kasbah? To stay in a Kasbah. Comprarse una kasba. Libros de Roger Mimó.
Circuitos. Montañas de Marruecos. Inventaire des kasbahs Tinghir and the Todra valley El viaje de Alí Bey.