Sada lies in the north of Yemen, boarding Saudia Arabia 243km From Sanaa.
Sada has a variety of relief: high mountains to the north and west such as Khawlan, Baqim and Razih mountains, 2,800m above sea-level, which are linked to the Jumaaeh mountain chain. In Razeh mountain range. Jabal Hurum, which has the highest peak, with Jabal Al-Nadheer, Jabal Qala Sahar and Jabal Al- Samaa the next highest peak (on Sanaa there is a castle built by Imam Ahmad which is located parallel to Al-Sunnara Castle to the west). The Hamdan Bin Zaid Mountains .eg. Barash Mountain which ranges between 2000-2800m. The mountain ranges are interested by a number of wadis the most important of which are wadi Saqain, Nnushour, Badr, Dhamad and Alaf, as well as Wadi Abdayn at Khaniq Strait, where there are remains of the Himyrite Khaniq Dam, which kept existence until 9th century AD.
The Flatland of Sada is amongst the most fertile in Yemen with farmers growing black Grapes, pomegranates, peaches apricots figs and other. Fruit at high altitudes (1800 meters above sea level ), it is one of the highest flatlands in Yemen. Jumaa encloses the area and Ghamar mountains from the north and west and from the south Sahar mountains, while from the east the Hamdan mountains.
High mountains and inner deserts characterize this part of the Governorate, with a number of a valley streams flowing through to the Empty Quarter desert.
Sada is famous for its good-quality iron, traces of which can been seen in various parts of the Governorate, and some its people still work in the mining of iron-ore from the mountains. They melt it in primitive furnaces to make tools, due to its high quality, and despite the availability of imported iron in the markets. Dagger Blades from Sada were sought after. The iron is also used in the manufacture of ploughs, and leather tanning tools. Other handicrafts include:
Leather good, ornaments, Sada is an important center. Sada is also famous for domestic utensils made from palm leaves and clay. The residents of Sada are very skillful in the making of kitchen-ware from stone extracted from the Razih Quarries. Such stones are called Harradh and the utensils made from these stones are very popular and are calledAl Maqla Al-Sadi, Al-Hardha Al-Sadiyya, meaning Sada frying pan.
There are a number of weekly markets held in different parts of the Governorate on different days, the most important being Al-Tallh, 10km to the north of Sada, which is held every Saturday, and is considered to be the biggest market in Yemen.
Archaeological and tourist Sites in Sada
As the relief in Sada vary so does the living of the population, there are mountains, towns, plains, and grass lands such as the eastern region of Sada. According to this natural, human, cultural and historical map as of prehistoric times until now and can be summed up as follows:
Sada is located to the east of Archaeological Mount Talmuss on which is Tamulss fortress that was built by Yaali Bin Omer Bin Zaid and is overlooking Sadah and its Mikhlafs as well as Wadi Gharaz, Wadi Rahban. It has been destroyed later and renovated by Imam Yehya Bin Hamzah who constructed control towers and at present there are only some remains. Imam Nashwan Bin Saeed Al Himiari said in his second part of Shams Al Illom Scroll about the name of Sadah, Sadah is a town for Khawlan Bin Amro and was named Sadah because a King of Himyar built a high castle and once seen by the king he said it has been elevated and hence came the name, Sadah in Arabic is also straight pipe and Sadah is an adjective for a willowy woman. In pre-Islamic era it used to be named Joma i.e. a mixture of people from different tribes. There are no sound proofs about who founded Sadah but the ancient Yemeni Geographer Al Hamdani recounted that Hajar Bin Rabiah Bin Saad Bin Khawlan left Sirwah towards the north and passed by the field of Sadah that was lightly settled and founded the town. There are inscriptions speaking about the town of Khawlan Al sham and that is Sadah and there are other inscriptions in the name of Rahban because Sadah is located directly to the north. Those inscriptions date back to before the 4th century AD. It is also noted through follow-up of the inscriptions events which refer to old Sadah as existent before the Birth of Jesus and persisted alive till 1138 AD when it was taken by Imam Ahmed Bin Salman and destroyed it and many of its inhabitations left for various places as for the town of Sadah it was established by Imam Alhadi Bin Alhasan Bin Alkasim Alrasi Who came to Sadah in 284 Hegira= 897 AD and disseminated his invitation and with it knowledge and justice prevailed and wrote many books available till the moment effective. Furthermore, he built his famous mosque named Al adi Mosque. He continued his call for 14 years till he passed away in 911 AD and his burial was conducted in front of Al Hadi Mosque in front of the Prayer direction vestibule. SaAdah through history remained as strong source for manufacture and agriculture for it used to manufacture iron as recounted that Sadah included many Iron furnaces and the iron leftovers are still around Sadah. Also the Iron Melting Furnaces besides manufacture of tools, minted the different coins and quarries are still existent to the East of Alba Mount overlooking Sadah from the East of Alba Mount overlooking Sadah from the east and in Al danah near the area of Majz Jomah.
The city is surrounded by a fortified wall considered and is one of the tourist attractions of Yemen similar to Sanaa Wall but Sadahj Wall is still intact with all its components. It is built of mud bricks in a wavy manner interspersed 52 towers and four Gates:
1)Najran 2) Swedan 3)Mansourah and Hamdan in side the wall are 16 staircases the wall measures: 3.326 m in length 8m height from the outside and 6m from the inside the thickness at the ground is 5m and as the top 3.5m it is in an excellent condition even though it was built in the 16th century.
The city of Sadah is distinguished for its architecture style which is like of old Sanaa to a great extent whilst there is another style prevalent in Sadah and Eastern Yemen and it is the Mud Bricks Style which is constructed according to stages with determined heights in the from of Belts. Thisstyle is noted in many villages of Sadah Governorate.
Al-Hadi Mosque dates back to the 9th century and is considered one of the oldest and most beautiful mosques in Yemen. It contains tomb and domes, the most important of which is the tomb of Al-Hadi Yahia Bin Al-Husain founder of the Zaidite dynasty in the 3rd Hegira century (9th century AD). Sadah town is famous and Al Hadi mosque were famous in addition to other mosques as schools used for theological studies, which gave the city an acadimic aura which is comparable to that of Sanaa , Zabid, Tarim,Dhamar, Jiblah and Al hadi mosque is still possessing many invaluable manuscripts and references books.
Sadah attractions include Moslem graveyards located close to the citys wall and are unique in that the stones are engraved with the names of the deceased, the date of death, his virtues, prayers and verses from the Holy Quran, even some poetry, let alone that Sadah is considered an Exemplary Yemenite Islamic town.
Beautiful Villages Surrounding Sada
Scattered around Sadah and in parts of Qaa Al-Hosn and Saeed, united by the distinguished architectural style of Sadah which is built by mud bricks surround by gardens of grapes, pomegranates, fruits.Worthy of a special mention are the villages of Al-Talh, Al-Abdainn and Rahban.
Forts and Castles of Sada
Sada Governorate was a cross point for trade caravans across different historical epochs whether Ollibanum and perfumes caravans at the time before Christ or the caravans from the Asad route, or the proprietors of the elephant route which passed by a series of towns and hills during the pre-Islamic era, and is also a route for pilgrims since Islam. The construction of forts and castles, therefore, seemed necessary to protect the travelers. Some were built close to Sadah such as Al-Sinarah , Samaa fort, Tulmus fort and Al Abla fort, Razeh fortress humrum to the north west of Sadah 60km away. The most important of the forts and castles is Om Laila, sixty kilometers to the north-west of Sadah at Baqim , Jumaah. Old Yemeni inscriptions confirm that this is a most significant archaeological site and contains stone paved roads, reservoir, grain stores and defense constructions such as towers and fortified walls, with only one wall leading to its beautiful scenery from all around which await the visitor.
Rock Drawings and Primitive Paintings
Sada is an area, which boasts a large collection of ancient paintings and signs dating back to the Hunter Gatherers Society. In the mountain area many of the caves and rocks are full of inscriptions and paintings of goats, hounds, cows, snakes, plant and geometrical shapes. The two areas rich in such drawings are Al-Khazain, 15km to the north west of Sada at Om Lailai and Musalhaqat 20km to thenorth west of Sadah.
Al- Khazain Rocky Graveyard
Fifteen kilometers to the northwest of Sada is the Rocky Graveyard. This graveyard is carved in the mountain and resembles a vault. It has a square door leading to rooms, each about 20 square meters. The rooms are similar to those at Shibam Kawkaban, Dhofar Al-Malik , Wadi Dhaher and Shibam Al-Gharras.Al-Alkhazain there is a reservoir eight meters deep and 4 meters wide.
Other places worth visiting Haidan Baqim Wadi Nashur Razeh Saqin Waela Sehra Ghuraz and Al-Buqaa.
Customs, Traditions and Folklore
Sada is rich in its art, folklore dances and music, with some of its residents having traditions found nowhere else. For example, the male residents on the outskirts of Sada Governorate wear wreaths of flowers around their heads and their hair is grown down to their shoulders. This part of Sada has retained a life-style, which has not been affected by time.
Al-Buqaa, a crossing point for Saudi Arabia, is located to the north east of Saadah.
The most important mountains and forts in Sadah
The western chain of mountains From the south begin the mountains of Khawlan Bin Amir and are elevated 2800m above sea level and they are Al Karb ,AlMuftah, Marran, Al Jomah,Haydan, Wair. Almanar and Hayash Mountans.
The chain Of Jomaah Mountains and they are
Asim Mountains, Khonfaar,Sham ,Darbain,Aswad Mountain,Qatabir,Marra Mountain,Al Qarad ,Om Laila which is an archaeological Mountain, Shida,Al Irr and Munabah Mountain.
The Chain of Eastern Jomaah Mountains and they are
Sanhan Al Sham, Baqim,Abu-Al-Hadeed and Sorom Mountains.
Razih Mountains include,
Ghamir ,Hurrum( on which is the Hurum fortress) 2800m above sea level and it is the highest mountain in Razih. To the west of Razih there are Al Nadheer, Al Qalah and Al Dhaiah Mountains.
Jibal Sahar, then Al Sama on which is Al Sama Fortress and it is paralleling Al Sinnarah Fortressto the west.
Tulmuss Mountain, it is one of Sadahs Archaeological sites.
Al Abla Mountain, on it there is a historical fort, Dhofar Mountain,Kablan Mountain and the prominent mount north of Sadah is Walaan.
Hamdan Bin Zaid Mountains, The most important which are:
Jabal Bbarsh (pyramidal in form), Ammer mountains, Wadaah Mountains.
Wayilah Mountains, their elevation ranges between 2000-2800m above sea level,Amalisah mountains,Ashash mountains,Raawom,Fard Mountains.