Kaf Ajnoun

Mountain of Ghosts : The Devil's Hill

 

The haunted natural rock fortress of Idinen, also known as the legendary Fortress of Ghosts, or the Cave of the Jinn, is located in the southern region of Libya, about 25 km north of Ghat. It is bordered by Wadi Tanezuft along the east and the Algerian border from the west. The Idinen summit is about 1280 metres high, and is an offshoot of the mountain nearby. The trail from the Algerian border-side, from Meggedet to Ghat, allows an excellent view of this strange mountain. In fact Meggedet itself is also the home of some bizarre rock formations, of massive sculptures of "devilish" figures that can be easily associated with this mountain.

 

Idinen mountain

 

In some maps this is marked as Kaf Ejoul (example, Gizi Map), which it seems is a corruption of Kahf (cave) and Ajnoun (the jinn or genies), meaning the Cave of the Jinn, which Lonely Planet says it once was known to the local Berber Tuareg as the Devil's Hill. This means that the name Idinen, which is given by the EWP Acacus map and also Encyclopedia Britannica, may be the Berber Tuareg word for djunoun, English jinn, plural jinni; from Latin genius (guardian spirit).

 

Kaf Aljnoun

Kaf Aljnoun

 

Genie - an invisible spirit mentioned in ancient mythologies, believed to inhabit the subtreanean earth. They were said to have powers to influence humans and can appear in various forms including humans and animals. There are so many stories in Libyan folklore about humans whom you might meet during the course of life and talk to, but in reality they are not humans. So watch out who you talk to in Libya!

 

The Devil's Hill

The Devil's Hill

 

According to the explorer Hugh Clapperton, who visited the area in 1822, some of the inhabitants of the mountain, apparently with red hair, were heard to beat their drums at night and fire their musquets; which some interpret as a reference to colonial men arriving with their guns during the pre-colonial period. Musquet is a variant spelling of "musket", which is a smoothbore shoulder gun used from the late 16th through the 18th century.

 

The Genie's Castle

The Genie's Castle

 

 

Djinn  mountains

The Mountain of the Ghosts.

 

 

The Mountain of the Ghosts

The Jinni City.

 

The Legend:

Looking like a hunted citadel crowned with a magical fortress-like summit, the mountain was thus assumed the abode of mythical beings. According to Berber Tuareg mythology the Devil's Hill was once a "Hall of Council", where genies met to discuss their affairs.

In 1845 James Richardson, one of the late explorers of the sahara, became ill and confused after he attempted to climb the summit of the Genies' Mountain. While the great explorer Heinrich Barth, needless to introduce, was dehydrated and tired by the time he reached the top, and lost his way and collapsed in the way down. Feeling hungry and thirsty he slit one of his veins open and drank his own blood, but he was lucky to be found by a local Tuareg - all feverish and close to death herself.

Locals and travellers have reported hearing strange sounds coming from the mountain, and there are various stories about encounters with other beings.  Of course, this is only what people say, and coincidence too plays its usual tricks; but who is to decide without sufficient knowledge and without proper research? Logic always teaches us to seek rational explanations for unknown events, until such time when revealed by science.

 

The City of the Jinni

The Road to Saharan Hell

Believe it or leave it; but rest assured that the local Tuareg inhabitants of the region will go nowhere near the forbidden fortress at the top. Owing to stories like these and similar other strange tales, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to get the locals to go up the mountain with tourists. If a visitor is fancying the visit to the top, they need to be prepared to do it by themselves, without any local guide. The guide and the driver would set up camp at the base of the mountain and await your safe return. The Tuareg also say there was one Tuareg who went to the top and never returned.

 

The Fortress of the Jinn

The Fortress of the Jinn.

 

The Abode of the Jinnee

The Abode of the Jinn

 
 
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