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Experience being on top of world at Dead Sea: Israeli official

Religion Belief

Press Trust of India  |  Tel Aviv 

Picture yourself reading a newspaper while floating effortlessly on salty cobalt blue water, giving you a feeling of being on top of the world at the lowest point of the earth.

This is what the 3 million years old Dead Sea has to offer, said Hassan Madah, director of Israel ministry of tourism in India.

He said one of the saltiest water bodies in the world will let a person float naturally and claimed that one can even read a newspaper in tranquillity while relaxing on the water.

"As you go deeper in the water, your feet and legs are pushed up and you feel your body becoming lighter, making you float naturally on the mineral-rich waters of Dead Sea," he said recently.

The Dead Sea, which is 428 metres below the sea level, is 9.6 times saltier than an ocean, making it impossible for plants and animals to survive, Madah said, adding people use the salt and the minerals from it to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.

The Dead Sea, the lowest point of earth, is full of black mud which could be easily spread on the body, soothing the skin with its healthy ingredients, he said.

"With a quality of providing healing power with awesome beauty of surrounding landscape, the Dead Sea is a place of tranquillity, health and inspiration for body and soul," Madah said.

According to media reports, the Dead Sea is shrinking at an alarming rate -- about 3.3 feet per year --primarily due to diversion of water resources it relied upon, mineral extractions from it and hot and dry climate which makes it difficult for the lake to replenish itself.

The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is landlocked between Israel and Jordan. Its eastern shore belongs to Jordan, and the southern half of its western shore belongs to Israel.

The northern half of the western shore lies within the Palestinian West Bank and has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Around 40 kms from Dead Sea is the 3,000 years old city of Jerusalem, which is considered a holy city by Christians, Muslims and Jews, said 64-year-old tour guide Eli Meiri.

The city has a history of being conquered, destroyed and rebuilt time and again, said Meiri, who has been taking tourists around the city for the last 20 years.

Christians visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, located on a site known for the death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, while Muslims come to the city to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, he added.

Madah said Jerusalem in not only visited by Muslims, Christians and Jews but also by people of other faiths.

"Jerusalem is a holy city but to visit a holy city you don't have to religious person. Hindus visit the place to feel thousands of years of glorious history, to see attractions of other religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism," he said.

He said Israel was a booming tourist destination with a high number of tourists visiting from a number of countries, dismissing the notion that it was not a safe place for tourists.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, April 01 2018. 13:45 IST