The Garden Temple, Petra

About this place

 Plan Your Visit

  • Open Times: Petra Archaeological Park's open times in summer are 06:00-18:00 and in winter it closes at 16:00.
  • Prices: Admission to the Petra Archaeological Park is 90 JD, but travelers who join a Petra tour from Israel will have the entrance price included in their tour.
  • Average Visit Duration: The average time spent in Petra is 4-5 hours but if you plan on hiking to the Garden Temple you will need to move very fast through the main part of Petra, or make it a two-day visit.
  • Popular Times: The best time to visit Petra’s Garden Temple is early morning or late afternoon. 
  • Special Events: The Petra by Night evening candlelight spectacle is a sight to behold. It takes place on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 20:30. The show features Bedouine music, a light show, and tea.
  • Relevant Tours: On a tour of Petra you will see the most important and most impressive sites but to visit the Garden Temple you should take a private Petra tour or just stay longer, and opt for 2 days in Petra; Usually, the first day of the tour is guided and on the second day, you are left to explore on your own and visit the Garden Temple. You can also get to Petra from Israel on your own. 

The Garden Temple at Petra in Jordan has also been called the Garden Tomb and the Garden Triclinium because for a long time, experts were unsure of the role this structure played in Nabataean society.

the garden temple, petraWelcome to the Garden Temple (Image source: Bernard Gagnon CC BY-SA 2.0)

The structure was built by the Nabatean people in the 1st century AD. Today it is part of the Petra Archaeological Park which covers the expansive Nabataean city and its many structures that were hewn into the surrounding cliffs.

Gardens and Water in the Desert

After extensive research, experts concluded that the Garden Temple was not a burial site and not a temple. It had a secular function. It might have been a residential dwelling surrounded by the greenery of Wadi Farasa East.

Thanks to the ingenious water system created by the Nabataeans, they had an abundance of water despite being in the middle of the desert. The Garden Temple is close to a large cistern that connects to the channels and basins of the ancient water system so their garden could have remained watered and green year-round. Pro Tip: Spot the 8-meter stone wall next to the Garden Temple which may have been a retaining wall that formed part of a water reservoir or cistern. 

the garden temple, petraThe view from the Garden Temple

The Garden Temple’s proximity to the cistern and its lack of burial niches has led experts to believe that the structure may have been part of Petra’s water system. Perhaps the people in charge of the water supply stayed here or ran the system from the Garden Temple. 

The Gardens of Petra

The upper area of Wadi Farasa East was named Garden Valley in 1904 by explorer Gustaf Dalman. He came across a cool valley where flowers bloomed and the grass grew green and so he named it Garden Valley.

Where is the Petra Garden Temple?

When you are on a Petra tour or visiting the Petra Archaeological Park independently, you can find the Garden Temple located in Wadi Farasa, a canyon on the southeastern outskirts of Petra at the foot of Jabal al-Madhbah where the High Place of Sacrifice stands. You can visit the Garden Tomb and other sites in Wadi Farasa East after descending from the High Sacrifice Place along the west face of Jabal al-Madhbah.

Why You Should Visit the Garden Tomb in Petra

If you want to get away from the crowds and see parts of Petra that are less famous yet just as impressive then go the extra mile to visit Wadi Farasa East. Here you can quietly explore several structures cut into the rocks of the valley and enjoy a little shade, thanks to the soaring cliffs on both sides of the wadi.

the garden temple, petraThe road to the Garden Temple (Image source: Jean Housen CC BY-SA 2.0)

A visit to Petra’s Garden Temple will also give you a better idea of the immense size of the Nabataean city which is much larger than the well-trodden tourist area along the Street of Facades. The Garden Temple also gives you a new perspective because it is one of the few Petra structures where you can actually enter the chamber inside the rock.
Pro Tip: Get an Insta-worthy shot from inside the Garden Temple looking out to the wadi.

The Hike to Petra’s Garden Temple

The hike takes at least 3 hours and begins at the Collonaded Street of Petra. Follow the path up to the High Place of Sacrifice. Pro Tip: This is one of the best lookout points for views across Petra. Then continue to Wadi Farasa. You will see the Lion Monument, Garden Tomb, the Roman Soldier‘s Tomb, Renaissance Tomb, and Broken Pediment Tomb.

At the far end of the wadi, you will reach Zantur Hill (where excavations are ongoing) and Pharaoh’s Column. Finally, you will arrive at Qasr al-Bint. This is where you can take a rest at one of the restaurants near Qasr al-Bint. This hike is recommended for your second day in Petra when you have already seen the main sites. It can also be visited with a private Petra tour.

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