Welcome to Mnarani Historical National Monument
Mnarani is located on a steep cliff overlooking the Kilifi creek. The history of the foundation of Mnarani is unknown but speculations have it that the Swahili founded it in the early 13th century.
The word `Swahili´comes from the Arabic ´sahil´or coast, but often Arab geographers used it in alternative sense of á portfor inland trade.
Mnarani is also a swahili word derived from the Mnara meaning a minaret or pillar and today the name has grown to engulf the whole of immediate town ´Mnarani.
Archeological findings indicate that hte site had some settlement till the late 16th century.
The Great Mihrab Mosque
This is one of the ancient historic mosques in the region. It is the most inscribed and carved mosque.
The Mihrab (qibla, or a projection of the mosque on front prayer area facing Mecca) is intersting for its multiple arches and inscribed jambs.
The smaller mosque
Within the smaller mosques are cut coral arc on the walls of the Mihrab.
It is suggestice that the coral cuttings were used for storage of lighting lamps.
These coral cuttings also seen in the pillars and might have been used for keeping rosary beads ´Tasbih´.
The story of the baobab tree in association with spirits of the ancestors is a living testimony of Mnarani Ruins.
Many Mijikenda communities have allways associated the baobab to the spirits of their ancestors, either good or bad.
Mnarani ruins bears witness with about four giant baobabs with not immediate equals in the country.
Spectacualar sea front overlooking the Kilifi Creek and the New Kilifi Bridge
Mnarani Ruins offers the best panoramic view of the old Ferry and its rump. Wreckages of the once only carriage acrosss the sea from Malindi to Mombasa are well displayed.
The wreckage of the old ferry can only be seen at low tide.
witness the unique existence of the interrelation of the ruins and its ecology.
Abandonment of the ancient Mnarani Monument.
According to tradition Mnarani was destroyed by the Galla people in the 16th Century.
However the National Museums of Kenya preserves the history and cultural heritage of the site.
The Mysteries of 104 steps
104 steps that were architecture designed ti offer easy and mystic access to the offices of the Mnarani Ruins.
The steps were designed in a manner that one will always remember the site and its wide range of products and uniqueness.
The mature stand Mangrove – Avicennian marina
Mangroves are highly valued for their richness in biodiversity and provide habitats for many species of fauna and flora.
The resouce contributes considerably to the local economy.
Mnarni Ruins habours a peculiar species among the 8 species of Mangroves found in the region. In fact the species found here is the only mature stand of the Avicennia marina.
The species has developed a scenic canopy along the Kilifi creek and provides a suitable habitat for a number of un-idified species of crabs.
Other species of mangrove groving in association with the Avicennia marina are Rhizophora mucronata (Mkoko) and Ceriuop tagal (Mkandaa).
This ecosystem is intersting to any person interested in conservation.
When the tide is high, Mnarani Ruins provides the refuse/escape zone for the population of crabs found here.
Mnarani Mounument is open to the public every day of the year from 07.00 am to 06.00 pm.
he site was first occupied in the early 14th century but the first mosque; the Great Mosque was not built until AD 1425. Enlargements were undertaken soon thereafter, followed by major reconstruction efforts later in the 15th century following the collapse of the earlier building.
Close to the first Mosque is a smaller mosque which, prior to its construction a much similar but smaller mosque existed at its location; the foundation of its Mihrab may still be seen east of the present Mihrab. The original mosque was built around 1475, while the later mosque in about 1500; this is evident by the presence of a Portuguese dish in the cistern thus indicating that the final alterations to the mosques were probably not completed before the 16th century. Mnarani was eventually destroyed by the Galla in the early 17th century and archaeological evidence seems to confirm this.
These ruins were first gazetted in March 1929 in Gazette Notice No.170 as “Ruins of Mnarani” and later confirmed as Monuments in Gazette Notice No.457. Subsequently, they were listed first on the 15th June 1935 in Gazette Notice No.445 and then again under cap.215 of 1962 Revised Subsidiary Legislation. Thus to date they are known as Ruins of an Old Mosque in Kilifi Map sheet 198/2.
Manarani is a scenic, peaceful spot well worth a visit and makes an excellent picnic site.