The palace is located in an oasis between the mountains of Jabal Akhdar. It was built in 1675 by Sultan Bila'rab bin Sultan al-Yaarubi as a summer residence. Although it has the form and structure of a military fort, it never served this purpose.
The palace has a rectangular plan, measuring about forty-three meters by twenty-two meters. Two circular towers project from the north and south corners. A wall was later erected along the northwest façade of the palace, along with a watchtower, creating an outer courtyard. The walls of the palace are constructed of irregular stone blocks quarried from the nearby mountains and assembled with plaster. They are topped with crenellations and have rows of mashrabiyya windows, the lowest of which is set at eight meters above ground level.
The palace enclosure is entered through two arched gates set on the southwest and northwest sides of the outer courtyard. The doorway to the palace inside the courtyard is flanked by two cannons. Inside, the palace is divided into two quarters, with rooms organized around two courtyards separated by a wall. The older southwestern wing has three floors while the northeastern wing is contains rooms on four floors. The rooms in both wings have high ceilings and plastered walls. The ceilings of some rooms are paneled with teak wood from India and with a local wood known as alaim painted in Persian style with floral and geometric motifs. The upper floor housed a library, a Quranic school and a mosque with a wooden painted ceiling. Sultan Bila'rab, who died in 1692, was buried in a tomb inside the palace, a few steps below the ground.
The principal room of the palace is located in the southwestern wing and is known as the Sun and Moon Room. Its four plastered walls are animated with niches inscribed in decorative rectangular frames and carved with geometric patterns. Some of the niches have high windows screened with mashrabiyya and two rows of wooden shelves below. The wooden ceiling of the room is decorated with floral motifs and verses from the Quran painted in Safavid style. The main staircase to the north of the main entrance features a domed roof covered with tiles on the interior.
Al-Qila' wa al-Husun fi Oman. Oman: Maktab Naib Rais al-Wizara li-Shu'un Majlis al-Wizara, 1994.
André Stevens. Oman, Citadels between Sand an Sea, 30-31. Brussels: Terra Incognita, 1990.
Shirley Kay. Enchanting Oman, 52. UAE: Motivate Publishing, 1988.