Mecca, likewise spelled Makkah, is a city in the Hejazi district of Saudi Arabia. The city is found 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah, in a tight valley 277 m (909 ft) above ocean level, 340 kilometers (210 mi) south of Medina, its populace in 2012 was 2 million, despite the fact that guests more than triple this number each year during the Ḥajj ("Pilgrimage"), held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month. It is the origin of Muhammad, a cavern 3 km (2 mi) from Mecca was the site of Muhammad's first disclosure of the Quran, and a journey to it, known as the Hajj, is compulsory for every single capable Muslim. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, probably the holiest site and the heading of Muslim supplication, and accordingly Mecca is viewed as the holiest city in Islam. Mecca was for quite some time governed by Muhammad's relatives, the sharifs, acting either as autonomous rulers or as vassals to bigger nations.